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[Discuss] email privacy/security

On 08/05/2013 02:07 PM, Richard Pieri wrote:
> Flawed cryptography is useless. Good cryptography may be useless when 
> one of your foes is responsible for approving and endorsing the 
> encryption systems you use.

Flawed crypto is of little use if they are specifically after *you* 
(particularly if they know they are after you before you send your 
messages).  But they probably are not after you, not really.  Rather 
they lazy-ass are after *everyone*, and recent revelations are that they 
are tapping everyone by getting copies of data when it is in the clear.

Requiring them to take active measures in advance of the communication 
(MitM attacks) or even afterwards (human intervention) harms their 
economics *enormously*.  Orders of magnitude.

Granted, good crypto is obviously better.  No one would dispute that.  
But they are getting a nearly complete copy of what they are looking for 
because they are tapping it in the clear, because we are using 
essentially no end-to-end crypto.  They get 99.99%+ of what they want 
without any crypto effort.  Our monoculture of standardized plaintext 
makes their job *so* much easier.

Let's make it harder.  Yes, a web of trusted certificates is hard to 
make air tight.  Okay, don't insist it be air tight.  If end-to-end 
encryption started to became common, even on a hodge-podge of 
self-signed certificates, the howls of protest from the spies would 
become deafening: because it would make their task much, much harder.

Mass surveillance changes the economics, and when opposing mass 
surveillance, some old aphorisms no longer hold.


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