Quote of the day–Bruce Schneier

[I]t’s always interesting to see provably secure cryptosystems broken.

Bruce Schneier
December 30, 2009
Quantum Cryptography Cracked
[Security can be a very, very difficult problem. It is like a chain in that it is no stronger than the weakest link. This is the reason TSA is A Security Theater. The same can be said about gun control–only several orders of magnitude greater in strength.

Quantum Cryptography is “provably secure” given a set of assumptions. Those assumptions include both known explicit assumptions and implicit assumptions which the prover may or may not be fully aware of. By making those assumptions invalid the proof falls apart.

No one seriously attempts to formally prove gun control provides benefits to society. The well informed anti-gun people frequently don’t even make claims. They just point out all the adverse effects of gun ownership then announce their conclusions that there should be more gun control. This is not science. This is more like a witch doctor chanting around the fire and making pronouncements about the evil spirits.

If someone were attempt make a formal proof about benefits of gun control they would quickly find out that the anti-gun people make many assumptions which are provably false. Typically among these are that guns are “designed to kill” or “all gunshot deaths are illegal/evil/bad”, or a prohibition on guns will work better with firearms than it did with alcohol and recreational drugs. With such assumptions so blatantly false the claims of there being benefits to gun control are laughable.–Joe]


2 thoughts on “Quote of the day–Bruce Schneier

  1. Can’t add anything to that. I’ll call it “Joe’s epitaph of the anti gun faith” as it does make a very succinct epitaph.

    It is also a very good example of arguing basic principles. In order to win, the anti-rights movement has to either side-track the discussion or shut it down in some way (crying, “Extremist!” or other finger-pointing is one of those ways, but what can be more pathologically extreme than denying basic human rights? And, BYW, being “extreme” is not necessarily bad. Being extremely just, extremely talented, extremely productive, extremely prosperous, etc., are all good).

    Now shall we look at the benefits to society of respecting human rights? Will anyone care to argue against that idea? Come on; make my day.

  2. I thought the premise of quantum crypto was that you could tell if the message had been decoded, not that it was uncracjable.

    Given most crypto failures in the past were as a result of not actually realising the codes had been broken (and I’m thinking of Bletchley Park and the enigma machine and the cracking of the Japanese codes here) knowing information had been compromised is huge.

    Note that they are also taking about cracking the detector, not the actual crypto itself. This is not really cracking the crypto. If you have physical access to the hardware you have the keys to the castle anyway. That, and the hardware will evolve and reduce the attack surface also.

    So this enhds up in the “interesting. but hardly earth shattering” news.

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