[Cryptography] DIME // Pending Questions // Seeking Your Input

Phillip Hallam-Baker phill at hallambaker.com
Thu Mar 5 08:18:29 EST 2015

I think we need to take a step back and ask why anyone is going to move to
a new messaging platform and work from there. Security isn't the answer,
that is merely an abstraction to most users.

Instead, consider the following problems with current messaging platforms:

1) They are fractured. In the old days we had mail and news that were
almost but not quite the same thing. The Web started to bring them closer
together and then Netscape decided to blow them apart. Today we have mail,
chat and webcams in the one to one space and mailing lists, blogging, blog
commenting, Tumblr-ing and tweeting in the many to many space.

2) The messaging platforms are widely abused. This is largely due to a lack
of accountability and the notion that publishing an email address is
license for anyone at all to send content of any type.

3) Ownership of the forum and the content has been appropriated by
intermediaries. In most cases merely because they got there first. Facebook
and Google have too much power over what is said.

4) They don't protect provide necessary confidentiality or integrity

>From a protocol standpoint, all these diverse platforms are actually very
similar. MIME content types and URIs solved the problem of supporting
diverse content types in one medium long ago. But we still have the
artificial boundaries between modes of communication.

Now developing an infrastructure that replaces all the existing messaging
forms just to add crypto might seem like a boil the ocean approach. But
that is exactly what Tim did with the Web which replaced all the extant
information sources with one user interface via gateways.

Now that Google is getting a bit impatient with its Google+ strategy not
outstripping the Facebook walled garden with a walled garden of their own,
perhaps they might be interested in getting behind something designed to
knock the walls down.
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