[Freedombox-discuss] FreedomBox 'bump/hi-five' challenge

bertagaz at ptitcanardnoir.org bertagaz at ptitcanardnoir.org
Sat Jun 25 10:49:36 UTC 2011

On Fri, Jun 24, 2011 at 05:43:17PM -0400, ian at churchkey.org wrote:
> On 06/24/2011 05:25 PM, Erik Harmon wrote:
> > Color coding keys is good, but even the presence of a particular public
> > key on one's keyring could be incriminating or suspicious. Even if the
> > same person wants to do secret and casual communication, it's probably a
> > good idea to more strongly segregate those identities.
> If having a certain keyID on your phone is too dangerous, than this
> phone app is probably not the right way to exchange information.
> However, nothing says that you have to have the actual key on your phone
> to have a keyid stored as one of your identities.
> People could even intentionally carry the key fingerprints of
> politically unpopular activists in their phone app's list of identities
> so that the actual activist is not the only one with that identity on
> his/her phone. Depending on the circumstances, that would fall somewhere
> between running a Tor exit node and standing up to yell "I am Spartacus".

I was wondering if this problem couldn't be resolved in this way : let say
the phone has its own dedicated GnuPG key (might be an interesting idea
anyway). QR code might just be images stored on the phone, not generated
each time from a key store in its keyring.
Then this QR images could be stored encrypted on the phone. The
verification would just be a matter of decrypting the right image and
print on the screen.

It doesn't really solve the problem, as it just hides the information
behind a GnuPG encryption, and thus a passphrase (but maybe passphrases
are too hard to type on a phone?) that attackers could retrieve with
enough wrench hits. It also puts a lot of trust on the phone device
itself, which I'm not sure is a good idea.

Still even without encryption, having just a QR code image, and not the
key itself stored on the phone might be enough to be able to deny being
the owner of this identity. OTOH it would at least be a proof that you did
at some point meet the concerned person. Cause as it was said, you could
share it on several friends phones, even if this question might not be
that easy.


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