Why the computing world chose PKI

    Date11 Aug 2005
    CategoryCryptography
    9171
    Posted ByBenjamin D. Thomas
    In Phil Zimmermann's response to "Does Phil Zimmermann need a clue on VoIP", Zimmermann offered a blistering attack on PKI based solutions and offered his own PGP solution as the superior alternative. There is just one little problem: the computing world chose PKI for the most part while PGP barely makes a dent in the email world.

    After Zimmermann finished criticizing Skype's methodology for success (to which I responded), Zimmermann went on to slam PKI implementations such as S/MIME, boasting that his PGP email products are much easier to use and much more popular. While both S/MIME and PGP are certified by the NIST, neither solution has any penetration in the mass computing market. PGP happens to be more widely used than S/MIME among the "techno-elite" but the mass market penetration is so insignificant that it’s a moot point. Zimmermann in a subsequent email even went as far as saying that "no one" used S/MIME which seemed strange to me since I use it myself.

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