Encryption on Mailing lists sensless?

Robert J. Hansen rjh at sixdemonbag.org
Mon Nov 17 18:02:07 CET 2014

> But sorry, I disagree a little bit. If we want literally to jam the
> secret service's attempts to decrypt mails, then it makes sense to use
> encryption for every single mail, private, business, nonsense and spam....

This would have the ultimate effect of destroying email as a platform. 
Email works as well as it does -- as well as fails so miserably in other 
ways -- largely *because* it's open to inspection.

As an example, pervasive end-to-end encryption would require antispam 
defenses to move to the client rather than being deployed at the 
mailserver or relay.  This would essentially be tantamount to giving up, 
since there are no really effective client-side antispam measures.

Similarly, it would assist in the spread of malware and viruses and for 
the same reasons.  If a mailserver can't inspect the email, it can't 
recognize malware and quarantine it for the health of the internet.

Etc., etc.  I am fanatically in favor of people's right to protect the 
privacy of their communications, but there's a flipside to it: we also 
need to be responsible and prudent with how we do it.  Simple, naive 
solutions like "encrypt everything!" aren't a fix: at best, they'll 
trade our current set of problems for a new set of problems which we'll 
have even less knowledge of how to handle.

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