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Author Topic: EU's Response To Echelon  (Read 3407 times)

unstructuredreality

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EU's Response To Echelon
« on: May 17, 2004, 09:04:04 pm »

The European Union is to invest €11 million (US $13 million) over the next four years to develop a secure communication system based on quantum cryptography, using physical laws governing the universe on the smallest scale to create and distribute unbreakable encryption keys, project coordinators said Monday.

http://security.itworld.com/4361/040517eue...lon/page_1.html

Sounds good to me, there is a post in the pgp forum with a link about this subject.

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rick

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EU's Response To Echelon
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2004, 03:24:48 pm »

Sounds good to you? The quantum encryption is only accessible to governments, if the EU will get her way. No, sir!
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unstructuredreality

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EU's Response To Echelon
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2004, 03:55:47 pm »

Why couldn't stronger encryption technology be developed by the private sector, wouldn't stronger encryption be a benefit?  I posted about a concept that was mentioned in the PGP forum.  This concept- quantum cryptography-sounds good to me.  As with anything like this, potential government abuse is a reality, on the other hand this tech could strengthen and expand freedom.  The EU isn't the only place investing and researching this.  Really these things are just a high tech cat and mouse game like it's always been.  The EU has already put in place a police state that can crush you now, never mind wasting the 11 million Euros


NuclearDruid posted this article over in PGP.
http://www.spacedaily.com/news/cyberwar-04h.html.  

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« Last Edit: May 18, 2004, 04:00:02 pm by unstructuredreality »
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rockchucker

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EU's Response To Echelon
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2004, 04:39:09 pm »

Quote
Why couldn't stronger encryption technology be developed by the private sector, wouldn't stronger encryption be a benefit?  I posted about a concept that was mentioned in the PGP forum.  This concept- quantum cryptography-sounds good to me.
Stronger encryption technologies are/have been developed by the private sector. PKI was a private sector invention, by Diffie and Hellman. (Well, the concept was actually invented by the Brit gov 6 years earlier, except they didn't publicize it -- didn't use it either, at the time). RSA was also private-sector.

Although we don't know what might be already in use by NSA, MI5, etc., there's significant private-sector activity in cryptography. Even Schneier (IIRC) doesn't believe that NSA is very far ahead of the state of the art of public knowledge. There are too many math wizards working on the problems, who don't want to work in the gov sector.

True, governments will step in an classify research if they think it's too dangerous. But that doesn't necessarily mean it doesn't get published anyway.

Oh, don't forget that this quantum stuff is currently practical only for secure transmission of keys -- not actual encrypted data in volume. Both articles are talking about quantum key exchange. The IT World article tossed in a mention of "secure generation", but I don't read that as meaning they've actually used a quantum computer to generate a key. That technology (quantum computing) is at the embryonic stage. Maybe they've come up with a way to use quantum effects for generation of random numbers (or perhaps an an entropy source for a random number generator) for input into a key generation algorithm.
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rick

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EU's Response To Echelon
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2004, 08:54:46 am »

Well, a free market, unbreakable encryption device is nice. Not too long ago, a 16-year - old computer savvy in Germany developed such a device. He tried to sell it with unexpected results: He was detained and charged for violations of the Military Weapons Control Act (Kriegswaffenkontrollgesetz). These encryption devices are considered weaopns which are restricted to government use only. Private possession (!!!!!!), use or trading gives you a mandatory 5+ - year prison sentence.
The poor wretch was not put in jail, though. He had to destroy his work and swear that he would never ever again try to restore it.
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Roy J. Tellason

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EU's Response To Echelon
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2004, 07:38:14 pm »

The article,  as far as I could see,  did not refer to quantum computers nor did it refer to any sort of quantum techniques to generate keys.  It seemed to be referring to the use of quantum phenomena as a way of detecting whether transmissions had been intercepted over a photonic (optical) link,  and that's all.  Since Echelon is a matter of intercepting transmissions,  that's the point of concern.

This whole thing is only going to be useful to those folks that have fiber optic connections to _both_ ends of their link,  and that are close enough together to not need any repeaters,  which are also going to be points of vulnerability.

As well,  there's always the possibility of "tapping" things at either end,  if you wave enough money at somebody sooner or later *someone* will succumb to temptation.  It doesn't even have to be someone who's working there currently,  it could be an equipment manufacturer,  an installation technician,  or all sorts of other folks.  The best security in the world isn't going to get past that...
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