1997-09-12 - No Subject

Header Data

From: nobody@REPLAY.COM (Anonymous)
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: 7f524db1f7882f1dd28d1752f2a715470d54c294083aa711562fb73baa1ab69d
Message ID: <199709120531.HAA26749@basement.replay.com>
Reply To: N/A
UTC Datetime: 1997-09-12 05:43:36 UTC
Raw Date: Fri, 12 Sep 1997 13:43:36 +0800

Raw message

From: nobody@REPLAY.COM (Anonymous)
Date: Fri, 12 Sep 1997 13:43:36 +0800
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: No Subject
Message-ID: <199709120531.HAA26749@basement.replay.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

It is quite probable that this has been said before.  In case it hasn't,
however, I feel compelled to point out that mandatory key escrow/recovery
could likely mean an economic disaster of unimaginable proportions. 

   Okay, key escrow, whether by the goobermint or a contracted third-party,
is beginning to scare the living crap out of me.  Okay, let's assume that
the ammended SAFE passes and is promptly signed into law(despite what the
administration says, I don't think anyone believes for a second that it
would be signed without hesitation). It's a simple matter for the Commerce
Dept. to modify their review criteria to specify that the key
escrow/recovery feature be enabled and that the end user not be able to
disable it.

   This obviously doesn't affect anyone who can get their hands on the
source and comment out a line or two, but think about what happens with
big corporations, especially financial ones.  It's highly likely that a
good number of them will use crypto software just the way Big Brother
would like them to, happily sending their keys off so that our friends in
Washington can keep them nice and safe.

   Now think about this:  You're Joe Random Govt. Worker at the official
secret key repository, and there's a budget crisis going on - instead of
paychecks, you're getting I.O.U.'s.  Your terminal has access to
thousands, perhaps millions, of secret keys.  You grab one of CitiBank's,
forge a few transactions, and 30 seconds later your Swiss bank account is
a few million dollars fatter and according to the digital signature, the
transaction originated in L.A..

   Of course, one doesn't even have to be an underpaid govt. worker to
join in on the fun.  Just find a buffer overflow in the key repository's
daemon software and trick it into tacking on a few secret keys with its
"Big Brother thanks you for your cooperation." packet.  Considering that
even the CIA can't keep their severs secure, why should ANYONE, even
thouse naive enough to trust the govt. to respect their privacy, ever
trust such a corrupt and insecure organization with their encyption keys.

   Along the same lines, it's almost certain that someone is eventually
going to fat-finger some code and keys are going to get sent in the clear,
posted publicly, or something equally bad - with the government running
the "key management infastructure", it'll probably be a 12 year old kid
who got bored with Minesweeper who causes the global economic collapse.