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24 Oct 2019
In the always interesting Lawfare blog, former FBI counsel Jim Baker in a piece called Rethinking Encryption reiterates his take on the encrpytion debates. There's a certain amount that makes me want to bang my head against the wall, e.g.
After working on the going dark problem for years, I'm confident that this problem can be addressed from a technical perspective. In most cases, it's just software, and software can be rewritten.
But it's worth reading to remind us of what the other side is thinking, even with a lot of motivated reasoning that makes him conclude that Congress can pass some laws and the going dark problem will be solved.A reader who is relatively new to this fight asked me is there's a short and accessible explanation of why crypto back doors can't work.
25 Sep 2019
Earlier this year I gave a talk as a UASG Ambassador at the eco talk at the CSA summit in Cologne. We did a video interview which they finally finished editing and put on their web site here.
eco have a little more info their web site at https://www.dotmagazine.online/issues/digital-identities/ipv6/EAI.
The camera angle is a little odd but other than that I think it came out well.
07 Sep 2019
The DNS has always had a few names for use as examples in documentation, domains example.com, example.org, example.org, and example.edu. In 1999 RFC 2606 formally reserved the first three.There's nothing technically special about these names, which have normal WHOIS and DNS entries, managed by IANA. Until recently, that meant that even though none of them handle any e-mail, mail sent to them by mistake worked badly.
22 Aug 2019
Apropos of recent news stories about a blockchain based voting system that was hacked before its first election, someone asked:
Perhaps final recognition that a lot of blockchain is hype? Or simply an interesting side-story?
A blockchain can ensure that the lies you see are the same lies that were published, but that doesn't have much to do with voting.
Voting has a very peculiar security model -- you need to verify that each person voted at most once, you need to count all of the votes for each candidate, and you need not to link the two. A lot of very bad voting systems are built by people who wrongly assume that its security model is similar to something else, which it is not.
An obvious example is Diebold who built voting machines that worked like ATMs, which was a disaster, since the way you audit ATMs depends on the details of each transaction being linked to the person doing it.
Paper ballots have a lot to recommend them. It's easy for poll workers to observe that each voter puts one ballot into the box, they're relatively easy to count (we use mark sense machines here) and compared to the spaghetti code in direct recording machines, they're quite tamper resistant.
28 May 2019
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