Re: pgp signing in van

Phillip Hallam-Baker <> Fri, 06 September 2013 02:27 UTC

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Date: Thu, 05 Sep 2013 22:27:12 -0400
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Subject: Re: pgp signing in van
From: Phillip Hallam-Baker <>
To: Randy Bush <>
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On Thu, Sep 5, 2013 at 8:45 PM, Randy Bush <> wrote:

> so, it might be a good idea to hold a pgp signing party in van.  but
> there are interesting issues in doing so.  we have done lots of parties
> so have the social protocols and n00b cheat sheets.  but that is the
> trivial tip of the iceberg.
>   o is pgp compromised?  just because it is not listed in [0] is not
>     very strong assurance in these dark days.
>   o what are the hashes of audited software, and who did the audits?
>   o what are the recommended algs/digest/keylen parameters?
>   o do we really need eliptical, or is that a poison pill?
>   o your questions go here ...

I think our problems now go a lot further. The NSA is allegedly spending
$250 million a year infiltrating vendors and standards bodies. They have
also been pretty aggressive in hiring IETF folk for various consulting

The big risk I see here is that there is a lot of finger pointing and every
bad decision that was made in the past that delayed the deployment of
strong crypto is now considered prima facie evidence of being a mole.

Not being a US citizen I see no reason to allow the NSA a backdoor in
anything I do. But looking at the carelessness and incompetence with which
they have guarded their own secrets I would not be anxious to allow them
access to mine even if I was a US citizen.

Seriously, this type of activity is an attack on the trust that is
necessary for collaboration. I doubt that the people who design and deploy
these programs had the slightest understanding of or concern for the costs
or consequences of their actions.