Encryption

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It is important to understand the nature of encryption. Eye forums are full of advice on encryption and authentication schemes. The purpose of this advice is to provide an introduction to the workings of encryption, to avoid some of the pitfalls associated with the magical thinking commonly found with new agents.

Theory

Many people are familiar with the typical cyphers associated with children’s puzzles, or ancient devices like the Enigma Machine. Encryption is like a cypher. However, the data file itself is modulated using algorithms seeded with long prime numbers, rather than some simpler encoding of the encoded data.

However, source and destination of the data are not obscured. Think in terms of messaging a friend across the room via a physical message pad. The message is carried by a third party. In the case without encryption, the message is passed as itself. The messenger is told who the message is going to and knows where the message came from. With encryption, the message is encoded first (or otherwise scrambled), but the messenger still needs to know where to deliver the message and where the message came from. In electronic communications, the data being sent is chunked into segments called packets. Each packet is labelled with the destination address and the sender. The destination is included so that the packet may be delivered to its target. The source is included so that any errors that arise may reported to the sender, especially in the case of undelivered data.

When encryption is used, the data inside the packet is encrypted, but not the actual sender or receiver. If the source and destination are not readable by the routing server, then there is no means by which the encrypted data can be delivered.

Issues

Because the source and destination are not encrypted, if the traffic is routed locally (say in the case of real-time communications or feeds), the amount of packets being sent between users can be registered as unusual. It depends on the local traffic being monitored. This is unusual in most outer system or more liberal networks. However, hypercorps and Jovian meshes are well-known for high levels of monitoring, and the amount of network traffic should be kept well in mind.

Solutions

Real-time communications are oftentimes impossible without generating suspicious levels of traffic. There are multiple ways to circumvent this issue. The first is to not use real-time sensorium sharing.

In cases where that is not an acceptable solution, a delay can be introduced. Ideally, the message will be routed to an external mesh network to be redirected to the recipient. The downside is that a delay is introduced into communications. Generally, the routing protocol takes anywhere from 1-4 seconds, depending on the routing specified. Additional security can be included by encrypting the packet to be sent, and sending the encrypted packet as a regular data-transfer to the external mesh node. This generally introduces an extra second into the routing time.

Finally, the local mesh can be avoided entirely. Basic mesh inserts allow peer-to-peer communications at short distances. Non-insert methods, such as ultrasonic, microwave, or laser communications.These methods are often detectable via other methodologies and sensors, but do avoid alerting network monitors to the existing tactnet.

Encryption

Synthetic Epistemology Silvarus Silvarus