[cryptography] ICIJ's project - comment on cryptography & tools

ianG iang at iang.org
Thu Apr 4 16:51:06 EDT 2013

On 4/04/13 21:43 PM, Jon Callas wrote:
> Hash: SHA1
> On Apr 4, 2013, at 6:27 AM, ianG <iang at iang.org> wrote:
>> In a project similar to Wikileaks, ICIJ comments on tools it used to secure its team-based project work:
>>          "ICIJ’s team of 86 investigative journalists from 46 countries represents one of the biggest cross-border investigative partnerships in journalism history. Unique digital systems supported private document and information sharing, as well as collaborative research. These included a message center hosted in Europe and a U.S.-based secure online search system.  Team members also used a secure, private online bulletin board system to share stories and tips."
>>          "The project team’s attempts to use encrypted e-mail systems such as PGP (“Pretty Good Privacy”) were abandoned because of complexity and unreliability that slowed down information sharing. Studies have shown that police and government agents – and even terrorists – also struggle to use secure e-mail systems effectively.  Other complex cryptographic systems popular with computer hackers were not considered for the same reasons.  While many team members had sophisticated computer knowledge and could use such tools well, many more did not."
>> http://www.icij.org/offshore/how-icijs-project-team-analyzed-offshore-files
> Thanks!
> This is great. It just drives home that usability is all.

Just to underline Jon's message for y'all, they should have waited for 

       "Encryption used in Apple's iMessage chat service has stymied 
attempts by federal drug enforcement agents to eavesdrop on suspects' 
conversations, an internal government document reveals.

       "An internal Drug Enforcement Administration document seen by 
CNET discusses a February 2013 criminal investigation and warns that 
because of the use of encryption, "it is impossible to intercept 
iMessages between two Apple devices" even with a court order approved by 
a federal judge.

       "The DEA's warning, marked "law enforcement sensitive," is the 
most detailed example to date of the technological obstacles -- FBI 
director Robert Mueller has called it the "Going Dark" problem -- that 
police face when attempting to conduct court-authorized surveillance on 
non-traditional forms of communication.

       "When Apple's iMessage was announced in mid-2011, Cupertino said 
it would use "secure end-to-end encryption." It quickly became the most 
popular encrypted chat program in history: Apple CEO Tim Cook said last 
fall that 300 billion messages have been sent so far, which are 
transmitted through the Internet rather than as more costly SMS messages 
carried by wireless providers.


iang, who never even knew it was encrypted!

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