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News Obama sides with Cameron on cryptography stance

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Gareth Halfacree, 19 Jan 2015.

  1. Locknload

    Locknload Jolly Good Egg

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    It is a murky world Corky. :)
     
  2. David_Fitzy

    David_Fitzy I modded a keyboard once....

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    Since when did facts and fundamental laws of the universe sway politicians

    A fair few years ago I read that asymmetric keys were used for transferring symmetric keys for the continued conversation as symmetric encryption tended to be faster. If this law is ratified then I hope they simply require the symmetric key being encrypted with the governments public key at some stupidly high bit count
     
  3. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    That's basically how all public key cryptography works, but you're misremembering a little bit: asymmetric (public-key) is slow, symmetric (shared secret) is fast. Asymmetric works by generating a unique symmetric key, which is then encrypted using the asymmetric algorithm. The result: a block of ciphertext which requires the asymmetric algorithm's private key(s) to decrypt, even though the actual data itself is encrypted with a faster symmetric algorithm using a 'shared' secret (the 'sharing' taking place within the actual encrypted file itself.)

    What you could do, and what you may be suggesting - it's early, I might have misread your comment - is add the government's asymmetric public key as a mandatory recipient. That way, the ciphertext will be decryptable by its intended recipients plus the government, but nobody else. Right until some low-level employee who shouldn't have had access in the first place leaves a laptop with the private key on a train, of course...
     
  4. David_Fitzy

    David_Fitzy I modded a keyboard once....

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    Yes that is what I was trying to convey, I just wasn't sure if it was common practice today with modern fast computers

    Exactly my suggestion. That said any competent criminal will simply not transmit or falsify the government's copy of the symmetric key. They would only be discovered through random decryption checks or by already being under surveillance
     

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