[OT] Why are you using the GPG / PGP keys?

Zece Anonimescu zece at riseup.net
Fri May 24 23:09:40 CEST 2013

Robert J. Hansen:> Rubber-hose cryptanalysis tips your target off to the
fact their
> communications have been cracked.  If I beat your passphrase out of you,
> thirty seconds after I let you go you'll have alerted your friends and
> generated a new keypair.

That's why there are enough holes in the laws of the so called Western
countries the law can keep you isolated for a long time. And in some
places with ridiculous orders of not using anything like a computer.
After 2001 they started building up laws to keep you as long as they
need. And you are going to be called suspect of terrorism.

> If I were breaking crypto, I would do everything I could to keep you
> from discovering I was reading your traffic.  This would preclude such
> methods.

But that is the romantic legend. If the people monitoring you would like
to make love to you they are going to tell the same story. What I see is
something like the story of Sabu from Lulzsec: make him an agent.

> Not even then.  "Plausible deniability" is a myth, an ephemera.  One
> person may believe your denials; another may not.  Whether they believe
> you will have much more to do with how honest you've been the rest of
> the time than with the particulars of cryptography you're using.  The
> jury isn't going to be technically skilled.  Rather than evaluate
> technology in a dry and strictly logical sense, they're going to look at
> your performance on the witness stand and, from that, decide whether to
> believe your denials.

I was saying the same thing.

>> So may I ask you why are you using the GPG keys?
> I'm not, save for package authentication on Linux-based systems.

So the question was not for you.

> This is something I wrote for PGP-Basics a few weeks ago.  It's bleak
> and depressing, but I believe it's an accurate picture of where things
> currently stand:
> 				* * * * *
> Email is dying and has been for years.  Ask a college student today what
> he or she thinks of email and you'll get told it's an antiquated
> technology that their parents insist on still using.  The mean age of
> habitual users of email keeps rising.  When it comes to technology and
> demographics, a shrinking userbase that keeps rising in mean age is
> about as bad as it gets.

I don't like the mass media estimates: the next big thing, the yesterday
thing, the dying thing. I thought for a good ten minutes and I could not
find ONE single thing that was how predicted.

Besides, email is not dying. It's plain stupid to support such idea.
Sorry for the bluntness. Back in 1992 a handful of people were using
emails. For serious business they went on Usenet. Today every two bit
service needs an email to authenticate, to change passwords, to send
newsletters, to confirm shipments, invoices, you name it. The trafic is
higher. The users are 1.000 fold. I don't know the size difference. I'm
pulling numbers from a bag. In 1992 it was a way of scamming the postal
service out of their cents for a stamp. Today all the internal papers in
companies of all sizes are sent by mail. Blackberry? That's email too!
Have you got my fax? That's email too!

And even the logic is stupid. How much time for a tech to die? Ten times
its age at the starting point? Gopher is dead. Maybe.

You are just twisting facts to suit your needs. Email might seem old.
But amazon sends the reminders on email. And he'd rather receive a Dear
John by email and not on some public forum.

Anyway, where do you get those averages? Do they have any base? Or is it
more like we went to the campus next door. For the sake of simplicity
we're going to call it a regular campus. Although it isn't. And we
passed flyers at a certain hour. Or better: did some cute poll on our
new AJAX site.

> So, why is it shrinking?

It's growing. So much that Facebook needed to get that too. Thus the man
in the middle attack by showing people an @facebook.com fake email
instead of your real one. To protect the children who aren't alowed to
create an account obviously.

> The first generation of internet protocols -- email being one of them,
> since email is considerably older than TCP/IP -- were devoted to
> creating commodity infrastructure.  Everyone was connected to everyone
> else, information would flow like a mighty river, the huddled masses
> would be freed from the chains of corporate control of data, and so on.

Could you expand on how email was created to «free from the chains of
corporate control of data»?

> It was a great dream.  The only problem was it was horrifically naive.
> The exact same things led to the internet turning into an open sewer.  A
> lot of people, when looking at the anarchic free-for-all of the internet
> and what's come as a result of it, are of the opinion that if this is
> progress they'd like to go back.  (I don't have any children, but if I
> did I might be one of these techno-Luddites.  Reading the comments on
> any YouTube video will likely convince you of the truth of John
> Gabriel's Greater Internet F*ckwad Theory [1].)

Purists call it open sewer. I see it as an almost sterile environment.

The Internet (in the context it should be capitalised) is far from
anarchic. It's rather closer to the world of 1984. And is NOT free for
all. That's momma's boy thinking, not some research.

For getting online one needs an ISP. A computer equiped with whatever
hardware is needed for connecting with the ISP. Time. And powerlines.
That's the very basic. And probably everybody can tell you that. I'd add
a certain level of English. And some computer litteracy. Also at the
very basic level. Maybe in your school district that isn't a problem.
But the world is somehow larger than your end of the World. And while
rich overweight reporters whine about they sent notes to their coleagues
with pen on paper and the kids of today are doing iThings, I'm going to
tell about children who don't get enough minerals. Who don't have access
to clean water. And don't receive vaccines. And they also die of those
problems while stupid white people want to make laws to protect their
precious walking sperm and eggs from the evil of faked autism because of
the same vaccines.

Anarchic? You might be right. There is one anarchism, say Emma Goldman.
And what society at large has been educated to see: the absence of laws,
and strong police intervention, lack of high tech weapons to protect the
lice in Johnny's hair from the dangers of people armed with bows and
arrows on the other side of the Earth.

> I maintain that people are not flocking to walled gardens because
> they're dumb, or ill-informed, or anything else like that.  They're
> flocking to walled gardens because the garden-keepers are promising "we
> will have none of that here."  Those who keep the garden can see you and
> what you're doing, they can kick you out of the garden if you misbehave,
> and it comes at the low, low price of ceding a great deal of social
> control to them.

I'd bet you they are going to those you call them gardens because they
are certain it's not going to be them the one that gets kicked out. Just
the thought would be enough not to join. Do you use any research or is
gut feeling against gut feeling?

> Some years ago someone asked me why I hated Apple so much.  I told them
> it was because I couldn't get _Playboy_ on my iPhone.  It's not that I
> subscribe to _Playboy_ or even want to subscribe to it, but I want to be
> in control of what I read -- I don't want Apple to decide for me what
> I'm allowed to read.
> My friend was confused.  "So.  Between an unfiltered internet -- which
> I've often heard you call an open and festering sewer -- and a highly
> filtered internet that leaves a nice environment everyone can play in,
> you're going to blame Apple's filters /not letting in crap you don't
> even like in the first place?/"

So you're the one living in a walled garden. A child swearing is enough
to make an environment rude? It's only a child.

> Uh... hrm... I gotta go think about that, y'know.
> The moral of the story: maybe the reason why so many people are
> embracing privacy-destroying walled gardens isn't because they're
> ignorant, but because they have made a rational choice based on what
> they see as the downsides of privacy when applied to large groups of
> people who all serve as each others' audiences.

The rational choice of choosing Twitter after full page ads? Or because
the members of the government are there? The rational choice of «there's
no equivalent»? And so on.

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