[Wolves] Encryption

Philip Moore ptm48 at uklinux.net
Thu Aug 12 21:49:28 BST 2004


Many knowledgable contributors have written on the topic of PGP (certainly 
seems to have fired good debate).  I have followed the debate with interest 
and have learned a great deal from it - I have a few observations:

Cryptography is a topic that at its heart is the realm of the mathematics 
dating from the second world war (we all remember Alan Turing and don't 
forget the word computer originated from the human mathematician churning out 

The topic of encryption is one which is mired in political interference - it 
is arguably possible to encrypt messages that are practically impossible to 
decrypt without the key, this can be achieved using 128 bit encryption but 
the good old US of A have argued for a maximum of 32 bit encryption because 
it is easier (easy?) to decrypt.

There is another potential solution if your e-mail traffic is very sensitive - 
use steganography and if it is very sensitive combine encryption with 
steganography - then if the steganography fails there remains the problem of 
decrypting the message.

Ultimately Quantum computing (with it's superposition) offers the potential to 
create unbreakable encryption and break all existing encryption algorithms.

The argument relating to privacy of the individual is mired in the conflict 
(arguably moral rather that legal) between the DPA and RIPA.

An interesting debate - one which I will follow - and from which I will learn.

Philip Moore

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