The problem is "motivational"

M.R. makrober at
Thu Oct 20 17:34:29 CEST 2011

On 20/10/11 12:30, Robert J. Hansen wrote:

> ...Shirley Gaw, Ed Felten and Patricia Fernandez-Kelly
> had a wonderful paper a few years ago, "Secrecy, Flagging, and Paranoia:
> Adoption Criteria in Encrypted Email"...

Thanks for the link, interesting reading. The quote from the paper that
follows demonstrates, I believe, that the authors follow the dogma of
"all mail should be encrypted, even if it is of no benefit to the
mail sender and reciever, because it is of benfit to others":

...but it was a huge cognitive leap to go from protecting secrets in
an individual message to obfuscating secrets using everyone else’s 

I also believe this dogma is behind Werner's first follow-up to my

 > Because we, who care about privacy, are affected by those who
don't care.

I propose this way of thinking is counterproductive. It will not
succeed in any meaningful way, because "encryption by default"
is a completely unrealistic goal in today's environment of
multiple mail end-user platforms, plethora of client applications,
uncooperative mail service operators and hostile universal surveillance
culture, and, last but not least, by the legions of users who resent
it because they "have nothing to hide". Any "solution" which marshals
mail service operators and ISP's into the trust chain is however
recklessly endangering those that might "have something to hide",
by giving them false sense of security.

I therefore propose that this dogma should be re-examined, and if and
when abandoned, released energy be directed towards addressing the
outstanding issues of those that know they need to protect their
communication and are motivated to do so.

Mark R.

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