key question

Robert J. Hansen rjh at
Wed Mar 3 19:49:53 CET 2010

On 3/3/2010 1:25 PM, Daniel Kahn Gillmor wrote:
>> There are issues of tradecraft, then.  Using OpenPGP as a tool for
>> committing crimes is kind of stupid.  
> Can we not go down this line of argument, please?

I agree that OpenPGP implementations can be useful tools for the
advancement of human rights -- but I also think Mark is (almost) right.
 It isn't that using OpenPGP implementations to commit crimes is kind of
stupid: it's that *naive* use of these implementations is kind of
stupid.  But that just means OpenPGP implementations are no different
than any other kind of tool.

> OpenPGP is a tool for encrypted and/or authenticated communications.  If
> we were to declare from the outset that OpenPGP is not (and will never
> be) a good tool for use by people struggling against oppressive regimes,
> we would strand a significant proportion of people who have a strong
> legitimate need for encrypted and authenticated communication.

I fully agree.  I would just add that we as a community need to
emphasize the importance of good tradecraft, in addition to the
importance of email crypto.

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