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Re: The future will be easy to use

At 11:06 AM 11/27/95, Raph Levien wrote:

.. stuff..

>The competition for which cryptographic protocol wins will be
>decided on the basis of usability.
.. stuff..
>   If cypherpunks are to have any hope of getting their vision of strong
>crypto implemented and deployed, it has to be in the context of usable

.. stuff..

>   There's no way around it. This kind of system will not make it in the
>big time. As I see it, any system that does must have the following
>   * Some variant on the Web of Trust.
>   * Online key-servers for getting keys in real time.
>   * A clean mechanism for validating keys through alternate channels.
>   There are three possible outcomes: we build it, the NSA builds it, or
>Microsoft/Netscape builds it. This last outcome might not be so bad, but
>only in the first one can we rely on our principles being advanced.

This is a very important period. The technology is young enough that a
window is open for a non-giant to produce a dominant product.

On the other hand, it takes actual coordination of resources. I'm not sure
that it is within the range of Cypherpunks to take advantage of this
window. There is still no agreement whether the group can be said to have a
single vision, nor whether people within it want to be bounded by another's

If people really wish to take advantage of this and really push things, it
means forming a group, made up of Cypherpunk members perhaps, but much
smaller, and capable of working together. Also capable of handling not only
the theory, but good solid code, GUI, PR, meetings, talking to the
government, etc.

It is an open window yes, but not a simple one. I'd love to see widespread
use of secure encryption, however I don't think the potential exists within
the Cypherpunk framework to reach it as 'Cypherpunks'. The question then
is, whether Cypherpunks should change, or whether a smaller group will be


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