German ct magazine postulates death of pgp encryption

Mark H. Wood mwood at IUPUI.Edu
Fri Feb 27 16:57:38 CET 2015

On Fri, Feb 27, 2015 at 09:45:36AM +0100, gnupgpacker wrote:
> German ct magazine has postulated in their last edition that our pgp
> handling seems to be too difficult for mass usage, keyserver infrastructure
> seems to be vulnerable for faked keys, published mail addresses are
> collected from keyservers and so on...

Whenever someone says that X is too complex for people to use, I
always remember something attributed to Albert Einstein:

       In physics, everything should be made as simple as possible.
       But not simpler.

I think it may be more widely applied.  Some problems are inherently
difficult.  Any successful attempt to remove *inherent* complexity
means that you are now solving a different problem which, while it may
be interesting, might not model reality in a particularly useful way.

It's always good to look for patterns that lead to useful
simplification.  But there comes a point at which no further
simplfication can be done without making the system less useful.

So: how well does PGP model the problems that people face in
communicating securely?  Does that model decompose neatly into
smaller, simpler models that fit well to distinct communities of
communicators?  *Are* there useful clusterings of communication needs,
w.r.t. security, within the community of communicators?

Mark H. Wood
Lead Technology Analyst

University Library
Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis
755 W. Michigan Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202
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