1993-08-28 - Re: Plausible Spookiness

Header Data

From: khijol!erc@apple.com (Ed Carp)
To: an31144@anon.penet.fi
Message Hash: a29101b1ee489f6d66a05c777da9fc83060aa9d8fb2f79e62ec9c7d8640da83b
Message ID: <m0oWLKn-00021zC@khijol>
Reply To: <199308272046.AA04048@xtropia>
UTC Datetime: 1993-08-28 08:28:01 UTC
Raw Date: Sat, 28 Aug 93 01:28:01 PDT

Raw message

From: khijol!erc@apple.com (Ed Carp)
Date: Sat, 28 Aug 93 01:28:01 PDT
To: an31144@anon.penet.fi
Subject: Re: Plausible Spookiness
In-Reply-To: <199308272046.AA04048@xtropia>
Message-ID: <m0oWLKn-00021zC@khijol>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text

> If you mean that they are NSA-proof, or that only brute force attacks
> would affect decryption, I would suggest that we know no such thing, and
> it is extremely unlikely that we ever will.  The NSA has _astounding_
> resources, unequalled by anything in the private sector, dedicated to no
> other purpose than compromising world-class cyphers.  Their successes
> are not public knowledge, to say the least.  No one here should blithely
> dismiss claims of PGP weaknesses when the opposition has literally
> billions of dollars earmarked to find such flaws.
> It bears noting that the concealment of major successes in decryption
> are every bit as important as the decryption itself, a fact often
> overlooked.
> I would like to see "Paquin's" case against PGP as well as a competent
> analysis of his claims.  Unfortunately, I cannot produce either.

I'm rather surprised that the most significant piece of evidence in favor of
the "NSA has cracked PGP" theory is that no one's put a bullet through Phil
Zimmerman's head.  Not to be macabre or anything, but if PGP was a real
threat, don't you think that the NSA would act rather quickly to suppress
it if they couldn't read stuff encrypted with it?  And if you think that
they don't monitor stuff coming in and going out via ftp to various parts
of the world, I think you're being naive.  If you think that they wouldn't
act quickly, with violence if need be, to protect "national security", you're
being even more naive.  The umbrella of "national security" can (and has)
encompass a wide variety of sins, excesses, oversights, etc.  Hell, the
NSA probably enjoys every time someone writes about how "stupid" the NSA
really is - after all, it might convince someone to let down their guard.

I think that, personally, the public-key stuff's gotta have some sort of a
hole in it that nobody's thought of yet outside of spook central.
Ed Carp, N7EKG			erc@apple.com			510/659-9560
If you want magic, let go of your armor.  Magic is so much stronger than
steel!        -- Richard Bach, "The Bridge Across Forever"