[Enigmail] General Opinion and unverified bug

Phil Stracchino phils at caerllewys.net
Sun Mar 8 22:36:33 CET 2015


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On 03/08/15 16:05, Kristy Chambers wrote:
> The usability team consists of some people, like Robert, who "has 
> lifelong close affiliations with government and law-enforcement". 
> Maybe he is an NSA-agent with an interest to make the usability of 
> Enigmail bad. To do this, he doesn't need to do something
> actively. He just needs to nothing, as long as people like here in
> the thread are cheering like Enigmail is the usability-friendliest
> tool in the world. As far as I know, Robert actively defends to
> stay with the usability-unfriendly terms of Enigmail in the
> Enigmail project. If the Enigmail project wants to establish high
> standards. People like Robert shouldn't be in the usability team."
> 
> As I mentioned, I "played" the crowd. It doesn't reflect my 
> opinion. It should only show, how irrational itself it is to take 
> irrational garbage seriously.


Just in the interest of speculative tinfoil, if Robert wished to harm
the success of Enigmail and its goals, all he would need to do would
be to make a few significant code contributions without saying
anything about his background, and then some time later let his
affiliations and associations be "discovered".  This would probably
irrevocably taint much of the Enigmail codebase in the eyes of many
people.

That said, if I were in Robert's position, I would do exactly as he
has:  refuse to touch the code and say, clearly and up front, "And
this is why I cannot."

Where I have seen Robert tender opinions on usability issues, they
have as far as I recall been suggestions to improve usability while
maintaining security, or improve security while preserving usability.
 I find no fault with either.  However, security is a complex field,
and there are things that simply must be done right, and a certain
minimum level of understanding is *necessary* in order to do those
things right.  There is only just so much that it is possible to
simplify the software interface to those tasks without jeopardizing
security, and that is a poor trade-off.


- -- 
  Phil Stracchino
  Babylon Communications
  phils at caerllewys.net
  phil at co.ordinate.org
  Landline: 603.293.8485
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