[Cryptography] Unbreakable crypto

arxlight arxlight at arx.li
Tue Dec 29 20:45:55 EST 2015

On 29/12/15 05:48, Erik Granger wrote:
> Rules aren't there for rulers.


> Trust is the problem. Kill trust, use math. It's an old horse.
> How are we going to fight legislation?
> I think we should actively undermine it.
> When they can encryption, everyone that uses  encryption becomes a
> criminal. It makes sense, therefore, to use whatever tactics necessary
> to ensure that under that system, everyone is a criminal, and that the
> law is unenforceable.

Here one assumes you meant "ban" encryption.

> Or at least make it so that there is so much random data being passed
> around that it is impossible to determine what is encrypted
> communication and what is just chaff.
> Make the pile of hay covering the needles into a needle in a haystack
> itself.

I assume what you are driving at here is a form of:

"They can't prosecute all of us!"

There are number of flaws (some fatal to the argument, I think) in this
line of reasoning. "They can't prosecute all of us," was a more
effective anti-authoritarian mantra back when "due process" was a
fundamental protection for the individual.  Before "the process is the
punishment" evolved into a more accurate description of the current
state of affairs. Before "lawfare" became a meaningful term.

The rise of two dynamics have quashed the likely impact of the sort of
"widespread civil disobedience" that you seem to advocate here.

First, as the institutions that underpin Western legal systems have seen
what integrity they may actually have possessed drained away, "process"
has ceased to be a protection for the individual. To name just one
example, the rank politicization of the United States Department of
Justice has arrived at a point where it is trivial to predict with near
perfect accuracy who will or will not be prosecuted for violations of 18
U.S.C. § 1924 without even bothering to look at the evidence or severity
of the infractions. All one need do is summarize the political
affiliations of the accused and the answer will be blindingly obvious.

All those grubby details related to what actually happened (the "facts"
if you will) seem inconvenient distractions from the new reality: Your
ability to avoid, deflect, manipulate, endure, or outlast the process is
the most significant variable to determine the result. Not much else
matters. In fact, certain members of your public may be seen to applaud
loudly in appreciation of your adept skills at deceit.

Second, though "accessible" might not have been an accurate description
of the body of civil and criminal rules that govern citizens of The West
at any point in our lifetimes (even the Duodecim Tabulae never purported
to codify the entire text of Roman law), today it is simply impossible
for any individual (or any organization, for that matter) to comprehend
even a meaningful fraction of the corpus of law and regulation that
binds him, her, it.

John Gilmore's principled refusal to show his "internal passport"
(mandated by a secret law Mr. Gilmore was not permitted to read) to
board an airplane in 2002 seems almost quaint now. Secret laws and
classified, un-reviewable enemy lists are commonplace enough that we
would never expect the 9th Circuit to review their legality today.

— NATIONAL PARK SERVICE") and 36 CFR § 327.5(c,d) ("RULES AND
– SWIMMING") combine to make it a federal crime to swing from a tree
next to a federal water development project?

Is it possible that 18 U.S.C. § 1865 ("NATIONAL PARK SERVICE") and 36
RESOURCES") can be read to make you guilty of a federal crime for
rolling something down a hill in a national park?

To ask these questions is to inadvertently lament that "ignorantia legis
neminem excusat," has become as dead as satire.
https://twitter.com/CrimeADay seems unlikely to run out of examples
anytime soon.

Everyone is guilty. This is not, as you seem to suggest, a bug. It is a
feature. There is an excuse to throw you (to throw everyone) into the
jaws of "process" any time. You are expected to recognize that your only
defense is to adopt the currently accepted political attitudes,
mannerisms, thoughts, fears, and deeds, and to adopt them with the sort
of public noise and enthusiasm that suggests they are your very own.

Remember that these are the second crypto wars (at least). Those of us
who could be considered veterans of the first rounds might remind you
that not only are these arguments not new, they are mind-numbingly
repetitive and unoriginal, not to mention spewing forth from many of the
same gaping maws (and some turncoats *ahem* John Kerry *ahem).

A brief bit of badly simplified history: When "law enforcement" could
not manage to cram through legislation that would force key escrow on
everyone in the United States (and for a time the UK) to obtain the "all
access pass" they wanted, they simply printed their own pass instead.
It required fast-tracking the transformation of foreign intelligence
agencies into domestic surveillance pan-opticons (and so complete is
that transformation now it almost seems difficult to remember that it
was not always so). It required co-opting American firms (*ahem* AT&T
*ahem*) to conduct surveillance that only the most vicious
water-boarding of the English language could justify legally (and
required legislation to "legitimize" ex post).

Now that at least a hint of the magnitude of this wide-ranging and
illicit effort has come to light and there is a movement (agonizingly
slow, disconcertingly weak) to plug some of the holes and the many
examples of outright sabotage involved, the pan-opticons have turned
back to lawfare.

In this context how, exactly, do we not all expect to be thrown into the
jaws of "the process" once the gaze of the pan-opticon falls upon us?

If you've made through all that above, see how this would sound to you
from the lips of an investigator:

"Random noise you say? Not crypto you say? Prove it."

I would suggest that to win the "fight" from this end the effort must be
legislative and judicial, but the last "victory" (which was legislative
and judicial, as it happened) managed to bring us... right here.

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