From: Lord Groundhog <>
Date: Tue Jul 17 2007 - 12:30:23 EDT

~~~ On 2007/07/15 23:28, Joshua Cearley at wrote

> Of course, this is all futile anyway. If you use 8024-bit encryption
> on any sensitive documents, none of this invasion of privacy matters
> because they'll spend the next ~40 years trying to decrypt your
> documents. I can't imagine AT&T's anti-pirate scanner is going to work
> at all, because it would have to use some kind of neural network and
> it would be completely defeated by any kind of simple crypto (perhaps
> even just shifting bits up one which is weak, but is known to break
> content filters and it's fast).

Am I the only one here that thinks you must have meant *1*024-bit? AFAIK,
the jury's still out as to whether 1024-bit encryption really is uncrackable
(as opposed to "usually uncracked") or whether that's only theoretically the
case. Over the centuries "uncrackable" encryption has not had a great track
record for the most part. Government agencies don't get funded lavishly for
being lousy at code-breaking.

For myself, it wouldn't surprise me if someone came up with evidence that at
least in some countries, the manufacturers/distributors of encryption
software were required (secretly, I presume) to put a "back door" in the
software and to supply the security services with a key. I seem to recall
reading that there are some countries that have all but made encryption
software illegal (iffy to detect enforce, but that could be said of any
number of laws). And there was a specific rumour to that effect, never
proven AFAIK, even about PGP some years back.

Once there's a back door, neural nets are overkill. You just have to know
how to type. I know about the USA's (anti-)Patriot Act and similar laws in
other countries, by which passwords can be demanded on pain of imprisonment,
but if they're going to violate human rights, I'd rather make them do it
explicitly without my co-operation.

I don't think the issue here is AT&T's anti-pirate scanner, as much as NSA's
dust-bin approach to taking everything that passes through AT&T's lines.

And if they did already have some means to break commercially available
encryption, I'm pretty sure they wouldn't tell us.

The issue for us though, is that whatever arrangements other providers may
or may not have with espionage agencies like the NSA, it seems quite clear
what kind of arrangements AT&T has.

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

łAny sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from a Newton.˛
            -- What Arthur C. Clarke meant to say
(With thanks to Chod Lang)

~~~ ~~~ ~~~
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Received on Tue Jul 17 12:33:26 2007

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