Questions to ask before launching a crypto-payments feature

by @edent | , , , , , | 5 comments | Read ~291 times.

A tiny lego Storm Trooper eats a chocolate coin.

Messaging app Signal is launching a payment service in the UK. This will allow users to send each other money cryptocurrency. Many people have written about why this is a daft idea. But they've mostly talked about why cryptocoins corrupt everything they touch. I want to talk about why this is a shitty idea from…

PGP Sign Your Twitter Messages

by @edent | , , | 3 comments | Read ~2,887 times.

Message saying "Read alt text for PGP sig".

I'm not sure if I'm the first person to do this - but I'm going to claim credit anyway! Hello! This Tweet has been signed with my PGP Key. pic.twitter.com/ed4rcldlvw — Terence Eden (@edent) May 14, 2020 You can verify by pasting the alt text into keybase.io/verify - or by using your favourite command line…

PGP Encrypt Twitter DMs with Keybase

by @edent | , , , | 1 comment | Read ~901 times.

This is a quick tutorial on how to encrypt your Twitter messages using PGP with the help of Keybase.io. I read an article yesterday which seemed to imply that Twitter was mangling PGP encrypted messages (albeit unintentionally). There is a minor bug in Twitter's web interface - but PGP seems to work perfectly in apps.…

The Usability of Anti-Apartheid Encryption

by @edent | , , | Read ~577 times.

(An adaptation of my earlier blog post on the same topic1.) This is a case study focusing on the usability of encryption systems as used by political dissidents in Apartheid era South Africa. Background - South Africa Between 1948 and 1994, the nation of South Africa was ruled by an ethnically white minority. They set…

Spycatcher's Relevance in 2014

by @edent | , | 1 comment | Read ~658 times.

In 1987 MI5's former Assistant Director, Peter Wright, released his autobiography. Spycatcher: The Candid Autobiography of a Senior Intelligence Officer. It was immediately banned by the British Government. Although the Internet wasn't around to facilitate its distribution, it was trivial to obtain copies imported from Australia. As a boy, I remember seeing the publicity about…

The Hardest Problem In Encryption? Usability.

by @edent | , , , | 2 comments | Read ~603 times.

I have been reading a wonderful account of how The ANC in South Africa developed and used encryption to avoid persecution by the Apartheid regime. The article is a good 15,000 words and will take you some time to read. It is a fascinating account of how an ersatz encryption technology was developed by enthusiastic…

Why You Can't Trust Government Provided Cryptography

by @edent | , , , | 1 comment | Read ~111 times.

You should visit Bletchley Park. Seriously. It's the most amazing museum - dedicated to the wartime effort to crack Enigma; the Nazi cryptographic machines. The tour guides of Bletchley Park are full of fascinating stories. They can tell you how all the primitive computers work, about the history of each building, they know all the…

You Never Call, You Never Write...

by @edent | , , , , ,

As Shakespeare said... "[Blog posts are] a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." Today Ofcom published the responses it had for its consultation on plans for the BBC to encrypt its HD broadcasts. The blogosphere went nuts! DRM? Not on our watch.  Boing Boing mobilised its army of commentators,…