Re: [TLS] On Curve25519 and other possibilities (e.g. ietf256p, ietf384p, ietf521p,

Michael StJohns <> Sun, 29 June 2014 19:28 UTC

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Date: Sun, 29 Jun 2014 15:28:45 -0400
From: Michael StJohns <>
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Subject: Re: [TLS] On Curve25519 and other possibilities (e.g. ietf256p, ietf384p, ietf521p,
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On 6/29/2014 8:24 AM, Stephen Farrell wrote:
> Mike,
> On 28/06/14 20:59, Michael StJohns wrote:
>> I'm not exactly sure what Stephen is objecting to in the above.
> Objecting is the wrong word, I commented that your language
> was unfortunate, at best.
And then followed up with a command to "stomp on threads with such 
language" - hard not to take that as an objection.

> Reasons:
> 1) most of this thread is off topic for TLS and on topic for
> CFRG as has been said, I'd expect someone familiar with the
> topic to know that, and someone unfamiliar with the topic to
> begin with a lot less aggression - you did neither

I asked a simple question about alternatives to Curve25519 because there 
have been repeated (I've got 208 messages including this thread) 
messages ON THIS WORKING GROUP about the use of Curve25519. Why this 
question is any more off-topic than those is unclear.

  Why you believe my question was aggressive is unclear to me.  Why you 
believe that I'm unfamiliar with the topic is also unclear (I'm 
unfamiliar, due to lack of documentation as to the CFRG's exact and 
final recommendation with respect to Curve25519, I'm familiar with most 
of the arguments for the curve,  and familiar with the differences in 
supporting documentation and standards from existing curves and curve 
generation systems).

> 2) starting an off-topic thread by calling some IETF participants
> "agitators" is definitely undesirably aggressive and IMO close to
> being disruptive
You get to have your own opinions, but try and leave the facts intact.

What I said was "There's been a small but vocal minority agitating for 
the adoption of Curve25519".  This is not the same as calling them 
agitators and I'll thank you not to put words in my mouth.

It turns out that the intransitive verb "agitating" and the noun 
"agitator" have different nuanced meanings probably leading to your 
confusion.    The former tends to imply "arousing interest 
enthusiastically" and is a neutral term.  "Agitator" is a neutral to 
negative term depending on context.   A simple pass by Merrium-Webster gets:

> to try to get people to support or oppose something

> intransitive verb
> *:*  to attempt to arouse public feeling </agitated/ for better schools>

The related none for "agitate" is "agitation" not "agitator".

Agitator gets you:
> : a person who tries to get people angry or upset so that they will 
> support an effort to change a government, company, etc.
> /a/ *:* one who stirs up public feeling on controversial issues 
> <political /agitator//s/>

I tend to use English with fair precision.  I could have used 
"advocating for" but there was a lot more lobbying going on than that 
word implies.

In any event, you're taking or implying offense where none was meant.


> You can reply with as many words as you like, but I think the
> above will remain the case, so I hope that no more discussion
> of this aspect is needed.
> S.