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[liberationtech] Here Come the Encryption Apps

Maxim Kammerer mk at
Sun Mar 10 00:35:22 PST 2013

On Sun, Mar 10, 2013 at 5:29 AM, Nathan of Guardian
<nathan at> wrote:
> Wow, he has no bias against open-source at all:
> " don't want to scrounge around with messy open-source software -- for
> example, journalists working in dangerous locations or business
> executives running overseas operations. "

For some reason some cryptographers seem to perpetuate the idea that
correctly using crypto is something utterly complex and should be
reserved to experts like themselves, or at least require their solemn
approval. This is not the case with cryptographers that I know (who
mainly publish papers in their specialized fields), but it is
apparently the case with cryptographers who like publicity. The reason
for this bias is probably vanity, research agenda (as is probably the
case with Adi Shamir who IIRC deals extensively with side-channel
attacks, and who recently wrote about a "post-cryptography world"), or
inability to contain oneself (a sure sign is writing about politics
instead of crypto).

Cryptography is not difficult, however. It is not a secretive field
for a long time, and for correctly using crypto, not much is needed
besides a good basic computer science education, an
undergraduate-level course in cryptography, solid programming skills
and some common sense. Clearly, many (most?) people do not qualify,
but that's not a reason to pamper one's ego by basing reviews on
amateur software as if it somehow represents the best of what
open-source world has to offer, and using amount of press coverage as
an excuse to do that (a lame excuse - if you are an established
researcher, you are supposed to know what to write about to begin

Maxim Kammerer
Liberté Linux:

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