Re: [Cfrg] Requesting removal of CFRG co-chair

Alyssa Rowan <> Mon, 23 December 2013 07:10 UTC

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Date: Mon, 23 Dec 2013 07:10:39 +0000
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Subject: Re: [Cfrg] Requesting removal of CFRG co-chair
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On Mon 23 Dec 2013 01:35, Dan Harkins wrote:

> As it says in the charter of the CFRG, "IETF working groups 
> developing protocols that include cryptographic elements are 
> welcome to bring questions concerning the protocols to the CFRG
> for advice." That's what happened.

The TLS WG asked the CFRG for advice. They got Kevin's. He did not
mention the (unaddressed) concerns raised.

Documented fact: Kevin belongs to an agency with a "SIGINT Enabling
Project". Their job is to "enable" [backdoor and/or disrupt] strong
cryptography so the NSA can exploit it.

That makes his advice untrustworthy. For all we know, it's *literally*
his job to lie to us, and mislead us.

And if he is responsible, as co-chair, for relaying the CFRG's advice
to WGs, he is in the perfect position to do just that. The net effect
is to taint that advice with the NSA's proven untrustworthiness.

That's the central problem here.

The only fix is for him to step down as co-chair. (It wouldn't hurt
for him to resign from the NSA, or speak out, either; that he hasn't,
as Daniel raised, can only be reasonably interpreted as indicative of
his approval of the agency's actions.)

Do you agree?

If not, Dan, why do you wish Kevin to remain co-chair: despite the
profound concerns raised, and the fundamental conflict-of-interest
between his duties here, and the NSA's mission?

Kindly explain your reason. I'm keenly interested to hear it.

I mean, what I've heard from you so far is... just look at this gem:

On Thu 12 Dec 2013 16:06, on TLS WG, Trevor Perrin wrote:
>> The consequences of adopting a protocol we think is secure that 
>> isn't: dead people.

(Correct security engineering thinking, backed up by decades of proven
 history, and still just as true today, as Jacob Applebaum or Moxie
 would be able to confirm.)

On Fri 13 Dec 2013 08:35, on TLS WG, Dan Harkins wrote this reply:
> You obviously read too much fiction and have too little practical 
> experience. Dragonfly is not a threat to human life. Get a grip.

(...and well, I think that speaks for itself, doesn't it?)

- --