“security is always political” (w. diffie)

i thought whitfield diffie would give a presentation packed with cryptography theory. surprisingly (and slightly disappointing) there wasn’t any at all. instead he gave an overview of the emergence of cryptography, finishing with an outlook. the three key challenges in tomorrow’s cryptography research according to diffie (don’t cite this – it’s based on my memory, not speech recordings):

1. configuration control [dm: clear definition of a device’s configuration/state]
2. automated computer-to-computer economy [dm: think of web services, distributed systems, automated negotiation and (sub-)contracting]
3. trusted computing [dm: think of “tcpa” etc.]

and it’s all about “who will control information society” in the future (am i the only one who heard a gentle criticism here?).. not very exciting insights actually (most people probably knew this before already). seeing whitfield diffie (i’d call him a “living crypto legend”) in person (wearing long white hair and a beard – a bit like mage gandalf ;) was an impressing experience however.


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