STEED - Usable end-to-end encryption

Robert J. Hansen rjh at
Mon Oct 24 19:25:42 CEST 2011

(There are two anecdotes here: the first is purely for amusement, the
latter is actually meant to be on-point.)

On 10/24/11 12:02 PM, Mark H. Wood wrote:
> The cited passage asserts that the hearer is missing out -- he could
> have more than he has now.  How much more can I get out of email by
> using crypto?  What do I get, if I don't believe that my privacy is
> threatened or I do not value privacy?

In an amusing aside, I just got back from lunch at a seafood restaurant.
 While I was sitting there I encountered a street preacher who was
wandering through the tables asking people if they were saved.  She (a
rare case of a woman evangelical pastor) came to my table and asked me
my opinion on homosexuality.

I blinked a few times at her.  "You're asking me?"  She repeated her
question.  "I'm eating *shellfish* while *wearing a shirt made of two
different kinds of fabric* and you're asking me what I think of
something else that's a Levitican abomination?"

Management intervened a couple of seconds later and removed the street
preacher from the premises.

I've learned my lesson: no more citing Scripture right before lunch.  :)
 The strange people you meet in downtown Washington D.C...

With respect to your question: what we offer is privacy, but most people
do not understand privacy, do not care about privacy, and would not care
about privacy even if they understood it.

During graduate school the politically-active members of the Computer
Science department were up in arms over government surveillance.
Flyers, bulletin board notices, EFF fundraising campaigns, and the like.
 Yet, when the Department required all TAs sign up for Facebook, in the
interests of "being accessible to the undergraduates," there wasn't any
outcry.  I was serving as the Area Steward for the graduate student
labor union and tried to drum up some outrage that we were being
*required* to sign up for a privacy-annihilating 'service.'  Nobody was
interested -- not even the people who had flyers on their doors
condemning Total Information Awareness and EFF stickers on their laptops.

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