[cryptography] preventing protocol failings

Zooko O'Whielacronx zooko at zooko.com
Tue Jul 12 17:24:01 EDT 2011


On Tue, Jul 12, 2011 at 11:10 AM, Hill, Brad <bhill at paypal-inc.com> wrote:
>
> I have found that when H3 meets deployment and use, the reality too often becomes: "Something's gotta give."  We haven't yet found a way to hide enough of the complexity of security to make it free, and this inevitably causes conflicts with goals like adoption.

This is an excellent objection. I think this shows that most crypto
systems have bad usability in their key management (SSL, PGP). People
don't use such systems if they can help it, and when they do they
often use them wrong.

When systems come with good usability properties in the key management
(SSH, and I modestly suggest ZRTP and Tahoe-LAFS) then we don't see
this pattern. People are willing to use secure tools that have a good
usable interface. Compare HTTPS-vs-HTTP to SSH-vs-telnet (this
observation is also due to Ian Grigg).

Regards,

Zooko



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