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[liberationtech] DecryptoCat

Maxim Kammerer mk at
Thu Jul 11 09:38:14 PDT 2013

On Tue, Jul 9, 2013 at 4:57 PM, Jacob Appelbaum <jacob at> wrote:
> While I think Maxim is viewed as exceedingly harsh in how he writes, I
> think that your response is really the wrong way to deal with him. We
> should consider that his cultural background is different and that as
> far as I understand it, he isn't a native english speaker. Between the
> two things, perhaps we might just ask him to be nicer?

I am often harsh because I dislike circlejerks. Activists are too
often completely unable to employ critical thinking when the result of
that thinking would go contrary to their ideology — even more so when
said activists lack scientific/technical education. E.g., recall that
case last year where legal activists on this list finally succeeded in
(or at least supported, not sure) enhancing export controls of
software [1]. I was as annoyed as you, but I wasn't surprised. This is
what these people do: claim they support some idea (e.g., freedom to
write software), but easily do something to the contrary when the
result is not aligned with their ideology. There is no critical
thinking involved — nothing in their life accustomed these people to
the need to think critically.

Anyway, back to the topic. I don't care much about Cryptocat, simply
because I don't care much about web programming. I don't think I
participated in a discussion about Cryptocat previously. I did
converse with Nadim when he was going to do something stupid in the
project once, but got tired quickly when he found it hard to grasp
simple CS concepts. So he fixed the problem, and I stopped caring,
fine. But in this thread, I pointed out something very simple:
Cryptocat paid for professional peer review (audit, whatever you call
it), and it didn't work. Then, people start to lecture me for some
reason, as if I have any reason to listen to that chatter. Did
Cryptocat contact Veracode for a response? I mean, they spent CIA
money on that, no? Or was that money spent just to be able to write a
rosy blog post? E.g., I thought about hiring their audit services as
well before — is that a bad idea? Is the value in such an audit only
in being able to convince people who don't understand anything about
programming? So, say, clueless people got happy due to an audit, and
Cryptocat people were forced to fix a bug due to someone finding and
widely publishing it — I can understand that. So, where are the
answers to these questions? Why am I reading useless apologies and
expressions of support instead?


Maxim Kammerer
Liberté Linux:

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