Schneier on Security
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March 25, 2008
Martin Hellman on the Invention of Public-Key Cryptography
At the DISI conference last December, Martin Hellman gave a lecture on the invention of public-key cryptography. A video is online (it's hard to find, search for his name), along with PowerPoint slides.
(Unfortunately, the video isn't set up for streaming; in order to view the it, you'll have to download the ten files, then use a fairly recent version of WinZip to concatenate the files.)
EDITED TO ADD (3/26): Now on Google Video.
Posted on March 25, 2008 at 1:21 PM
• 11 Comments
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I've taken the liberty of posting the video on google video: http://video.google.com/videoplay?...
I find his Q-and-A at the end disheartening. He seems to really believe that export restrictions are good because they "keep terrorists from getting inviolable secrecy." It's truly saddening, as terrorists aren't exactly opposed to smuggling things around, especially not anything as trivial to duplicate and transport as software. Perhaps the ban on hardware helps (can we still listen to the Taliban's satellite phones?), but software is a non-starter.
(As mentioned in the video summary, if the original producer would this video taken down, please contact me. I wasn't certain just how libre "Libre" meant on the page...)
Let me second Josh Myer's comments. To pillage Bruce's words, Hellman may be a brilliant guy, but I don't think he has the "security mindset". He uncritically accepts that ongoing cryptanalysis by the NSA is an integral part of maintaining the security of the world today, and it's as though he's never come across the idea that security systems are only as strong as their weakest part, and that weakest part is not usually in the cryptographic algorithms used.
He considered himself a bit more radical in his younger days, with his "Luke Skywalker" attitude. Well, Bruce has often been just as critical in these pages, yet no-one would characterize him as "Luke Skywalker". :)
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