1994-08-24 - Re: Using PGP on Insecure Machines

Header Data

From: tcmay@netcom.com (Timothy C. May)
To: jamesh@netcom.com (James Hightower)
Message Hash: dbe407b6fab84a2b9639c20fb116e46c87d0cb28cde8d24cf8c8d02b00d39e80
Message ID: <199408241829.LAA11899@netcom14.netcom.com>
Reply To: <199408241742.KAA17319@netcom17.netcom.com>
UTC Datetime: 1994-08-24 18:29:35 UTC
Raw Date: Wed, 24 Aug 94 11:29:35 PDT

Raw message

From: tcmay@netcom.com (Timothy C. May)
Date: Wed, 24 Aug 94 11:29:35 PDT
To: jamesh@netcom.com (James Hightower)
Subject: Re: Using PGP on Insecure Machines
In-Reply-To: <199408241742.KAA17319@netcom17.netcom.com>
Message-ID: <199408241829.LAA11899@netcom14.netcom.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

James Hightower writes:

> Which brings me to the question; "What ARE people using, and what are
> they GOING to use?" Can anyone point me to a survey of the most used
> ways for e-mail to get on the net, and what will be most used in the
> future? The problem of insecure machines can be dealt with, but right
> now I have only knowledge of the insecure machine I use for email, and
> how I deal with it.

We did a survey of this nearly 2 years ago, at the second Cypherpunks
meeting. Got about 10 main mail programs being used, about the same
number of editors, and about as many platforms.

> If no such surveys exist (which I find hard to believe) than I'll do
> one myself.

I think this is a great idea. 

I suggest we toss around a few questions, to make the poll as useful
as possible (and so it doesn't have to be done a second time to fill
in missing gaps). Here are a few questions I'd like to see (with *my*
answers included to help show context):

* Internet service provider: Netcom, SunOS Release 4.1.3
* Accessed via: Macintosh IIci, running VT100 emulator, White Knight 11.14
* Online mail program used (if any): elm
* Online text editor used: emacs
* Offline mail program used (if any): Eudora 2.0.2
* Offline text editor used: Eudora, Microsoft Word, etc. (any Mac program)
* PGP version used: MacPGP 2.3

In the poll of two years ago, this was abbreviated into a message

"Netcom/elm-Eudora/emacs/MacPGP 2.3"

for easier processing. 

And the poll taker could simply list all the
one-line responses so as to give developers/readers a better feel for
the environments being used, a la:

"Netcom/elm/emacs/PGP 2.6ui"
"CRL/emacs/emacs/PGP 2.7"
"Linux/xmail/pine/PGP 2.3"
"AOL/??/??/not allowed"


> his movies-on-demand and access to the SuperMall(TM) and, incidentally, his
> E-mail capability, it might be a good thing to know in advance what J. Q.
> Consumer will be using so that we can be there with strong, usable
> crypto when he gets there.

Here I differ, as I don't think we can plausibly do a poll of what
"J.Q. Consumer" is using, or plans to use. That's a huge job, fraught
with polling problems. And J.Q. Consumer himself has no idea of what
he "will be using," so why bother?

I had assumed the poll was of *us*, which is both a manageable poll to
take, and a useful one.

--Tim May

Timothy C. May         | Crypto Anarchy: encryption, digital money,  
tcmay@netcom.com       | anonymous networks, digital pseudonyms, zero
408-688-5409           | knowledge, reputations, information markets, 
W.A.S.T.E.: Aptos, CA  | black markets, collapse of governments.
Higher Power: 2^859433 | Public Key: PGP and MailSafe available.
"National borders are just speed bumps on the information superhighway."