[RC5] newbie question

mgarriss mgarriss at earthlink.net
Thu Aug 21 15:13:40 EDT 2003

Greg Wooledge wrote:

>Michael Garriss (mgarriss at earthlink.net) wrote:
>>I have started to look into moving into other distributed projects 
>>(currently doing seti and folding at home).  I curious about the rc5 
>>project.  What's it's purpose?  I understand the descriptions on the 
>>site but how does solving this problem help?
>At the time the encryption projects began (RC5, DES), the United
>States was still using 56-bit DES as the standard encryption.
>Furthermore, there were rather stringent laws in effect which banned
>the export of "strong" encryption (which is classified as munitions).
>The purpose of the contests (sponsored by RSA Laboratories) was to
>demonstrate the relative strengths of various ciphers given current
>technology.  In so doing, they also had the side effect of exposing
>the then-current US standards and legislation as being somewhat
>inadequate and out of touch with the times.
>Since that time, the US government has switched to a Rijndael-based
>cipher for its new encryption standard ("AES"), and the export
>laws governing cryptography have been slightly relaxed.  Clearly we
>can't point to dnet's RC5 and DES efforts as the sole catalyst
>for this change, because there were many other efforts occurring at
>the same time.  But it's nice to think that we played a part.
>Oh, and RSA Labs is also offering cash prizes for the people who
>complete the contests.  A bit of money never hurts.

Thank you for the response.  Don't take this wrong way but it seems that 
all that cpu power could be better used.  I guess I don't completly 
understand the RC5 project.  The folding at home project can and has added 
to medical and general technology advances.  I would really like to a 
see a distributed AI project however.  Image a General AI that could be 
trained on a network the size of the one that distributed.net has put 

Michael Garriss

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