[cryptography] Definition of Identity (was Re: key management guidelines)

Marsh Ray marsh at extendedsubset.com
Wed Sep 15 11:51:11 EDT 2010

On 09/14/2010 11:23 PM, Arshad Noor wrote:
> Marsh Ray wrote:
>> There are a couple of influential books you might consider reading:
>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brave_New_World
>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nineteen_Eighty-Four
> However, I believe it is naive to bring up the "Orwellian
> Society" as a "bugaboo" because of a concept that enables the
> tracking of every legitimate, non-anonymous transaction through
> strong authentication/digital-signatures. You are already
> living in an Orwellian society whether you like it or not:
> http://www.eff.org/issues/nsa-spying. Any assumption on your
> part that you have any modicum of privacy on the internet, is
> fallacious.

> The problem isn't about fake identities; it is about
> improving archaic business processes through the use of
> technology - and doing it securely, and across a sector,
> in one fell swoop.

> When an entire system is breaking down, there are many
> parts that need fixing; however, to stanch the problem, one
> has to begin at the point where you can slow down the rate
> of current compromises before you fix the problems inside.

> Notwithstanding the hyperbole (you do know that DNA can be
> profiled based on spit), common sense is *always* necessary
> at all times. However, events of the last decade have shown
> that there is very little of it exercised everywhere.

The above will go without reply.

> The world's population is approaching 7 billion people, with
> projections of 10-billion by 2050. The richest country in
> the world (the USA) with a mere 300M people has a trillion-
> dollar deficit, cannot fix roads, schools and is watching the
> resurgence of polio, TB and lice (aside from anti-biotic
> resistant bacteria). Like it or not, solving problems for
> the next century is going to require some very different kind
> of thinking.

All of this was present in the first half of the 20th century across the 
Western world and even here in the US, only to a far greater degree than 
we have now. People felt empowered by impressive new technologies to 
address their problems and all sorts of comprehensive top-down 
"solutions" were tried, from the Utopian to the nightmarish.

The literature referenced above dates from that period.

This "kind of thinking" that has been a defining characteristic of the 
West for the second half of the last century was formed from the lessons 
of the first. Most people feel it was a big improvement worth keeping.

- Marsh

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