[clug] Wickr and previous privacy discussion

jm jeffm at ghostgun.com
Thu Mar 19 19:11:49 MDT 2015

Quickly read those links (so I may have skimmed over something). I don't
see who it stops this problem, using the usual Alice, Bob, Charlie personas,

 * Alice sends 200 messages to Bob
 * Bob sends 190 message to Alice
 * Alice sends 5 messages to Charlie
 * Charlie send 6 messages to Alice
 * Bob and Charlie do not sent any messages to each other.

>From this I can conclude the there is a strong involvement between Alice
and Bob, a weak one between Alice and Charlie, and it's likely that Bob
and Charlie barely know each other is at all. I can create this social
graph with out ever looking at subject lines or the contents of the
messages. All I need to know is the end points. Further, given
timestamps and information about external evens I can speculate about
what they may have been talking about. For example, if there's always a
cricket game on when there's a large number of messages exchanged
between Alice and Bob I can conclude to a large percentage that they are
cricket fans and I may even be able to discern which team they support.

As the source and destination must be used to route the messages this
information is incredibly difficult to hide without using servers to
proxy the messages. Though even this may not be enough if there is not a
large amount of traffic in the system as if a message enters the system
and then a short while later a message leaves the system you could draw
the conclusion that these two messages are related and likely to be the
same message being forward to it's final destination.

Don't get me wrong Whisper Systems is doing good work, but I'd like to
read more about the high level architecture before worrying about
directories and message encryption.

Also, I looked through some of the other blog posts this looks like the
best hope for putting this technology into as many people as possible:


On 20/03/2015 10:19 am, Hal Ashburner wrote:
> http://support.whispersystems.org/customer/portal/questions/6050357-what-exploitable-metadata-is-associated-with-redphone-and-textsecure-communications
> https://whispersystems.org/blog/contact-discovery/
> On 20 March 2015 at 09:43, jm <jeffm at ghostgun.com> wrote:
>> Let me try that again I meant to hit spell and hit send instead :-(. Not
>> enough caffeine this morning or too much?
>> On 20/03/2015 2:01 am, James Ring wrote:
>>> On Wed, Mar 18, 2015 at 9:33 PM, Hal Ashburner <hal at ashburner.info> wrote:
>>>> I use TextSecure and recommend using it as the default sms app on
>>>> Android. I recommend my ios using friends use signal, which is the
>>>> compatible ios app.
>>> Does this actually protect you against metadata collection? Sure
>>> message content is scrambled, but not the headers.
>> Yes, what you're trying to protect against is traffic analysis. The only
>> way to do this is to have a messaging app that will send random messages
>> to random users to cloud the waters. This would have to be don't in a
>> manner which would remove statistically meaningful information from
>> distribution of messages send and received by users of the system, ie
>> flatten the distribution curves for user-to-user messaging. This would
>> be easier to do when combined with onion routing across multiple
>> separate legal jurisdictions and entities.
>> Jeff.
>> --
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>> linux at lists.samba.org
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