Problem with faked-system-time option

MFPA expires2011 at
Thu Jun 16 01:39:41 CEST 2011

Hash: SHA512


On Wednesday 15 June 2011 at 10:32:55 PM, in
<mid:e9f5c829fa1bd83591bed8747c4ebc2f at localhost>, Robert J. Hansen

> On Wed, 15 Jun 2011 22:16:39 +0100, MFPA
> <expires2011 at> wrote:

>> An example of such corroboration is to use a
>> timestamping service that is trusted by the relevant
>> parties.

> This isn't really "corroboration" so much as it is, "I
> choose to trust someone else."

It is corroboration in the same sense that independent witnesses
attesting to the same thing corroborate each other's story.

>> I replied with the bare bones of a scenario where the
>> third party  brings evidence that suggests the
>> signature timestamp to be  incorrect, so that the
>> signer needs to refute that evidence.

> Quite probably the signer *shouldn't* refute that.
> Refuting claims doesn't convince anyone of anything
> except a particular claim is not supported by facts --
> it doesn't prove the claim is actually wrong.

Unless, of course, you refute the claim by producing evidence that
shows it to be wrong.

> "Okay, so
> you've convinced me not to trust this evidence saying
> the timestamp is incorrect: but you haven't done
> anything to persuade me the timestamp is correct, which
> is actually the important thing."

Without knowing why my hypothetical parties are seeking to claim
different signature times, I don't know which is the important thing
to prove in this imaginary situation.

> (This is also why, e.g., it makes no sense to argue
> with a conspiracy theorist: with a lot of effort you
> can prove the conspiracy theory to be *unsupported*,
> but you can't actually prove it *wrong*.)

Yes, just 'cos I'm paranoid, it doesn't mean they're not out to get
me. And being a hypochondriac doesn't preclude me from being ill.

>> As an example, if an independent timestamping service
>> can be shown to be sufficiently reliable, it could
>> provide the proof regardless of which party has an
>> interest in using that proof.

> It can't provide proof.  It can't even provide
> evidence.  It can only provide a data point which both
> parties stipulate as being uncontested -- and nothing
> is easier to reverse than a stipulation.

It doesn't cease to be evidence just because it is no longer

> ("Well, sure,
> I trusted Honest Al's Timestamping Service... up until
> I saw they signed THAT.

I would hope a timestamping service would sign any document that was
passed to it for a timestamping signature.

> I repudiate this timestamp!  I
> don't trust Honest Al's Timestamping Service any
> more!")

Fair enough. But is it so easy to repudiate something like ?

- --
Best regards

MFPA                    mailto:expires2011 at

My mind works like lightning... one brilliant flash and it's gone


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