integrating GPG with deniable steganography

Aaron Sherman ajs at
Tue Mar 20 17:29:04 CET 2001

On Tue, Mar 20, 2001 at 09:36:00AM -0000, Marlow, Andrew (London) wrote:

> > If everyone encrypts their mail, then
> > only criminals will send plain-text versions of Shakespeare ;-)

> Please lets stop talking about Shakespeare. 
> I didn't say that, someone else did.

Um... it was meant to be a humorous comment. Hence the smiley.

> The great unwashed will never routinely encrypt their email. IMO the
> best you can hope for is that knowledgeable people will provided that
> it is not too hard to do. 
> PPS will make it easier. This is to be welcomed. :-)

My grandfather just got his first computer. He's "learning email". Why
will he never routinely encrypt his mail if the mailer does it for
him? Heck, he wouldn't be able to figure out how to turn it OFF. Will
it be secure? Only marginally. As we all know, automatic public key
exchange will always be a little weak. But, that's OK, he's not even
aware of the encryption. When he becomes savvy, he can go in and
manage his keys without tipping anyone off that he's suddenly become
concerned with security.

This is the goal of PPS. The great masses will become the "noise" in
the system, sending routinely encrypted email everywhere. Once
GPG has a library version (which, I understand from the home-page is
in the works), a plug-in can be written for just about every mailer
which uses that library to implement PPS. If we can get pressure on
the mailer makers (e.g. AOL (netscape, aol), Microsoft (outlook,
hotmail), Quallcom (eudora)) to include these plugins in their
distributions, we're done. Universal, transparent encryption will be a 
reality if I have to stoop to working for Microsoft to make it
happen... ;-)

> > Seriously, check out The spec is coming
> > together nicely, and version 2 should be out within the week (but is
> > available as a work-in-progress version now).

> 	[Marlow, Andrew (London)]  I have checked it out and it does look
> good. However, I still maintain that encryption+steg is a useful
> combination when one
> is faced with RIP.

Nothing in the spec prevents that. In fact, it's a good thing IMHO for 
an optional plugin. In order to do steg correctly, though, you'd have
to involve the user in the selection of the substrate. For this
reason, such a thing would not make a good "default" PPS plugin.
There's no reason for you to NOT use such a thing to talk to your
friends. Ideally, you would write your plugin so that its results
looked JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE'S PPS MAIL! This way, the folks serving 
the RIP can't even make a good case for claiming that your encyrption
looks like something that would have steg in it.

Aaron Sherman		
ajs at		finger ajskey at for GPG info. Fingerprint:	6DC1 F67A B9FB 2FBA D04C  619E FC35 5713 2676 CEAF
 "Do you come from a land downunder, where beer does flow and the
  men chunder?" -Men at Work

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