Re: Brin on privacy

The Low Willow (
Sun, 22 Dec 1996 14:25:19 -0800 (PST)

On Dec 22, 12:03am, Lyle Burkhead wrote:

} Eugene Leitl proposes to make routine low-overhead encryption part of
} TCP/IP. I am only claiming that NSA can tell the difference between
} an encrypted message generated by such a routine algorithm, and one
} generated by a more sophisticated algorithm. Not that they can read the

Easy solution. Make the more sophisticated algorithm routine. Make it
modular, so RSA or IDEA can be easily replaced if needed, later. I
thought I read of some standards being worked on which incorporated PGP,
actually. Building Vingere ciphers into TCP/IP won't help much;
building in RC4 would. If this would be inconvenient, well, maybe it's
worth it. Besides, predictable improvements should last long enough so
that continuous encryption is fairly feasible; those same improvements
won't help NSA or criminal crackers one bit. Well, some bits, but not
nearly enough.

I want fast symmetric kilobit-key encryption. Search space of 10^300.
10^100 particles in the universe, each a hypercomputer running at 10^100
attempts a second, given the age of the universe (10^17 seconds) would
be worthless. Bwa-ha-ha!

} > A good pseudo-random number generator is indistinguishable
} > from a true set of random numbers. The RC4 stream cipher (= PRNG)
} > is a case in point. The output has a totally white spectrum.

Actually I was told that RC4 _isn't_ totally white; that the cypherpunks
et al. were gleeful when this was discovered "Ha! This will show RSA
Inc. to allow public criticism!" and were subsequently confounded when
the skew in the output proved to be almost worthless in helping to break

Rudi made RC4 sound very weird.

} > The day a spy agency like NSA gets such status and budget will be
} > the beginning of the Second AMerican Civil War.
} Nope. That's a totally naive statement.

Did seem a bit extreme, I agree.

Merry part,
-xx- Damien R. Sullivan X-) <*>

"It was no sin, only a failure. 'And even if my troop fell thence
vanquished, yet to have attempted a lofty enterprise is still a trophy.'"
-"Forty-two years in Holy Orders, you hear all the sins in the Lexicon.
But angelism! Now there's a genuine rarey."
-- Julian May, _The Adversary_