[cryptography] crypto & security/privacy balance (Re: Digital cash in the news...)

James A. Donald jamesd at echeque.com
Wed Jun 15 18:08:10 EDT 2011


On 2011-06-15 7:05 PM, Nico Williams wrote:
> It's only when push comes to shove that crypto
> doesn't help.

In the conflict with Al Quaeda, as in any war, push has come to shove, 
and yet encryption does help.

> Long before push comes to shove you have to deal with the fact that
> your crypto is only a small part of the big picture: do you know if
> your peers are malicious?

If some of your peers are not malicious, mixing will work.  If all of 
your peers are malicious, steganography will work.

Because menacing state demands for the contents of your files are 
common, steganography is common, for example truecrypt.  Because state 
attacks on encrypted communication are uncommon, people do not stego 
their communications.  But if the state attacked encrypted 
communications, then we would also see plenty of encrypted communication 
stego.

The state can escalate - but so can we.




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