John Gilmore <> writes:

> [John here.  Let's try some speculation about what this phrase,
> "fabricating digital keys", might mean.]

>       John

John's question is not the only one raised by this episode.  Eli Lake:

> Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian journalist who Snowden first contacted
> in February, told The Daily Beast on Tuesday that Snowden "has taken
> extreme precautions to make sure many different people around the
> world have these archives to insure the stories will inevitably be
> published."  Greenwald added that the people in possession of these
> files "cannot access them yet because they are highly encrypted and
> they do not have the passwords."  But, Greenwald said, "if anything
> happens at all to Edward Snowden, he told me he has arranged for them
> to get access to the full archives."

How could it be arranged that "if anything happens at all to Edward
Snowden, he told me he has arranged for them to get access to the full

Some months ago on another mailing list the question was raised whether
there could be a cryptographically strong "dead man switch" wherein as
long as the owner of a certain secret key is alive, his frequent signed
messages to an open-source robot somewhere would prevent that robot from
revealing the information it harbors, but if the messages stop coming
the robot would release the information (presumably further encrypted to
selected recipients). [1]

James A. Donald pointed out that it couldn't be done because one could
simply disconnect the robot from the Internet.

The effect could still be achieved though, by putting the robot in a
place that cannot be disconnected from the Internet, such as a widely
used public web server.  But this is not cryptographically strong.

So the question is how did Snowden get the effect of a "dead man switch"
in the present case.



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