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[liberationtech] Cryptography super-group creates unbreakable encryption

Brian Conley brianc at smallworldnews.tv
Thu Feb 7 23:08:27 PST 2013


+1.

I wish I could say otherwise, but now after a few years working as a
journalism trainer and in the journalism field I've been led to recognize
that, whether I like it or not, and whether it is ethical or not:

1. headlines are used to grab readers and generate buzz. I'd not read the
article until it was posted here, and I'm sure many others had not. That
generated buzz and eyeballs.

2. journalists are again and again and again guilty of "access bias." They
are biased to report on the thing they have access to, whether that be
because a PR firm sent them a release and made individuals available for
interview, or a great many other reasons.

3. the best way to counter media spin is to make friends with journalists,
put out counter press releases, and above all, not engage in personal
attacks or petty bullshit.

I don't like it, and I tell all my students to avoid it, but there it is.

Brian

On Thu, Feb 7, 2013 at 12:46 PM, Jillian C. York <jilliancyork at gmail.com>wrote:

> I'm not going to get into the politics or pettiness of this because
> frankly, I don't care.
>
> But this headline<http://www.extremetech.com/mobile/147714-cryptography-super-group-creates-unbreakable-encryption-designed-for-mass-market>and the accompanying claims of unbreakability are so incredibly egregious
> that I would expect *every single person on this list* to speak out
> against those (claims, that is), regardless of their feelings on the actual
> product.
>
>
>
> On Thu, Feb 7, 2013 at 12:20 PM, Yosem Companys <companys at stanford.edu>wrote:
>
>> Just as a reminder, please let's all try to refrain from engaging in any
>> personal attacks.  We're all build and use liberationtech to make a
>> difference in various ways, and we're bound to have disagreements.  But
>> let's not forget that we're all working toward the same broad goal of
>> making people's lives better.  Otherwise, we would likely not be on this
>> list.
>>
>> Best,
>>
>> YC
>>
>> On Thu, Feb 7, 2013 at 11:21 AM, Ali-Reza Anghaie <ali at packetknife.com>wrote:
>>
>>> Douglas, I'm not sure many people are disagreeing with the end-goals and
>>> even Zimmerman acknolwedges the window for verifiable source proof is
>>> closing fast (longer than many would have liked as-is).
>>>
>>> My comments to Nadim are coming from a tact perspective - if the goal is
>>> to gain wider adoption and recognition for all the community work, good
>>> projects, verified projects, etc. etc. then it helps when you play in the
>>> sanboxes occupied by more than the hackers and programmers making it happen.
>>>
>>> It's not uncommon to have people, who need solutions the most, to be
>>> afraid of projects because of the "main name" associated with them after
>>> some cursory rant reading. Nadim = Cryptocat, Jacob = TOR, Theo = OpenBSD,
>>> etc. etc.
>>>
>>> It's easy to tell everyone else to pound sand or to roll all activist
>>> causes into one for the collective libtech "us" - it's not so each when we
>>> take it elsewhere. Just trying to see how we can promote things that look
>>> less like personal grips and trolls - and more like building something
>>> useful. -Ali
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> On Thu, Feb 7, 2013 at 11:36 AM, Douglas Lucas <dal at riseup.net> wrote:
>>>
>>>> Can Silent Circle promoters explain why Zimmerman is excused from
>>>> Kerckhoffs's principle?
>>>>
>>>> Is it because something unverifiable is allegedly better than nothing?
>>>> Even if we had divine knowledge to tell us Silent Circle is secure,
>>>> isn't it an overriding problem to encourage lock-in of closed source
>>>> being acceptable for something as common as text-messaging?
>>>>
>>>> It is good to have a scrappy talented young person such as Nadim being
>>>> pesky to older, accepted people.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> On 02/07/2013 09:45 AM, Julien Rabier wrote:
>>>> > Hello all,
>>>> >
>>>> > I'm no sec expert but to me, it's so obvious that Nadim is right on
>>>> this.
>>>> > Perhaps the form is not perfect, but if he's the only one fighting
>>>> for our
>>>> > own sanity here, as he says, that's no surprise.
>>>> >
>>>> > We should all be asking Silent Circle to commit to their statement
>>>> and show
>>>> > us the source code of their so-called unbreakable encryption tools.
>>>> >
>>>> > Again, I'm no sec expert and I won't be the guy who will do the hard
>>>> task of
>>>> > auditing and reviewing this code. But as a user, as a citizen and
>>>> perhaps an
>>>> > activist, I want the source code of such tools to be reviewed widely
>>>> and
>>>> > publicly before using and promoting it.
>>>> >
>>>> > My 2 euro cents,
>>>> > Julien
>>>> >
>>>> > Le 07 févr. - 10:31, Nadim Kobeissi a écrit :
>>>> >> Small follow-up:
>>>> >> Maybe it's true I look like my goal here is just to foam at the
>>>> mouth at
>>>> >> Silent Circle. Maybe it looks like I'm just here to annoy Chris, and
>>>> I'm
>>>> >> truly sorry. These are not my goals, even if my method seems forced.
>>>> >>
>>>> >> I've tried writing multiple blog posts about Silent Circle,
>>>> contacting
>>>> >> Silent Circle, asking journalists to *please* mention the importance
>>>> of
>>>> >> free, open source in cryptography, and so on. All of this has
>>>> failed. It
>>>> >> has simply become clear to me that Silent Circle enjoys a double
>>>> standard
>>>> >> because of the reputation of those behind it.
>>>> >>
>>>> >> Silent Circle may be developed by Gods, but this is just quite
>>>> plainly
>>>> >> unfair. If someone repeatedly claims, towards activists, to have
>>>> developed
>>>> >> "unbreakable encryption", markets it closed-source for money, and
>>>> receives
>>>> >> nothing but nods of recognition and applause from the press and even
>>>> >> from *security
>>>> >> experts* (?!) then something is seriously wrong! No one should be
>>>> allowed
>>>> >> to commit these wrongs, not even Silent Circle.
>>>> >>
>>>> >> I feel like I'm fighting for our own sanity here. Look at what you're
>>>> >> allowing to happen!
>>>> >>
>>>> >>
>>>> >> NK
>>>> >>
>>>> >>
>>>> >> On Thu, Feb 7, 2013 at 10:15 AM, Nadim Kobeissi <nadim at nadim.cc>
>>>> wrote:
>>>> >>
>>>> >>> On Thu, Feb 7, 2013 at 4:11 AM, Christopher Soghoian <
>>>> chris at soghoian.net>wrote:
>>>> >>>
>>>> >>>>
>>>> >>>> It is clear that you seem to have developed a foaming-in-the-mouth,
>>>> >>>> irrational hate of Silent Circle. As such, anyone who fails to
>>>> denounce
>>>> >>>> Phil Zimmermann as the great Satan is, in your eyes, some kind of
>>>> corrupt
>>>> >>>> shill.
>>>> >>>>
>>>> >>>
>>>> >>> Chris,
>>>> >>> You have repeatedly stood up asking VoIP software to be more
>>>> transparent
>>>> >>> about their encryption. You have repeatedly stood up when the media
>>>> >>> overblew coverage into hype.
>>>> >>>
>>>> >>> However, Silent Circle remains *the only case* where you remain
>>>> mentioned
>>>> >>> regularly in articles on the company, where you make a point to
>>>> completely
>>>> >>> ignore that they are posting everywhere on their social media that
>>>> they are
>>>> >>> developing "unbreakable encryption", and marketing it,
>>>> closed-source,
>>>> >>> towardsactivists. When I confront you about this, you publicly
>>>> accuse me of
>>>> >>> "soliciting a hit piece" (!!) against Silent Circle.
>>>> >>>
>>>> >>> That is what I have a problem with: A huge, clear, obvious double
>>>> standard
>>>> >>> strictly made available for Silent Circle.
>>>> >>>
>>>> >>>
>>>> >>>>
>>>> >>>> I proudly stand by every single statement quoted in that Verge
>>>> story.
>>>> >>>>
>>>> >>>> Chris
>>>> >>>>
>>>> >>>>
>>>> >>>> On Wed, Feb 6, 2013 at 8:56 PM, Nadim Kobeissi <nadim at nadim.cc>
>>>> wrote:
>>>> >>>>
>>>> >>>>> Chris Soghoian gives Silent Circle's unbreakable encryption an
>>>> entire
>>>> >>>>> article's worth of lip service here, it must be really
>>>> unbreakable:
>>>> >>>>>
>>>> >>>>>
>>>> http://www.theverge.com/2013/2/6/3950664/phil-zimmermann-wants-to-save-you-from-your-phone
>>>> >>>>>
>>>> >>>>>
>>>> >>>>> NK
>>>> >>>>>
>>>> >>>>>
>>>> >>>>> On Wed, Feb 6, 2013 at 10:49 PM, Brian Conley <
>>>> brianc at smallworldnews.tv>wrote:
>>>> >>>>>
>>>> >>>>>> I heard they have a super secret crypto clubhouse in the belly
>>>> of an
>>>> >>>>>> extinct volcano.
>>>> >>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>> Other rumors suggest they built their lab in the liberated
>>>> tunnels
>>>> >>>>>> beneath bin ladens secret lair in Pakistan...
>>>> >>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>> Sent from my iPad
>>>> >>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>> On Feb 6, 2013, at 19:42, Nadim Kobeissi <nadim at nadim.cc> wrote:
>>>> >>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>> Actual headline.
>>>> >>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>
>>>> http://www.extremetech.com/mobile/147714-cryptography-super-group-creates-unbreakable-encryption-designed-for-mass-market
>>>> >>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>> NK
>>>> >>>>>>
>>>> >>>>>> --
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>>>> >>>>>
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>
>
> --
> US: +1-857-891-4244 | NL: +31-657086088
> site:  jilliancyork.com <http://jilliancyork.com/>* | *
> twitter: @jilliancyork* *
>
> "We must not be afraid of dreaming the seemingly impossible if we want the
> seemingly impossible to become a reality" - *Vaclav Havel*
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-- 



Brian Conley

Director, Small World News

http://smallworldnews.tv

m: 646.285.2046

Skype: brianjoelconley
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