Failure of PKI in messaging

James A. Donald jamesd at
Thu Feb 15 17:28:01 EST 2007

John Levine wrote:
 > What's missing is, if you'll pardon the phrase, a
 > central point of failure.
 > If you can persuade everyone to use a single system,
 > it's not hard to make communication adequately secure.

But there is a central point.  ICANN is responsible for
internet names and numbers, and for keys to certify
those names and numbers, and it is pretty much

Similarly, if everyone in the world used hushmail, would
not do any more good against phishing than if everyone
in the world used PKI signed mail - which is precisely
why people do not use PKI signed email.

You are making the Katrina reaction "we need someone in
charge".  No, we do not need someone in charge.  Someone
in charge does not make everything right, more commonly
it makes everything wrong, disrupting, rather than
facilitating, communication and cooperation, just as
with the Katrina disaster.

          James A. Donald

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