[Cryptography] "we need to protect [our dox] by at least encrypting them"

Henry Baker hbaker1 at pipeline.com
Sat Nov 5 13:20:37 EDT 2016

At 01:28 PM 11/4/2016, Arnold Reinhold wrote:
>There is a policy question that has not been adequately discussed in all the commotion about Hillary's email: to what extent does a high government official require and deserve a confidential way to communicate unclassified messages with others?  Yes, there is a need to maintain a historical record, but while in office, governmental leaders need privacy to carry out their duties.

I'm going to disagree with your premises.

I have yet to see any evidence that *secret negotiations* are _ever_ in the best interests of the ordinary citizen.  When Alice & Bob negotiate in secret, they usually give away Joe's gold watch rather than Alice's or Bob's (Joe, of course, not being in the room and hence unable to protect his interests).  Our problems in the Middle East today spring directly from exactly this sort of secret negotiation 100 years ago in the latter portion of WWI.

Indeed, the British entered WWI on the basis of 3 people + 1 dog in a room.  (Unlike most of the other players, the Brits had a colorable rationale for not entering that war, and their non-entry -- or much later entry in concert with the U.S. -- might have dramatically improved the course of the 20th C.)

Among other problems with diplomatic secrecy, the sh*t really hits the fan when diplomatic cables are "accidently" released (examples far too numerous to mention here).

If the crypto community really wants to help improve the art of diplomacy, it could design games/negotiations that are completely auditable, so that all back-stabbing becomes transparent.

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