Re: the return of key escrow?

2006-02-19 Thread Peter Clay
On Thu, Feb 16, 2006 at 06:54:21PM +1300, Peter Gutmann wrote:
 Steven M. Bellovin [EMAIL PROTECTED] writes:
 
 According to the BBC, the British government is talking to Microsoft about
 putting in a back door for the file encryption mechanisms.
 
 That's one way of looking at it.  It's not really a backdoor, it's a way of
 spiking DRM.

This is exactly it. For years Western governments have been worried that
terrorists might build a secure distribution network for information and
orders, and now Hollywood is building one. A fake record label would be
a fantastic front for such a thing; each subscriber device (such as a PC
or mobile phone) can be uniquely identified, so when your agent
downloads the latest hit single he actually gets four minutes of orders
etc; nobody can tell from the outside, it's wiretap-resistant, the agent
can't have the key beaten out of him because he doesn't know it,
it's difficult and time-consuming to extract it from the device, and
because everyone has one it's quite hard to use traffic analysis alone
to pick out suspects.

There is no way Microsoft is going to build in a back door to Vista for
Special Branch - once they do that for one government and it becomes
known all hell breaks loose and they get banned from half their markets.
Some form of crazy overcomplicated key escrow system might happen; might
as well tie people's TCPA keys to their biometric identity cards, right?

Pete
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Re: automatic toll collection, was Japan Puts Its Money on E-Cash

2005-12-16 Thread Peter Clay
On Thu, Dec 15, 2005 at 04:31:36AM -, John Levine wrote:
 An article in Wikipedia says that congestion tolls in London (UK) are
 also collected automatically by taking pictures of license plates.

Yes, the London congestion charge. There were some horror stories about
trouble with the ANPR* technology in the first weeks, but now it's just
ticking over in the background and appears to be working. There is
almost certainly a feed to MI5 (internal security) of the whole thing.

The UK government has various plans for rolling out tracking technology
more widely, such as ANPR cameras on motorways for detecting speeding,
or GPS devices for national road pricing. It's also planning on building
a vast database of everyone's name, address, biometrics, and
fingerprints.

Pete
* automatic number plate recognition
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Re: [Clips] Banks Seek Better Online-Security Tools

2005-12-13 Thread Peter Clay
On Mon, Dec 05, 2005 at 07:29:11PM +0100, Florian Weimer wrote:
 For those of you who haven't rolled out a national ID scheme in time,
 there's still the general identity theft problem, but this affects you
 even if you don't use online banking.

Hmm. What's the evidence that national ID schemes reduce credit fraud
(what people normally mean when they say ID theft)? How does it vary
with the different types of scheme?

I've been opposing the UK scheme recently on the grounds of unreliable
biometrics and the bad idea of putting everyone's information in a
basket from which it can be stolen (in addition to the civil liberties
reasons). My solution to the credit fraud problem is simple: raise the
burden of proof for negative credit reports and pursuing people for
money.

Pete
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Re: Hooking nym to wikipedia

2005-10-04 Thread Peter Clay
I'm a bit concerned by this scheme. I'm not clear at the moment whether
you're proposing imposing it on all wikipedia users or just those that
want to access via Tor?

On Mon, Oct 03, 2005 at 11:48:48AM +, Jason Holt wrote:
 * Lack of forward secrecy is indeed an issue, since our metaphorical 
 Chinese dissident must keep around her cert to continue using it, which if 
 discovered links her with all her past activities.  This is a problem even 
 if Wikipedia maps each client cert to a particular random value for public 
 display, since the attackers can simply use the stolen cert to make an edit 
 on wikipedia and then check to see if the identifier comes up the same.

There's a big useability issue with client certs, in that they are part
of a particular PC browser profile and are fiddly to move between PCs;
while being moved (e.g. USB key) or at rest on the disk they are
vulnerable to raids by the security services. I'd expect the mythical
Chinese dissident to be using netcafes rather than his/her home PC which
will have a keylogger installed on it / be taken as evidence in raids.
(e.g. http://gizmonaut.net/bits/suspect.html )

(Also, I'd expect any serious repressive regimes to simply have anyone
found using Tor taken out and shot; has this been addressed?)

Pete
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Re: A National ID

2004-06-01 Thread Peter Clay
On Mon, 31 May 2004, R. A. Hettinga wrote:

 in most European countries, people carry national ID's as a matter of
 course. And pressure is mounting in America for some kind of security card.

Similarly, there is a push for ID cards in the UK at the moment. See
http://www.stand.org.uk/ and http://www.no2id.net/ for more detail. No
doubt the same arguments for and against apply on both sides of the
Atlantic, and it would be good if activists were to share information.

Note that the real danger is not the cards but the database for which they
are a unique key. See just about every issue of RISKS for ways in which
big national databases can go wrong.

Pete
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RE: Open Source (was Simple SSL/TLS - Some Questions)

2003-10-09 Thread Peter Clay
On Thu, 9 Oct 2003, Peter Gutmann wrote:

 I would add to this the observation that rather than writing yet another SSL
 library to join the eight hundred or so already out there, it might be more
 useful to create a user-friendly management interface to IPsec implementations
 to join the zero or so already out there.  The difficulty in setting up any
 IPsec tunnel is what's been motivating the creation of (often insecure) non-
 IPsec VPN software, so what'd be a lot more helpful than (no offense, but) yet
 another SSL implementation is some means of making IPsec easier to use
 (although that may not be possible... OK, let's say less painful to use :-).

Having spent much of the past few weeks trying to sort out a workable VPN
solution, I think this is a good but doomed idea. http://vpn.ebootis.de/
has the best free windows IPsec configuration tool I've found, but that
doesn't help. Why? Because IPsec traffic is not TCP traffic and therefore
gets dropped by random networks.

If you want a VPN that road warriors can use, you have to do it with
IP-over-TCP. Nothing else survives NAT and agressive firewalling, not even
Microsoft PPTP.

If someone out there wants to write VPN software that becomes widely used,
then they should make a free IP-over-TCP solution that works on Windows
and Linux which uses password authentication.

Pete
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