[Cryptography] In the event of my death, master password

Florian Weimer fw at deneb.enyo.de
Tue Mar 19 15:27:21 EDT 2019

* Paul F. Fraser:

> Trying to work out for my project, how best to handle a master
> password for relatives and others to
> access data after death, including data about ongoing subscriptions etc..
> Some thoughts
>  1. Password in sealed envelope which would be obvious if accessed.
>  2. Pin number in sealed envelope which could decrypt the password.
>  3. Split password and have friends or relatives have parts.
>  4. Shamir secret sharing with friends or relatives.
>  5. etc..
> More to the point, is how would you (with a technical background)
> like to access yout parents password for example?

It depends on what you need.  For some things, it may be interesting
to gain access before the estate has been settled.  In other cases,
you want to precisely avoid that.

Secret sharing does not work socially in the long term because you
eventually need to handle revocation, and that could become quite
stressful.  It also exposes the sharing parties to government pressure
even before death.

Maybe sharing passwords is not the answer anyway because it allows
perfect impersonation.  Other forms of delegation might be more
appropriate because they can be audited in a more straightforward way.

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