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Re: subjective names and MITM

On Fri, 6 Oct 1995, Mike McNally wrote:

> [email protected] writes:
>  > [email protected] (Mike McNally) writes:
>  > >[email protected] writes:
>  > > > There is a difference between a MITM and the case you describe ...
>  > 
>  > >Seems to me that the idea of "communicating with the person you think
>  > >you are" is intractably difficult if you're not sitting in the same
>  > >room. ...
>  >
>  > I can certainly agree with the attractive simplicity of this notion.  My
>  > point is that it is practically useless. ...
> Oddly enough, it seems to me that Hal (if that really *is* his name)
> and I (and Carl & others) are saying basically the same things, but
> drawing completely different conclusions.  Strange.  I'm willing to
> wait to see what the peer review process concludes.

I think Hal and some other Cypherpunks (Me, You, Carl, etc.) are not 
proceeding from one of the same assumptions.  Specifically, Hal seems to 
be proceeding from the assumption that the person "on the other end of 
the line" is in fact a known physical entity who has a meat reputation 
tied to the name.  I'm proceeding from the assumption that the person on 
the other end of the line has no specific RL reputation that I'm basing 
the relationship on, just the online one.

Here's an example:
There's someone on the list, now, apparently, with the name of "Steven 
Levy."  Hal assumes that, when communicating with that "Steven Levy," one 
intends to communicate with the fairly-well-known journalist of that 
name, and thus  certification of RL identity is important.  I assume 
that, unless there's a specific reason otherwise, I want to have an 
intellectual conversation (or financial transaction, etc) that isn't 
predicated on this being "the" Steven Levy.  In that case, certification 
of RL identity is irrelevant.

(Not to pick on you, Steve, but I needed an obvious example familiar to 
list members... The other candidate was Steve Wozniak, to whom I sent fan 
e-mail the other day... :) )

Jon Lasser                <j[email protected]>            (410)494-3072 
          Visit my home page at http://www.goucher.edu/~jlasser/
  You have a friend at the NSA: Big Brother is watching. Finger for PGP key.