Difficulty of fixing reconciliation

Peter Lebbing peter at digitalbrains.com
Wed Aug 14 13:19:02 CEST 2019

On 14/08/2019 12:29, Vincent Breitmoser wrote:
>> The algorithm is designed to withstand very well funded actors,
>> oppressive regimes were what the designers were thinking of.
> We are talking about a sand castle here that was kicked down by a kid. It's
> a bit bizarre to claim that it was built to withstand rockets.

I meant that statement purely and only with regard to deleting data that
had already been in the network, nothing more.

It seems to me that the impossibility of deletion was at the core of the
design of the reconciliation algorithm. To say that we should change the
algorithm to no longer do that seems like claiming we should build
rockets out of sand castles ;-).

> Given that the recon algorithm was designed as a PhD thesis, it seems like
> a safe bet that it was designed to solve the academic problem of set
> reconciliation between distributed systems with optimal message complexity.
> Funny story how it ended up becoming infrastructure for a security ecosystem.

These same statements apply to a *lot* of critical infrastructure in the
Information Technology domain. It's a wonder it usually works well (or
at least gives that appearance when you don't look too hard).


I use the GNU Privacy Guard (GnuPG) in combination with Enigmail.
You can send me encrypted mail if you want some privacy.
My key is available at <http://digitalbrains.com/2012/openpgp-key-peter>

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