[Cryptography] Cryptography is not a science currently

Phillip Hallam-Baker phill at hallambaker.com
Sun Dec 6 14:50:20 EST 2015

On Sun, Dec 6, 2015 at 10:46 AM, Ryan Carboni <ryacko at gmail.com> wrote:

> There is a long history of corruption in the US. And the FBI and NSA were
>> certainly not immune. The abuse of the FBI to pursue Hoover's racist
>> political agenda, LOVEINT, etc.
> People talk badly about Hoover, but never about the CIA?

Read 'Legacy of Ashes'. But the CIA gets all the glory for the same reason
that Special Branch did: they were the part of the intelligence world that
was allowed to have a public profile. And to a large extent, Dulles was
permitted and even encouraged to be a braggart as it distracted attention
from the NSA.

Read the history of operation Ajax and ask yourself why Dulles would have
the nerve to attempt a second coup after the first attempt had collapsed.
The only reason that makes sense to me is if he had very very good signals
intelligence. It stands to reason that the Iranian govt. would be using
Enigma style rotor machines.

> Given the powers of the FBI, Hoover was nothing like L. Ron Hubbard,
> Nixon, or Beria.

Funny story about Beria. I was talking to a KGB officer and he asked me why
I thought Beria was assassinated. According to the Western account the
other communists were afraid he would liquidate them. But that wasn't the
reason at all, in fact the survivors knew they survived precisely because
Beria didn't think they were a threat.

According to my source, the reason they liquidated Beria was that after it
was decided he would succeed Stalin but before he had been officially given
the job, Beria suggested that the current Soviet approach was failing and
the Soviet union needed to de-escalate the cold war and normalize relations
with the US if it was going to survive.

>  I assume Google now encrypts everything everywhere inside the corporation.
> Excellent, except why didn't all the targets in Prism join all at the same
> time?

That isn't the point.

The point I was making is that the deployment of crypto inside Google is
surely deep and pervasive enough at this point for the NSA to understand
that the writing is on the wall. It is not a question of whether Amazon,
etc. have done likewise today, indeed there would be no point restarting
the cryptowars if they had as there would be nothing left to play for.

> I guess each corporation's plaintext are just that hard to crack, they had
> to work a year per company to break their plaintext. Maybe instead of
> encryption they should change their plaintext encoding? Maybe for
> additional security everyone should proprietary plaintext?
> So when the Snowden papers came out 20 years later they suddenly realized
>> that the technology had moved on and it would be very easy to send much of
>> Fort Meade dark.
> Snowden isn't such a big deal.

No he isn't. We all knew that something like PRISM was going on. Some folk
were perhaps surprised by the scale but not everyone. Also remember that
the slides we have were all written by Majors who were trying to make
Colonel. Their intercept capabilities probably work about as well as
Reagan's SDI program does. We are seeing the color glossies, not the
realistic view.

The reason Snowden was a game changer is that now we can talk to people and
not be dismissed as conspiracy nuts. That changes everything.
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