On message signing and Enigmail...

Robert J. Hansen rjh at sixdemonbag.org
Wed Feb 1 23:40:16 CET 2012

On 2/1/12 5:14 PM, Christopher J. Walters wrote:
> On 2/1/2012 04:53 PM, Robert J. Hansen wrote:
>> Easily forged, and machines are too easy to compromise.  This
>> idea that an IP address is clear and convincing evidence of
>> origin is absolute bonkers.  An IP address is evidence of
>> *routing*.
> Must you resort to the ad hominem fallacy?

No -- because I didn't.

If I said *you* were bonkers and deserved to be locked away in an asylum
and for that reason you're wrong, that would be ad hominem.

Saying that an *idea* is bonkers and just plain wrong is an assertion of
fact.  It's either right or it's wrong.  Consider this: when I make a
connection to the outside world my IP address gets silently transformed
by my router thanks to the magic of network address translation (NAT).
The original source IP address gets erased and replaced with another.
The IP address no longer reports my source correctly.

IP addresses, as originally conceived, would have identified source and
destination.  But NAT is pervasive nowadays, and that means IP addresses
can no longer be relied on for those purposes.

"This idea that an IP address is clear and convincing evidence of origin
is absolute bonkers."  I stand by that.  Feel free to substitute
"clearly wrong" if you prefer, it doesn't change a thing.

> Yet, you did not give that outline.

Reread my message.

> P.S.  I shall not add more fuel to the fire, so to speak.  I stand
> by my decision to sign my messages, and respect your choice not to
> do so.  I only ask the same respect from you.  In the end, as all 
> things, this is a personal choice.

That you get to choose whether to do this is not in any debate.  You do,
and that authority is absolutely respected.  The wisdom of your choice,
though, is a fair subject for discussion.

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