[Cryptography] Backup is completely separate
hallam at gmail.com
Tue Sep 3 12:30:00 EDT 2013
On Mon, Sep 2, 2013 at 11:03 PM, John Kelsey <crypto.jmk at gmail.com> wrote:
> The backup access problem isn't just a crypto problem, it's a social/legal
> problem. There ultimately needs to be some outside mechanism for using
> social or legal means to ensure that, say, my kids can get access to at
> least some of my encrypted files after I drop dead or land in the hospital
> in a coma. Or that I can somehow convince someone that it's really me and
> I'd like access to the safe deposit box whose password I forgot and lost my
> backup copy of. Or whatever.
> This is complicated by the certainty that if someone has the power to get
> access to my encrypted data, they will inevitably be forced to do so by
> courts or national security letters, and will also be subject to extralegal
> pressures or attacks to make them turn over some keys. I suspect the best
> that can be workably done now is to make any key escrow service's key
> accesses transparent and impossible to hide from the owner of the key, and
> then let users decide what should and shoudn't be escrowed. But this isn't
> all that great an answer.
To avoid mandated/coerced release substitute 'keep at bank' with 'bury at
There is really no 100% reliable way to make things available to your heirs
while avoiding government coercion. Particularly since the government
issues the documents saying that you are dead.
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