There´s an older question I´m not sure about: “Who uses the RSA BSAFE library?”

From my point of view (and looking at a few comments), it appears to be off-topic for several reasons:

  1. it is about market penetration of a (cryptography) product,
  2. it´s rather broad (who has insight in all sales/numbers of all companies distributing that lib?),
  3. the core of the question handles the exact same thing as “Who uses Dual_EC_DRBG?”, which pretty much renders “Who uses the RSA BSAFE library?” into a duplicate.

Now, to avoid only looking at it from my own perspective – what´s your feedback on that “Who uses the RSA BSAFE library?” question? Does it really make sense to keep it around? If, for what reason?


1 Answer 1


Having given it a week for potential feedback from community members, I have now closed the question as a duplicate, based on the already indicated fact that “Who uses the RSA BSAFE library?” merely reboots what has been asked before… “Who uses Dual_EC_DRBG?”


The (now closed as a duplicate) question “Who uses the RSA BSAFE library?” asks:

My question: Who uses RSA BSAFE? Which products are built on top of RSA BSAFE?

This is a reformulation of the question “Who uses Dual_EC_DRBG?”:

My question: who uses Dual_EC_DRBG? Do any commercial products use Dual_EC_DRBG?

Nota Bene – The accepted answer of that older question shows the obvious point of inspiration:

RSA BSAFE Libraries (Both for Java and C/C++) use it as their default PRNG.

Besides all that, the now closed question only attracted a single answer… which was never accepted. Therefore I honestly doubt much is lost by the closure. (Also, market-penetration questions are overly broad and always incorporate personal opinions – unless actual numbers are known to the public.)

  • $\begingroup$ Well, I don't think much has been lost by closing it, but I don't think it was a duplicate. I asked "Who uses BSAFE?" The answers to "Who uses Dual_EC_DRBG?" don't answer the question "Who uses BSAFE?". Indeed, part of the history is that I asked "Who uses Dual-EC-DRBG?" and one of the answers that came back was "BSAFE uses it" -- but it didn't explain what products use BSAFE. So I posted a new question asking "Who uses BSAFE?". That's a different question, one that still isn't answered by the answers to "Who uses Dual_EC_DRBG". $\endgroup$
    – D.W.
    Sep 15, 2015 at 9:53
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ That said, in retrospect, I can see a strong argument for closing it based on Gilles' reason: that it's off-topic. So I agree that I don't think much has been lost by closing it. In the end the reasons for closure are probably secondary -- no need to change anything now. Just mentioning this for the future, as you consider other possible duplicates. $\endgroup$
    – D.W.
    Sep 15, 2015 at 9:56

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