Re: [arch-d] Time to reboot RFC1984 and RFC2804?

Stephen Farrell <stephen.farrell@cs.tcd.ie> Tue, 13 October 2020 13:18 UTC

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To: Stewart Bryant <stewart.bryant@gmail.com>
Cc: Andrew Campling <andrew.campling@419.consulting>, Christian Huitema <huitema@huitema.net>, John C Klensin <john-ietf@jck.com>, Brian E Carpenter <brian.e.carpenter@gmail.com>, "architecture-discuss@ietf.org" <architecture-discuss@ietf.org>
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From: Stephen Farrell <stephen.farrell@cs.tcd.ie>
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Date: Tue, 13 Oct 2020 14:17:36 +0100
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Subject: Re: [arch-d] Time to reboot RFC1984 and RFC2804?
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Hiya,

On 13/10/2020 13:48, Stewart Bryant wrote:
>
> Stephen,
> 
> Those governments are looking for ways to stop real harm to real
> people.

Some are, yes. That is not all they are interested in doing
of course (they all do like a bit of spying here and there:-)
and all that varies enormously from one to another government.
Some governments want these changes in order to do what I would
call harm.

> 
> We have to accept that we have unintentionally played a part in
> causing some of that harm.

And a lot of good. IMO, on balance, and after having done
this stuff for >3 decades, I'm happy that we've done overall
far more good (with crypto in protocols) than harm. (That
doesn't include surveillance capitalism, but that isn't the
same issue.)

> So the problem that we have a moral responsibility to address is to
> find methods that stop or minimise those harms.

I don't accept that. The "we" isn't clear, but what
does seem clear is that meeting the requirements posed
is (IMO anyway) likely to do more harm. I've never
seen any proponent of borked crypto do a proper analysis
of the damage that would be done - they almost always
seem to approach it as mostly a PR exercise and so go
straight to the "think of the children" and "what about
the terrorists" talking points.

> The problem may be hard but so were many other problems that we now
> take for granted as solved.

I didn't say "hard." I said "squaring the circle." The
latter isn't possible and is much more like the "magic"
that is being asked for, and has been asked for since
the Clipper days, without any technical progress at all
in those 25 years.

S.

> 
> Stewart
> 
> 
>