[Cryptography] Talk on encryption to non-crypto audience ?

Henry Baker hbaker1 at pipeline.com
Sat Dec 12 07:39:11 EST 2015

At 03:29 AM 12/12/2015, Natanael wrote:
>Got all the classical analogies ready?  Like key exchange = box with padlocks being sent back and forth? 
>Does anybody have a good analogy for perfect forward secrecy?  Maybe to use code books and to burn old used copies? (after the explanation of OTP)
>What about analogies for authentication?  How about tamper evident seals + padlocks as the analogy for TLS? 
>Which other topics are you planning to cover?  Anonymity like with onion routing, more advanced crypto like Zero-knowledge proofs and such? 

Good suggestions re analogies.

Not enough time to do justice to more than a very basic beginning.  I'd rather make sure the audience leaves knowing how a 1x pad really works, than trying to cover too many more topics.  I want them to leave with the takeaway: "Here's a system that *really works*, and I can see why."

I thought I might start with Paul Revere's Ride: "One if by land; Two if by sea".


Show how to encrypt message with 1x pad.  Show how Brits can't tell which message had been sent.

Show how Brits *could* corrupt the message if they knew the format.

I will try to fit in some mention of certs & MITM, because this is a hot topic right now; there is some possibility that Mr. Comey & Mr. Vance themselves might want to be on everybody's short-list of CA's, so that they can MITM everyone -- sort of like Casper the Friendly Ghost.

No time for zero-knowledge or Tor; might mention Tor in passing.

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