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Re: lisp/url/url-https.el

From: Stefan Monnier
Subject: Re: lisp/url/url-https.el
Date: 12 Apr 2004 00:49:30 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.09 (Gnus v5.9.0) Emacs/21.3.50

>> Are url-https.el and ssl.el really specifically designed to call
>> encryption routines?  I thought they only run some external communication
>> program which happens to use encryption.
>> I am not sure whether this makes a difference.  I had better get legal
>> advice about this.  Could someone describe for me the overall
>> structure of the situation, so I can ask about it?
>> Much like Tramp.
>> I don't know this case and the Tramp case are similar in the way
>> that matters legally.

> tramp can call ssh, but ssh can also connect using plain unencrypted
> rsh.  So it would depend on the configuration of ssh whether a
> connection is encrypted or not.

Every case is unique, of course, but AFAIK, Tramp weas mostly written to
use SSH rather than FTP because SSH is secure thanks to authentication
and encryption.  Yes, you can use it with rsh, with su, etc, which do not
use encryption, but RMS's poiint was that ssl.el was written specifically
for encryption and I thought Tramp was pretty close in that respect.

The way I see it ssl.el does not fall under the law because its purpose has
nothing to do with encryption.  It is just designed to connect to some hosts
using some particular protocol (not because this protocol is encrypted but
because some hosts require this protocol for some of their operations) by
running some external program which does all the socket-setup, protocol
negotiation, etc... the encryption is actually pretty minor in this respect.


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