Starium (was Re: article: german secure phone)

Bram Cohen bram at
Wed Jun 6 06:36:45 EDT 2001

On Wed, 6 Jun 2001, John Kelsey wrote:

> I think you can get away from the network effects by
> providing a service along with your hardware.
> Is there some reason why this is an unreasonable thing to
> do?

Several reasons -

a) It involves more phone calls, hence higher phone costs.

b) There's a risk that the call center will go belly-up, rendering all the
hardware worthless. Most companies quite reasonably don't want to take on
that risk.

c) It has much higher development costs than passive-attack-only
Diffie-Hellman key exchange, and as a result much higher development risk,
making it a much less worthy investment. Even without MitM prevention,
phone encryption raises the snooping bar so far above what we currently
have that there's no point in worrying about anything more until it's in

-Bram Cohen

"Markets can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent"
                                        -- John Maynard Keynes

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