[Sks-devel] [openpgp-email] Keyservers and GDPR

Wiktor Kwapisiewicz wiktor at metacode.biz
Wed Nov 7 12:33:00 CET 2018

On 07.11.2018 11:50, Andrew Gallagher wrote:
>> On 7 Nov 2018, at 10:16, Yegor Timoshenko <yegortimoshenko at riseup.net> wrote:
>> World-writable storage is problematic even if there is no search.
>> Proof of work and some operator-controllable data removal
>> mechanism (like opt-in key blacklists) can help limit this attack
>> vector.
>> Storing immutable data, distributed recon, proof of work, that
>> sounds like something a blockchain should do to me.
> More evidence that blockchain is a solution in search of a problem! :-)
> Proof of work verification provides little benefit over cryptographic verification. If you have already generated a valid signature, that is in itself a proof of work. The only reason you would also use hashcash is if you wanted to increase the difficulty of the work beyond what the cryptography itself provides. But hashcash only works if it is possible to find a difficulty level that impedes abuse while not significantly affecting legitimate use. It may stop people uploading warez but it can’t prevent cheap vandalism. 

Blockchain can be used to timestamp data in a way that is evident to a
broad audience. If cryptographic verification was enough for X.509 there
wouldn't be Certificate Transparency (that uses similar primitives) and
CT is required for all issued "SSL certificates" today [0].

For OpenPGP that would mean keeping the keyservers accountable: not
letting them return different responses for different people, or
omitting some data (e.g. revocations).

There are already projects that tackle this very problem:
  - https://coniks.cs.princeton.edu/about.html

(For the record I'm not advocating for using blockchain, but even a
buzzword tech should be evaluated purely on its merits)

Kind regards,



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