What Do You Guys Have That's So Secret? - PGP

This is a discussion on What Do You Guys Have That's So Secret? - PGP ; jayjwa wrote in message news: ... > I see people using PGP all the time- they encrypt everything, sign > everything, right down to "Hey, man, it's rain'in outside!" Now, I know > PGP _looks_ cool, and it _does_ create ...

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Thread: What Do You Guys Have That's So Secret?

  1. Re: What Do You Guys Have That's So Secret?

    jayjwa wrote in message news:...
    > I see people using PGP all the time- they encrypt everything, sign
    > everything, right down to "Hey, man, it's rain'in outside!" Now, I know
    > PGP _looks_ cool, and it _does_ create a certain state of importance
    > around it's user, but don't you think signing/encoding everything by
    > default it a little much? My OS came with GPG, and I think I used it
    > exactly once (when it was actually needed). And that was to sign- I've
    > yet to receive a fully-encypted secret-message.
    >
    > I just thought maybe you guys had the cure to aids or next week's lotto
    > numbers, or the secret ingrediates to KFC encoded amongst yourselves....
    >
    >
    > --
    > ----------------
    > -jayjwa Reg. Linux user #207147 PGPKey: http://atr2.ath.cx/jayjwa.asc
    > Spambox: jayjwa@hotmail.com -- 4 Spammers: listme@listme.dsbl.org
    >
    > *We have come for your Buffer!*
    > GET /default.ida?XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
    > XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
    > XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
    > XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX%u90 90%u6858%ucbd3%u7801%
    > u9090%u6858%ucbd3%u7801%u9090%u6858%ucbd3%u7801%u9 090%u9090%u8190%u00c3
    > %u0003%u8b00%u531b%u53ff%u0078%u0000%u00=a HTTP/1.0" 200 140 "-" "-"




    My rationale is simple: For very sensitive documents I email to
    myself (work to home for example), I encrypt them. Copies of emails
    reside along every server on the way to the ultimate email inbox,
    accessible my anyone.

    If I encrypt the file, they can't open it or tamper with it.

    For emails that could be embarassing to me and/or the recipient, I
    encrypt them.

    That's reason enough for me.

  2. Re: What Do You Guys Have That's So Secret?

    jayjwa writes:

    > ... but don't you think signing/encoding everything by
    > default it a little much?


    I think it's irritating to people who don't use PGP, as it adds a lot of
    text to a message.

    I only occasionally sign messages with PGP (usually just for the heck of
    it), and I rarely ever encrypt anything at all. I've only used PGP for
    "necessary" encryption once, in order to send new credit-card
    information to an ISP--but PGP definitely justified itself then!

    > And that was to sign- I've yet to receive a fully-encypted
    > secret-message.


    Does anyone have your public key?

    It's possible to argue that everything should be routinely encrypted,
    where possible, because this forces adversaries to guess which messages
    merit attempts at cryptanalysis and which should be ignored. If you
    encrypt only important stuff, then the mere fact that you encrypt a
    message is already a clear indicator that it holds something important.
    If you have formidable adversaries, you may not wish to give them that
    extra edge by pointing out the important messages to them.

    Signing everything isn't really necessary, but it doesn't really hurt,
    either, so it's just a matter of preference. Do realize, though, that
    you can't repudiate something you've digitally signed (that is, after
    all, nearly the whole idea of signing).

    --
    Transpose hotmail and mxsmanic in my e-mail address to reach me directly.

  3. Re: What Do You Guys Have That's So Secret?

    DS writes:

    > I have nothing to hide, but if I want to e-mail one of my
    > friends that it's raining outside, that's my business and nobody
    > elses!


    This statement contradicts itself. If the weather outside is your
    business and nobody else's business, then clearly you have something to
    hide.

    > I wish more people would uses PGP.


    It's a bit awkward and there's a steep learning curve to it. For people
    who don't have a regular need for confidentiality or authentication,
    it's a bit heavy. But when you need these things, it's great.

    > As far as the signing goes, I really haven't had a need
    > for it yet, but it sure does look impressive!


    In theory, you could agree to consider your digital signature legally
    binding in contracts with others. Thereafter your signature would have
    quite a bit of usefulness. You already do this for the PIN associated
    with your credit card.



    --
    Transpose hotmail and mxsmanic in my e-mail address to reach me directly.

  4. Re: What Do You Guys Have That's So Secret?

    Beretta writes:

    > Wonderful.. Now we have to rely on verisign bouncing incorrectly
    > addressed emails...


    Currently, Verisign bounces e-mails immediately, with a 550 message
    saying that the domain does not exist. Of course, that could change at
    any time.

    > I don't want to sound paranoid here, but, anyone else a
    > little worried that Mail Rejector Daemon might someday
    > become Mail Acceptor Daemon?


    Obviously, you've looked at a map and seen how close the traditional
    headquarters of NSI is to Fort Meade. Coincidence?

    --
    Transpose hotmail and mxsmanic in my e-mail address to reach me directly.

  5. Re: What Do You Guys Have That's So Secret?

    -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
    Hash: SHA1

    Mxsmanic wrote in
    news:tbt6nv0einvjpkc67bksi6i5gp58u1c6fg@4ax.com:

    > In theory, you could agree to consider your digital signature legally
    > binding in contracts with others. Thereafter your signature would have
    > quite a bit of usefulness. You already do this for the PIN associated
    > with your credit card.


    I believe this is now law in a number of states. But as I state in my
    FAQ, there are risks with this, and I don't think it should be held as
    valid as a physical signature.

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  6. Re: What Do You Guys Have That's So Secret?

    -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
    Hash: SHA1

    Tom McCune writes:

    > I believe this is now law in a number of states. But as I state in
    > my FAQ, there are risks with this, and I don't think it should be
    > held as valid as a physical signature.


    Your site is great, but it would be nice if it were black on white
    instead of white or other colors on blue. Switching between it and
    other windows is hard on the eyes.

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    -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----


    --
    Transpose hotmail and mxsmanic in my e-mail address to reach me directly.

  7. Re: What Do You Guys Have That's So Secret?

    -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
    Hash: SHA1

    Mxsmanic wrote in
    news:1p07nvgbranbl5j66r09ha89mpliquq11s@4ax.com:

    > Your site is great, but it would be nice if it were black on white
    > instead of white or other colors on blue. Switching between it and
    > other windows is hard on the eyes.


    Thank you.

    I can sympathize with the issue, and I will again take a look at this.
    But, I have to say that when I just now tried black on white, it caused
    me problems - maybe because of my cataracts.

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  8. Re: What Do You Guys Have That's So Secret?

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    Hash: SHA1

    Tom McCune writes:

    > But, I have to say that when I just now tried black on white, it
    > caused me problems - maybe because of my cataracts.


    It depends on what the other colors on your screen are. I assume
    that most people have mainly black-on-white color schemes, so
    black-on-white for Web pages usually enhances readability (I used to
    have white-on-black for many of my pages, but I received frequent
    complaints so I finally changed it).

    FWIW, cataract surgery is getting more routine and providing better
    results every day. If they really bother you, they can be fixed. I
    think you still need corrective lenses afterwards, although not the
    coke-bottle type of the olden days (because an artificial lens can
    now be inserted to greatly reduce the amount of external correction
    required). It's mainly a question of how much it bothers you vs.
    expense and inconvenience of having it repaired.

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    --
    Transpose hotmail and mxsmanic in my e-mail address to reach me directly.

  9. Re: What Do You Guys Have That's So Secret?

    Mxsmanic wrote in
    news:bu08nvskovfsvkga6r72r14i9omlvhar6e@4ax.com:

    > FWIW, cataract surgery is getting more routine and providing better
    > results every day. If they really bother you, they can be fixed. I
    > think you still need corrective lenses afterwards, although not the
    > coke-bottle type of the olden days (because an artificial lens can
    > now be inserted to greatly reduce the amount of external correction
    > required). It's mainly a question of how much it bothers you vs.
    > expense and inconvenience of having it repaired.


    My cataracts are a little different from most. They are from my past total
    body irradiation treatments (part of my bone marrow transplant), and are on
    the center of the back of the lens, which explains my high sensitivity to
    light. The opthamologist still recommends against the lens implant at this
    time because my vision is otherwise so good that I would have reduced
    vision after the replacement - most people experience great improvement in
    vision after the implant, but that is because of the reduced vision they
    start with.

    Hey - isn't this the kind of thing we are suppost to keep private via use
    of encryption! :-)

    --
    Tom McCune
    My PGP Page & FAQ: http://www.McCune.cc/PGP.htm

  10. Re: What Do You Guys Have That's So Secret?

    -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
    Hash: SHA1

    > Mxsmanic wrote in
    > > news:tbt6nv0einvjpkc67bksi6i5gp58u1c6fg@4ax.com:

    >
    > > In theory, you could agree to consider your digital signature legally
    > > binding in contracts with others. Thereafter your signature would have
    > > quite a bit of usefulness. You already do this for the PIN associated
    > > with your credit card.

    >
    > I believe this is now law in a number of states. But as I state in my
    > FAQ, there are risks with this, and I don't think it should be held as
    > valid as a physical signature.
    >

    Could you tell me where? (the faq is rather long)

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  11. Re: What Do You Guys Have That's So Secret?

    On Fri, 26 Sep 2003, Tom McCune wrote:
    > Mxsmanic wrote in
    > news:1p07nvgbranbl5j66r09ha89mpliquq11s@4ax.com:
    >
    >> Your site is great, but it would be nice if it were black on white
    >> instead of white or other colors on blue. Switching between it and
    >> other windows is hard on the eyes.

    >
    > Thank you.
    >
    > I can sympathize with the issue, and I will again take a look at
    > this. But, I have to say that when I just now tried black on white,
    > it caused me problems - maybe because of my cataracts.


    Ah, now this is what CSS style sheets are for, to allow a user to
    select a style based on her preference, and in this case, physical
    requirements, and not have to recode or provide alternate pages of the
    content.

    But this digresses from pgp.
    --
    Clay Haapala Cisco Systems

  12. Raids of residences (What Do You Guys Have That's So Secret?)

    Mxsmanic wrote:

    > jayjwa writes:
    > > ... but don't you think signing/encoding everything by
    > > default it a little much?

    > I only occasionally sign messages with PGP (usually just for the heck of
    > it), and I rarely ever encrypt anything at all. I've only used PGP for
    > "necessary" encryption once, in order to send new credit-card
    > information to an ISP--but PGP definitely justified itself then!


    I've been watching the discussions about when and
    if to use PGP for routine and for sensitive communications
    and thought I'd barge in. }:-} I've been looking at some
    commercial IPSec software stacks for a project I want
    to do and got sucked into the PGP newsgroups. }:-}

    A number of free speech rights actvists have had their
    homes raided by a company I won't mention where
    the complaints by the company to the authorities were
    found to be false. (Slashdot just covered the Karen Spaink
    legal victory, in fact.)

    While no copyright violations were found to exist on
    the rights activists' computers, other sensitive information
    that could be illegally seized and examined by the
    company was or conceivably could be on the computers
    -- almost certainly in clear text.

    The organizing or otherwise scheduling of protests and
    pickets as well as the names and identities of fellow activists
    is information that can be seized from human rights, civil
    rights, or free speech rights activists' computers under
    false pretexts -- such as claims of copyright violations.
    The routine encryption of otherwise cleartext messages
    in e-mail and IRC, and the use of IPSec negates not only
    the abuse of discovery that afore mentioned company is
    notorious for, but also would discourage said company
    from future attempts to abuse.

    Activists who willingly stand against oppressive
    corporations and governments -- such as the neo-fascist
    "Homeland Security Office" -- should routinely use PGP to
    get into the mindset of security as a matter of course even
    though such activists have nothing criminal or remotely
    actionable to hide. Incidental information they may leak
    -- through the legal or illegal means of oppressive corporations
    or government entities -- may not be evidence of illegal
    activities but it can fill in holes in such abusive oppressive
    entities that can get friends and colleagues framed or
    otherwise exposed.

    Companies that create communications hardware and
    software for industry should also use encryption regardless
    of whether they believe they need it now or in the next
    five years. If information is being transmitted from one
    place to another, _value_ is being sent which others can
    use to their financial advantage -- maybe not today,
    maybe not tomorrow, but maybe next week. Information
    is the most valuable commodity after food and water
    and even seemingly mundane communications can have
    value to others.

    As an example, look at the communications packets that
    get sent between traffic signaling devices on the nation's
    highways. City automotive dispatch centers can send
    and receive status and control information, route emergency
    vehicles through intersections, and monitor traffic patterns.

    Valueless information to others? Nope. Bad guys and
    saints can use the information to their financial or political
    advantage if they recognize the value. Bank robbers,
    environmental activists, the average Joe who wants to
    cobble up an IR transmitted to open green lights for
    himself -- and sell boxes to others that do the same thing.
    The encrypting of even such mundane stuff as automotive
    traffic information should be done to alleviate such abuse.

    COINTEL PRO never ended. The Joint Terrorism Task
    Force (JTTF) never ended. CARNIVORE never ended.
    THERMCON morphed into new aveues under different
    names and never ended. Corporations are increasingly
    finding it a requirement to racketeer to silence critics who
    get an equal voice thanks to the advent of the Internet.
    Honest corporations are needing more and more
    encryption to keep their valuable proprietary information
    secret from a turn-key public. Individual citizens are
    increasingly under the thumb of a growing fascism. The
    information age lept forward and now the encryption age
    must catch up.

    Rotine use of encryption fights against all that. Routine
    use of encryption can help keep the leaping fascism at bay.

    My two cents, and my own opinions which don't reflect
    the opinions of anyone but myself, of course. I'll go back
    and shut up now. }:-} I was researching IPSec software
    and some how found myself in PGP.



  13. Re: What Do You Guys Have That's So Secret?

    -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
    Hash: SHA1

    "MikeyD" wrote in
    news:1064580871.76087.0@dyke.uk.clara.net:

    >> I believe this is now law in a number of states. But as I state in my
    >> FAQ, there are risks with this, and I don't think it should be held as
    >> valid as a physical signature.
    >>

    > Could you tell me where? (the faq is rather long)


    - From http://www.mccune.cc/PGPpage2.htm#Privacy&Authenticity

    CAUTION: A digital signature actually proves that a particular private
    key made the signature, rather than that a particular individual made the
    signature. Although the intent is that only the owner of the private key
    is able to use it for signatures, he/she may have given it and it's
    passphrase to trusted others, may have left his/her machine running
    without protection while the passphrase is cached, may have had the
    private key and passphrase stolen, may be using software that was altered
    to sign other files without his/her awareness, etc. In my opinion,
    digital signatures should not carry the same weight as physical
    signatures.

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    -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----

  14. Re: What Do You Guys Have That's So Secret?

    Tom McCune writes:

    > Hey - isn't this the kind of thing we are suppost
    > to keep private via use of encryption!


    Personally I don't see why discussions of medical issues must be kept
    particularly private. However, I understand that a lot of people are
    sensitive about them, and certainly they are one good set of reasons for
    using encryption.

    Also, doesn't USENET etiquette frown on posting of encrypted messages?
    (It's hard to see what purpose they would serve, anyway.)


    --
    Transpose hotmail and mxsmanic in my e-mail address to reach me directly.

  15. Re: What Do You Guys Have That's So Secret?

    -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
    Hash: SHA1

    Mxsmanic wrote in
    news:76i9nvk24rk0l3dtns0h4kkfic09kefr94@4ax.com:

    > Personally I don't see why discussions of medical issues must be kept
    > particularly private. However, I understand that a lot of people are
    > sensitive about them, and certainly they are one good set of reasons
    > for using encryption.


    People with cancer backgrounds such as myself are legitimately concerned
    about employment discrimination, etc. I know we can talk about such laws
    as the Americans with Disabilities Act, but there is also reality that we
    have to deal with. I'm personally pretty open about this because of the
    need to share my success with others, but I've also had a rather
    sensitive issue that I've used email to discuss with an internationally
    famed doctor.

    > Also, doesn't USENET etiquette frown on posting of encrypted messages?
    > (It's hard to see what purpose they would serve, anyway.)


    Well, Usenet is a public bulletin board, so encryption doesn't make much
    sense here.

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    =w5fk
    -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----

  16. Re: What Do You Guys Have That's So Secret?


    "Mxsmanic" wrote in message
    news:8gu6nvg5abl9b7akatjfbjn5e9f7jg15d8@4ax.com...
    > Beretta writes:
    >
    > Obviously, you've looked at a map and seen how close the traditional
    > headquarters of NSI is to Fort Meade. Coincidence?


    Of Course Not!!!

    They are in league and always have been and probably will be for a long time
    to come!



  17. Re: What Do You Guys Have That's So Secret?

    -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
    Hash: SHA1

    Tom McCune writes:

    > CAUTION: A digital signature actually proves that a
    > particular private key made the signature, rather than
    > that a particular individual made the signature.


    Whereas a handwritten signature proves nothing at all. Digital
    signatures at least link a signature to a specific key. Handwritten
    signatures don't even do that much.

    > Although the intent is that only the owner of the private key
    > is able to use it for signatures, he/she may have given it and it's
    > passphrase to trusted others, may have left his/her machine running
    > without protection while the passphrase is cached, may have had the
    > private key and passphrase stolen, may be using software that was
    > altered to sign other files without his/her awareness, etc.


    Whereas none of these is a risk with handwritten signatures, because
    handwritten signatures can be reproduced at will. You don't need to
    steal anything. You just write the other person's name. Most people
    can't handwrite their own name very consistently over time, and it's
    trivially easy to copy someone else's signature.

    > In my opinion, digital signatures should not carry the same
    > weight as physical signatures.


    I agree. Digital signatures should carry far more weight.

    A digital signature is like a lock on a door. A handwritten
    signature is like a sign on a door that says KEEP OUT.

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    =Kr/P
    -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----


    --
    Transpose hotmail and mxsmanic in my e-mail address to reach me directly.

  18. Re: Raids of residences (What Do You Guys Have That's So Secret?)

    Fredric L. Rice writes:

    > Rotine use of encryption fights against all that. Routine
    > use of encryption can help keep the leaping fascism at bay.


    Certainly I see nothing wrong with any form of encryption, and if
    everyone encrypts all communications, the spooks will indeed be unahppy.
    That won't ever happen, though (at least not in a way that spooks can't
    easily circumvent).

    Encrypting things on the machines themselves is an extremely
    labor-inensive and error-sensitive endeavor, and it's hard to see how
    this would be cost-effective for anyone who doesn't have enemies
    powerful enough to put their physical plant at risk.

    I do think, though, that seizure of a computer should be considered the
    equivalent of rape, in many cases. Increasingly personal computers are
    the leading depositories of the most personal information that people
    keep about themselves, outside of their own heads. Carting this off in
    a truck effectively and permanently destroys their privacy.

    --
    Transpose hotmail and mxsmanic in my e-mail address to reach me directly.

  19. Re: What Do You Guys Have That's So Secret?

    Mxsmanic wrote in
    newsam9nv4ls2e2p8k1om060p1ht0f47puetj@4ax.com:


    > Whereas none of these is a risk with handwritten signatures, because
    > handwritten signatures can be reproduced at will. You don't need to
    > steal anything. You just write the other person's name. Most people
    > can't handwrite their own name very consistently over time, and it's
    > trivially easy to copy someone else's signature.



    I'm not going to waste time arguing, but think the experts would disagree.

    --
    Tom McCune
    My PGP Page & FAQ: http://www.McCune.cc/PGP.htm

  20. Re: What Do You Guys Have That's So Secret?

    Tom McCune writes:

    > People with cancer backgrounds such as myself are legitimately concerned
    > about employment discrimination, etc. I know we can talk about such laws
    > as the Americans with Disabilities Act, but there is also reality that we
    > have to deal with.


    It's a problem in the U.S., that's for sure. Insurance companies are
    not keen on ensuring people who have had cancer (even those who have
    been cured of cancer), and employers are not keen on the insurance risks
    of employees who have had expensive diseases in the past. That's one of
    the many problems with American healthcare.

    There's also some concern by employers with possible absenteeism in
    employees with health problems.

    Unfortunately, while employer discrimination is a problem for the
    targets of discrimination, there is often justification for it with
    respect to health. It's counterproductive to hire truly unhealthy
    people. Of course, if they were once sick but are not healthy, one need
    not be concerned, although employers often still are (without objective
    justification, alas!).

    Anyway ... communications between doctors or lawyers (or accountants, or
    others) and clients are one of the domains in which products like PGP
    can shine.

    --
    Transpose hotmail and mxsmanic in my e-mail address to reach me directly.

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