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Re: SHA, MD, and openssl

From: Paul Eggert
Subject: Re: SHA, MD, and openssl
Date: Wed, 11 Dec 2013 10:54:46 -0800
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:24.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/24.1.0

[Adding bug-gnulib to CC.  This discussion no longer directly affects
Emacs, since I removed the libcrypto support from Emacs yesterday
<http://bzr.savannah.gnu.org/lh/emacs/trunk/revision/115454>.  Gnulib
still has support for linking to libcrypto, though, so it's still
relevant for gnulib.  This email thread starts at

On 12/11/2013 07:13 AM, Richard Stallman wrote:

> I don't think OpenSSL is included in the normal form of
> packaging Linux

I'm afraid you've lost me.  Did you mean that Linux is the "Major
Component" as described in the GPL?  If so, that doesn't sound right,
as the code we're talking about is crypto hash code, which doesn't
need to interface to the Linux kernel at all.  It's written in pure
C and/or assembly code, with no Linux system calls.

The Major Component here is not the Linux kernel; it's cryptographic
services, which these days are a major essential component of many
operating systems, including common GNU/Linux distributions.
Obviously one can build a GNU/Linux system without crypto, just as one
can build one without a windowing system, but nevertheless crypto is a
major essential component for many systems, just as windowing is.

> I don't think it satisfies (b) either.

I don't see why not, for the crypto hash functions we're talking
about.  MD5, SHA256, etc. are all interfaces that are official
standards defined by recognized standards bodies, and implementations
for them are available to the public in source code form.

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