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[liberationtech] "Securing Email Communications from Facebook" offering PGP support

Thomas Delrue thomas at epistulae.net
Mon Jun 1 12:35:38 PDT 2015


On 06/01/2015 01:46 PM, Steve Weis wrote:
> Hi Libtech. Facebook added support to put a PGP public key to your
> profile and optionally use it to encrypt email notifications that are
> sent to you:
> https://www.facebook.com/notes/protect-the-graph/securing-email-communications-from-facebook/1611941762379302

Forgive my ignorance but what is the point of this 'feature'?
Wouldn't FB (and thus anyone able to coerce FB as well) still have the
unencrypted data?

Wooden leg, meet band-aid.

For those who don't remember, there was an excellent and very plausible
'Suppose if' situation written up about a year ago on libtech by rsk.
The relevant part went something like this (and I've attached the
original mail as well to give credit where it is due):

---BEGIN---
"You see, Twitter wants to do business here in Elbonia.  So does
Facebook. So I would summon their corporate weasels to a meeting.  In
that meeting, one of my minions (you don't think I'd do this personally,
do you?) would explain to them that we must protect our great nation
from subversives and criminals and anarchists and terrorists (ding ding
ding magic word!) and thus we must have certain data fed to us...or,
most regrettably, we will not be able to allow them to do business in
our country.

I think they'll cave.  Don't you?  After all, there are profits to be
made and it's such a small thing that I'm asking."
----END----

Sure, that e-mail notification "can't be decrypted" but that doesn't
mean the same as "the same information is secure and not available
through other means either".

I fail to see how this is anything more than smoke and mirrors giving
the illusion of secure communications.

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