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  • From: L. Sassaman
  • Date: Sat Jul 01 18:04:06 2000

Hash: SHA1

On Sat, 1 Jul 2000, Roeland M.J. Meyer wrote:

> I am talking about PEM formatted keys and certs (*.pem files), as
> formatted by OpenSSL. I don't recogise your definition of the
> acronym.

PEM (RFC 1421-1424, I believe) was a *really sucky* attempt at a secure
email standard. It was based on X.509, and did things like not allow
encrypted but not signed messages, messages were encrypted, then signed,
and the signer could not conceal his identity... and a whole bunch of
other stupid things.

(My apologies to some of my coworkers, who were involved with the PEM

I don't think it ever was used outside of government and a few big
corporations. Sort of like S/MIME, though S/MIME fixes a lot of the
obvious flaws that PEM had.
> Me may have a case of operator over-loading here. I'm also sorry
> that you feel that this has become a flame-war. Maybe it is good
> that we terminate it.

Well, a PEM vs. PGP debate might have interested me in 1992, but it's over
with. PGP won, by the consensus of the users.

Likewise, I suspect S/MIME will fail, due to lack of usage. S/MIME might
be supported by every email client out there (though I do hear that
compatability is nearly impossible between vendors), but if people don't
use it, then it is just code bloat and should be excised.

But this is a topic that people will get very religious about, and won't
result in any constructive outcome... so I am content to stop ranting now
and let natural selection take its course. 


L. Sassaman

System Administrator                |  
Technology Consultant               |  "Common sense is wrong." 
icq.. 10735603                      |  
pgp.. finger:// |    --Practical C Programming

Comment: OpenPGP Encrypted Email Preferred.


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