[messaging] Value of deniability

Petter Ericson pettter at acc.umu.se
Fri Dec 12 04:41:07 PST 2014

> > For deniability to have any real world effect, there'd need to be a LOT
> of people forging chat logs pretty routinely. As it's only relevant when
> there's some breakdown in privacy, and that should hopefully be rare in a
> good cryptographic system, getting people to routinely forge or edit logs
> seems .... hard.
> It doesn't need to be routine, just frequent enough that nobody assumes
> authencity.

The point is: it isn't, and frankly I'm highly sceptical it will ever be.
Further, an unauthenticated chat log _is_ potentially more convincing than you
are (see the anakata case for example), and no one stores authenticated chat
logs that I know of. Do you?  Relatedly: have you altered chat logs at some
point? Specifically, have you _added_ stuff to a chat log? Do you know of an
instance where this has happened?

Would a judge, police office, prosecutor or jury have any knowledge about such
a thing having happened? Would they decide that this is likely to have happened
in any specific instance?

Deniability is a solution looking for a problem, and so far it's not doing a
great job of finding it.



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Petter Ericson (pettter at acc.umu.se)

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