Problem with faked-system-time option

Jerome Baum jerome at
Thu Jun 16 03:26:07 CEST 2011

>> I can hash a document M before D and later prove in court that the
>> document existed before D.
>> Proof:
>> Publish C(M) in N(D)
> Your claim would be submitted to a jury for consideration, as it's a
> question of fact and not law.  The jury would look at your claim of
> mathematical strength, be confused, and proceed to move on to something
> else.  Nothing in law is proven until a jury has declared it to be so...
> and pretty much everyone in a courtroom hates math.

What jury?

> You can attempt to prove your timestamp is correct: but ultimately,
> that's *not within your control*.  It's entirely within the jury's
> purview, and if the jury says "we don't buy this," then you haven't
> proven a thing.

What jury?

> "Proof," in a mathematical sense, is irrelevant in a courtroom.  Proof
> is whatever you can sneak past the judge that will make the jury buy
> your claim -- nothing more.  You don't get to declare what proofs are
> valid or invalid: only the jury does, and the jury doesn't care what you
> think.

Repeating yourself does not make your argument more valid.

> Consider this: MD5 is still the standard hash algorithm used in digital
> forensics.  Makes all of us have the flaming heebie-jeebies, of course:
> it's crazy to use MD5 to authenticate digital data, given the collision
> attacks against it.
> But for the courts... what the courts think of as "proof" is not what we
> think of as "proof."  We think MD5's weakness has been proven: but so
> far, juries are still regularly accepting MD5 as a cryptographically
> secure hash algorithm, which means that in the eyes of the court *it is*.

What juries?

Look at my signature and pay close attention to the "+49".

Jerome Baum
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email jerome at
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