FW: Aniston, Pitt Anonymized, Key Lost

From: Chris Rasch (crasch@openknowledge.org)
Date: Sun Apr 15 2001 - 20:28:19 MDT


-------- Original Message --------
Subject: <nettime> FW: Aniston, Pitt Anonymized, Key Lost
Date: Sun, 15 Apr 2001 20:04:45 -0400
From: "R. A. Hettinga" <rah@shipwright.com>
To: Digital Bearer Settlement List <dbs@philodox.com>, dcsb@ai.mit.edu

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Date: Sun, 15 Apr 2001 11:36:30 -0500
Subject: <nettime> FW: Aniston, Pitt Anonymized, Key Lost
From: Bruce Sterling <bruces@well.com>
To: <nettime-l@bbs.thing.net>
Sender: nettime-l-request@bbs.thing.net
Reply-To: Bruce Sterling <bruces@well.com>

From: futurefeedforward@futurefeedforward.com
Date: Sun, 15 Apr 2001 09:22:57 -0700
To: <bruces@well.com>
Subject: Aniston, Pitt Anonymized, Key Lost

April 23, 2070

Aniston, Pitt Anonymized, Key Lost

MALIBU--Spokespeople for celebrity activists Brad Pitt and Jennifer
Aniston
confirmed today that the longtime couple is currently anonymized and
that
the decryption keys have been lost or damaged. "Brad and Jennifer have
always enjoyed mixing with the public," explains a spokesperson for the
couple. "They're very down to earth that way. They had just turned on
their anonymizers for a trip down to Pizza Bell to pick up some dinner.
When they went to turn them off, they found that something had gone
wrong.
They've both remained encrypted for the past couple of weeks or so.
We're
hopeful that the technical people will be able to recover the keys in
due
course."

 Pitt and Aniston both use recent versions of PGP-compliant anonymizing
hardware sold by Oakley under the GygesTM brand. The Gyges system
includes
millions of self-replicating nanoMEMS that reside in the epidermis. The
small machines each control a nanoscopic mirror. Networked by low-power
RF
connections, the MEMS form a giant neural net dedicated to anonymizing
the
wearer through control of the mirrors. Light striking the wearer is
re-directed in a seemingly random fashion, disguising the wearer's true
appearance. Recent versions of Gyges have begun using distributed
65K-bit
encryption of the "fa┴ade" in order to thwart filter-enabled lenses and
glasses.

 "We've gotten quite used to seeing anonymized patrons," notes Sally
Okibuchi, manager of Sony's New Fish Experience, a popular L.A.
celebrity
haunt. "It was disconcerting when they started to show up a few years
ago,
looking all blocky, like some kind of whistleblower or secret government
witness or something. And those scrambled voices were a real hoot. But
some of the newer anonymizers have a real sense of style, some of them
are
really beautiful."

 According to sources near the couple, Pitt and Aniston regularly used a
beta patch to Gyges that enables "cross-keying," or the sharing of keys
between users and specially enabled HUD glasses through a proprietary
PKI.
Pitt and Aniston were known to use designer HUD glasses to enable them
to
see each other while they remained anonymized to the general public.
Experts who have examined the couple hypothesize that a bug in the patch
is
causing their anonymizers to export the dynamically generated keys to
the
associated HUD glasses while deleting the local copy of the key,
preventing
the systems from decrypting the couple.

 "It's a real shame from our perspective," notes AOL Studio Chief
Marianne
Asse. "Two of our most bankable stars have just plummeted in value.
Sure,
they can still see each other, but what about their obligations to us
and to
their public? Their contracts specifically require key escrow. They
should
have given us a copy of the key to hold in case of emergencies like
this.
They didn't, and that has put them in default. According to contract,
that
grants us a right to use their likenesses digitally on stand-ins, and
that's
probably where we're headed."

 "There's a good reason Jennifer and Brad didn't trust the studio with
their
keys," explains the couple's spokesperson. "They've had trouble in the
past
with the studio leaking the keys to contracted paparazzi and poaching
extra-contractual public appearances. We're prepared to talk about
exactly
who has broken the contracts and when. The default clause specifies
that
AOL gets the right to digital likenesses only if Brad and Jennifer are
substantially unable to perform their duties. Sure, their bodies and
faces
are anonymized and won't show up right on camera, but their hair remains
perfectly shootable. As long as they can shoot the hair, they've got
their
stars. The studio can digitally add their own likenesses to them. This
'stand-in' talk is just the studios trying to get out of paying the
stars,
and it's not right."

 Though fans remain hopeful, encryption experts outside the Pitt-Aniston
camp doubt that the couple can be decrypted. "This is an example of bad
design and inadequate testing in a life-critical application," notes one
expert. "Getting them decrypted would require something like harnessing
the
quantum computational power of a body the size of the sun. They're just
not
going to be cracked for centuries."

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The Internet Bearer Underwriting Corporation <http://www.ibuc.com/>
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"... however it may deserve respect for its usefulness and antiquity,
[predicting the end of the world] has not been found agreeable to
experience." -- Edward Gibbon, 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire'



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