On Aug 28, 2013, at 2:04 PM, Faré <fah...@gmail.com> wrote:

> On Wed, Aug 28, 2013 at 4:15 PM, Phill <hal...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> My target audience, like Perry's is people who simply can't cope with 
>> anything more complex than an email address. For me secure mail has to look 
>> feel and smell exactly the same as current mail. The only difference being 
>> that sometime the secure mailer will say 'I can't contact that person 
>> securely right now because…'
> I agree with Perry and Phill that email experience should be
> essentially undisturbed in the normal case, though it's OK to add an
> additional authorization step.
> One thing that irks me, though, is the problem of the robust, secure
> terminal: if everything is encrypted, how does one survive the
> loss/theft/destruction of a computer or harddrive? I'm no ignoramus,
> yet I have, several times, lost data I cared about due to hardware
> failure or theft combined with improper backup. How is a total newbie
> to do?

You have to have key backup to address that security goal. And that will 
necessarily mean that you increase your coercion risk. And which security goal 
you choose to satisfy is likely to depend on your situation.

One solution would be to back up your private key and put the shares in one or 
more bank safes. But then you are vulnerable to a coercion attack on your bank. 
Which you can address by putting the shares in a tamper evident bag but only if 
you go to the bank regularly to audit it.

One of the features of this problem is that if you make absolute security a 
requirement you are going to go absolutely potty trying to solve every element. 
Fortunately we can still do a lot of good by providing a system that prevents 
wholesale abuses.

I am not a crypto-absolutist. I don't particularly want to be giving crypto to 
terrorists. When I was 18 I woke up to hear that the IRA had attempted to 
murder my cousin. 

However I don't want to be giving intercept power to Putin who murders people 
with poisoned teapots on the streets of London either. And I certainly don't 
trust the NSA and GCHQ with the wholesale intercept capability revealed by 

> Most newbies rely on things surviving despite their lack of explicit
> caution. Currently, they do it by basically trusting Google or some
> other company with their mail. Whichever way you do things to make
> them responsible for keys will lead to either (1) failure because it's
> technically too hard, and/or (2) automated attacks on the weak point
> that handles things for them.

And for a company it is almost certain that 'secure against intercept by any 
government other than the US' is an acceptable solution.

> That's a lot of yak to shave to provide end-users (or even average
> geeks) with seemless secure email.

I am currently working on a podcast history of the web to publicize my expert 
witness practice. Which had me looking at the reason Tim Berners Lee succeeded 
where Ted failed. The thing that distinguished their efforts was not the 
problems they solved. Ted had 120% of the Web ten years before Tim started.

The difference was that Tim realized that some of the problems were very hard 
and could be punted on for a first draft. Then after the Web took off it built 
out infrastructure that made it possible for others to fill in the gaps. So Ted 
had search built in. Tim had a hole which was filled by others.

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