[Cryptography] "Public Accountability vs. Secret Laws: Can They Coexist?"

Peter Gutmann pgut001 at cs.auckland.ac.nz
Thu Jul 12 01:02:10 EDT 2018

Ryan Carboni <ryacko at gmail.com> writes:

>It is disappointing that papers exist where the authors lack common sense

It's not a lack of common sense, it's what you need to do to get a paper 
published.  If you have a neat idea you can't just publish it because it's
a neat idea, you have to have some problem for it to solve.  So you invent
a problem and then publish your idea as the solution to it [0]

A great example of this happened a few years ago when some researchers came
up with a cool idea for something cryptographic (details fudged to hide
identities).  While it was kinda neat, there was no practical application
for it, so they invented a problem and published the paper as its solution.

The following year the same conference had three more papers submitted that
presented more efficient solutions for the nonexistent problem.  There may
well be an entire conference dedicated to it by now.

In any case, something like this isn't necessarily an artefact of the 
authors' level of common sense, it's an artefact of how academic publication


[0] You probably also need to add some sort of security proof, even if your
    paper is just a recipe for baking S-box shaped cookies.

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