Encryption on Mailing lists sensless?

Robert J. Hansen rjh at sixdemonbag.org
Tue Nov 18 00:11:39 CET 2014

> Well, no. The crypto dream is that powerful people will stop being
> able to retrieve lot of informations on why they exerce power on, and
> that these people will be able to inform and communicate in a
> decentralized, horizontal and autonomous manner wathever this
> autority wants.

Oh, please.

If I take you seriously then I'm only concerned about people with power
who wish to exert power over me.  Nonsense.  I'm concerned about *it's
nobody's business but mine*.  I don't need to subscribe to
power-relations theory in order to believe privacy is a good idea; I
just need to believe some things are nobody's business but mine.

> First, future archeology is pointless argument between our security
> and our freedom, it sounds a lot more better like kind of an excuse.

I don't know what you're trying to say here.

> Second, a reccurent problem in cryptography is we know computers
> power and algorithms constantly evolves, and that what’s encrypted a
> way today is not guaranted to always be forever. What’s encrypted
> with DSA today will maybe be accessible within more time.

We also know, quite precisely, the thermodynamic limits of computation.
  Power evolves, but is easy to account for.  Mathematical understanding
is harder to predict.

> Because they had no efficient way to keep information in front of
> the quantity of information producible. The press solved this
> problem.

No, the printing press didn't solve the problem.  Gutenberg invented the
printing press in the 15th century, but we've got *great* records going
back to the 11th century.  And we've also got great records going back
to ancient Egypt.  It's only a few centuries after the collapse of Rome
that are lost to history.  They weren't lost for technological reasons:
they were lost for human ones.

> They’re still accessible. And what’s saying you in the future all
> hard-disk will die at the same moment with no backup?

Many magnetic tapes from the Viking program (a 1976 effort to put a
probe on Mars) were put in storage for later processing.  Around 2010,
NASA finally got around to processing these tapes... only to discover
the machines to read it no longer existed, no one knew what data format
it was written in, and not one single person associated with the Viking
program was still at NASA.  Many of them were dead.  It took an enormous
amount of resources to reverse-engineer the format, rebuild/rehabilitate
old tape machines, and pull the data off.  If the data had been less
important than "this is stuff we pulled from *MARS*", the entire thing
would've been written off as a sad case of knowledge being lost to the ages.

In 1086, William the Conqueror ordered the whole of England be surveyed
and every plot of land described.  That text, the Domesday Book, is
still around today.  In 1986, to celebrate the 900th anniversary of the
Domesday Book, the BBC put together a neat little computer package that
was a modern updating of Domesday.  Good luck finding it today, though.
  The UK National Museum of Computing in Milton Keynes is the only place
I know of that still has working BBC-Domesday hardware.  There have been
a couple of attempts to take this project and salvage the data and
programs, but so far it's been a big case of not enough money and not
enough skilled volunteers.  Some of it has been salvaged, but as a
whole... no, and it's probably going to be lost to us.

Every MLS/MLIS I know is having anxiety attacks over the subject of
digital decay.  This is a *huge* problem, and it's only getting worse.

> I doubt a paper newspaper can subsist more time than a hard disk.

Walk into your local library sometime and ask to see their newspaper
collection.  You might be surprised.  My local library has newspapers
going back over a century.

> Can you explain in what future generations’ curiosity is more
> important than this generation’s freedom?

This is just the fallacy of the zero-sum game, so I'm not even going to
bother with it.

I did not say, "we should not ensure the privacy of our records."

I said, "we should consider what we are giving up when we demand eternal

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