[messaging] yet another CT thread

elijah elijah at riseup.net
Fri Oct 3 12:54:12 PDT 2014

On 10/03/2014 11:54 AM, Tao Effect wrote:
> On Oct 3, 2014, at 11:43 AM, elijah <elijah at riseup.net>

>> In the auditing-infrastructure thing, the hope is that user agents will
>> be written to smartly and automatically perform the auditing. Yes, it is
>> detection after the fact. The prediction is that the number of people
>> running an auditing user agent will be greater than the number of
>> senders doing fingerprint verification, and that this greater number
>> will provider greater deterrent against bogus key endorsements.
> In the CT world, auditing and monitoring are two very different things,
> and they must not be confused.
> Auditing does not detect mis-issued certificates/keys/whatever before
> the fact, during the fact, or after the fact [1].

Hmmm... I am not even talking about CT, but the general class of
approaches that rely on auditing (of which CT is one example).

It feels to me that you are compelled to keep bringing up this point
about CT, even in reply to tangentially related posts, because you have
not received any sense that others understand your critique.

I do agree that discussions of CT are fair game for this list, since now
we have a user-key CT proposal. In the interest of having more
productive CT discussions, maybe you can help me understand your critique.

Your scenario, afaik, is an attacker who can mitm any and all network
connections and so can inject bad data in the gossip among monitors and
the connections between user-agents-auditors and monitors. To me, this
assumes that this global mitm attack has existed for all time, since
once a user agent or a monitor is able to initially bootstrap some
correctly authenticated secure connection with a monitor, they should be
able to detect subsequent mitm attempts from that point forward.

So, let me ask:

(1) do you agree that once correctly authenticated connections are
established with monitors that future mitm will be prevented (connection
will fail close, system will refuse to work)?

(2) if not, do you agree that CT could be modified to perform in this


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