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I am definitely no security expert, but from my feeling it seems as if unsecure protocol + secure messaging layer is much more successful in practical applications than purely secure protocols. Therefore my believe would be that improving existing secure messaging layers would help the world much more than creating another secure protocol which nobody will use because it would require to replace the whole infrastructure. Especially Email seems to be something that is unlikely to go away, because of its long history, huge infrastructure and simplicity.

The problem with e-mail is that gathering the meta-data is almost as valuable as looking inside at the message contents. Secure messaging layers aren't going to help you there - unless everyone starts using something like Tor.

Why Tor? We have had mix-nets for many years, and they do an excellent job of protecting metadata. Even old-fashioned cypherpunks remailers do a fine job at that.

Appologies for the spelling errors in this note below - it's an OCR of an old printout (I've been unable to find a current archive of cypherpunks going back this far):

Cypherpunks archive-96.02.29-96.03.06: List of reliable remailers

List of reliable remailers Anonymous Remail Service (nobody@vegas.gateway.com) Sun, 3 Mar 199609:18:03-0500

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Thought that this was worth reposting:

>1 attended last weeks "Information, National Policies; and International >Infrastructure" Symposium at Harvard Law School, organized by the Global >Information Infrastructure Commission, the Kennedy School and the >Institute for Information Technology Law & Policy of Harvard Law School.

>During the presentation by Paul Strassmann, National Defense University >and William Marlow, Science Applications International Corporation, >entitled 'Anonymous Remailers as Risk-Free International Infoterrorists" >the questions was raised from audience (Professor Chaarles Nesson, >Harvard LAw School) - in a rather extended debate - whether the CIA and >similar government agencies are involved in running anonymous remailers >as this would be a perfect target to scan possibly illegal messages.

>Both presenters explicitly acknowledged that a number of anonymous >remailers in the US are run by government agencies scanning traffic. >Marlow said that the government runs at least a dozen remailers and that >the most popular remailers in France and Germany are run by the >respective government agencies in these countries In addition they >mentioned that the NSA has successfully developed Systems to break >encrypted messages below 1000 bit of key length and strongly suggested >to use at least 1024 bit keys. They said that they themselves use 1024 >bit keys.

>J ask Marlos afterwards if these comments were off or on record, he >paused then said that he can be quoted.

>So I thought I pass that on. ft seems interesting enough, don 't you > think?


> Viktor Mayer-Schoenberger >Information Law Project >Austrian Institute for Legal Policy


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I of 1 05.09.96 01:58

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