1996-12-20 - Re: Credentials without Identity–Race Bits

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From: Bill Stewart <stewarts@ix.netcom.com>
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: 6bd4c934f2ec4161baaa948680502ae4e10ff012acdcce9e0628866813370e42
Message ID: <>
Reply To: N/A
UTC Datetime: 1996-12-20 03:46:34 UTC
Raw Date: Thu, 19 Dec 1996 19:46:34 -0800 (PST)

Raw message

From: Bill Stewart <stewarts@ix.netcom.com>
Date: Thu, 19 Dec 1996 19:46:34 -0800 (PST)
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: Re: Credentials without Identity--Race Bits
Message-ID: <>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

At 12:38 PM 12/11/96 -0800, "Timothy C. May" <tcmay@got.net> wrote:
>Consider a "race credential" offered by some entity. 
>(Why some groups might want this is left as an exercise for the reader.
>Perhaps a less-inflammatory example (to some of the sensitive amongst you)
>might be that some women want to interact in "women only" forums--a clear
>case of discrimination, no?--and may want a "gender bit" avaiable to
>display as a credential.)

I've already tried to subscribe to a forum (at the liberal Utne reader!)
where I was rejected because they currently had more subscribers
who identified themselves as "male" than as "female", and they wanted
to maintain a balance.  And certainly "US Citizens Only" sites
are common - nationalism is just as ugly and stupid as racism,
and far more likely to be enforced with ID requirements;
I've heard that in less civilized parts of the world you're actually
required to carry government-issued ID cards to walk down the street
or fly on airplanes.

Another problem is that "nationalist credentials" made hide other data,
such as a race bit, a Jewish bit, a don't-ask-out-loud-don't-tell bit,
a suspected-Commie bit, a check-FBI-files-first bit, etc.  The subliminal 
channels in DSS are the best known method for doing this, but it's probably
possible to do something similar even using blind signatures, especially
if there are multiple keys or timestamp fields.  For example, they could
use different signature keys that are supposedly just "signed at the
New York/LA/Langley/Holtsville/SF/DC office" or "signed 4/1/97 4:20pm".

#			Thanks;  Bill
# Bill Stewart, +1-415-442-2215 stewarts@ix.netcom.com
# You can get PGP outside the US at ftp.ox.ac.uk/pub/crypto/pgp
#     (If this is a mailing list, please Cc: me on replies.  Thanks.)