Brexit agreement gives Netscape 4.0 an unexpected comeback


The trade agreement between the EU and Great Britain made necessary by Brexit was concluded at the last minute. This is the only way to explain why the proud 1246-page document contains IT recommendations that, if had been critically examined, would certainly have been noticed and revised.

Page 921 of the agreement deals with the security of communication by e-mail. “s / MIME functionality is integrated into most modern e-mail programs, including Outlook, Mozilla Mail and Netscape Communicator 4.x, and works with all major e-mail software packages,” it says there and on: ” Due to the simple integration of s / MIME into the national IT infrastructure on the part of all countries, it was selected as a future-proof mechanism with which security can be implemented in communication. ”

At the same point in the agreement between the EU and Great Britain, the authors also recommend 1024-bit RSA encryption and the SHA-1 hashing algorithm for secure communication via e-mail.

Since the section of the trade agreement in question corresponds exactly to a passage from an EU legal text from 2008, there are increasing numbers of people on the Internet who suspect an unfortunate copy & paste as the cause of the involuntarily funny recommendations. For a long time it looked as if no agreement could be reached – the provisional text of the agreement had to be finalized under great time pressure after the historic agreement on a Brexit trade pact.

Professor Bill Buchanan, who teaches as a cryptography expert at Edinburgh Napier University, has little understanding of copying in completely outdated IT guidelines. There is little excuse for it, he told the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). SHA-1 and 1024-bit RSA were a good choice about ten years ago, but they no longer meet modern security standards. Netscape Communicator is from 1997.


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#Brexit agreement #Netscape unexpected comeback


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