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

Christian Huitema <> Wed, 14 October 2020 00:25 UTC

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To: Andrew Campling <>, Brian E Carpenter <>, Stewart Bryant <>
Cc: Stephen Farrell <>, John C Klensin <>, "" <>
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From: Christian Huitema <>
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Subject: Re: [arch-d] Time to reboot RFC1984 and RFC2804?
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On 10/13/2020 1:33 PM, Andrew Campling wrote:

> On 13-Oct-20 20:54, Brian E Carpenter wrote: 
>> We all agree, I think, that many bad things have been done using the Internet. How 
>> many of those were done using cryptography, and how many bad things have been 
>> *prevented* by cryptography are both objectively unknowable. Therefore, we 
>> simply don't know the balance between good and evil here.
> I think one of the challenges here is that there are no easy answers - if there were then this particular issue would not keep coming up.  We have a conflict between preventing harm by "bad actors" on the one hand and protecting privacy on the other. 

First, let's agree with Brian that the IETF is best at solving technical
problems. The kind of balance that we describe here is a political and
possibly cultural issue. It has been solved in the past in adjacent
domains, for example with habeas corpus, innocent until proven guilty,
or the prohibition of torture. These are widely agreed principles in
democratic societies -- but not necessarily in all societies. And these
principle do recognize a balance between good and evil. Stating for
example that society would rather have a culprit walking free than an
innocent in jail is an explicit choice. I wish society would be able to
make similar choices regarding the privacy of communications, but this
is definitely not a technical issue.

-- Christian Huitema