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Your faith in the slowness of computers, and the good intentions of certain agencies, and the randomness of algorithmic random number generators, and the lack of agents in one's organization, and the ability of any human-membered team to avoid encryption mistakes is entertaining.
by asdf on Tue Aug 20th, 2013 at 10:11:02 AM EST
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Again. only people with an inexplicable fear of soldering wire would ever use a pseudorandom generator when nature has given us granite and science has given us geigercounters. Or any of a dozen very easily put together true random number generators. This is not difficult, nor expensive. It is trivial.
by Thomas on Tue Aug 20th, 2013 at 10:23:45 AM EST
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Assuming you're not in NYC, where Peter Vallone tried to ban geiger counters, along with all other devices to measure pollution. I don't think they suceeded, but they may try again.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Aug 20th, 2013 at 10:33:00 AM EST
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Computer speed isn't really an issue with one-time pads. The output is effectively random, if I recall properly (checks, yes I do), so there simply isn't the information there to break the code without the key, even in theory. You're not relying of the difficulty of computing anything.

At no point did I discuss the use of algorithmic random number generators: I may have neglected to specify, but's thats only because of the well-known idiocy of using one in connection with encryption.

I'm only discussing securing electronic communications: the rest of the trade craft is left as an exercise for the reader.

Given a one-time pad, using it to encrypt a message isn't the most difficult thing imaginable. It's the sort of thing you should be able to build to a very high level of assurance in a relatively short time. Be careful about what you write onto your transfer medium and you're pretty safe.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Aug 20th, 2013 at 10:33:25 AM EST
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Long reply replaced by "fallible humans."
by asdf on Tue Aug 20th, 2013 at 11:43:02 AM EST
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Sure. The risk of exposure rises exponentially (or thereabouts?)  in the number of people involved.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Aug 20th, 2013 at 12:07:00 PM EST
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But that's sort of the point: if you want secure communications you have to go those sort of lengths and they're bloody impractical for anything other than point-to-point within a very small group of people or a very professional organisation.

Otherwise assume the NSA and friends are listening to everything.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Aug 20th, 2013 at 12:14:46 PM EST
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Right, and with the smallest number of participants, two, you have to hope and pray that the other guy is not going to turn you in.
by asdf on Tue Aug 20th, 2013 at 12:18:45 PM EST
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