Re: Barcode Email

From: Stephen Sprunk (
Date: 08/01/05

Date: Mon, 1 Aug 2005 13:08:01 -0500

"Ari Silversteinn" <abcarisilverstein@yahoo.comxyz> wrote in message
> On Tue, 26 Jul 2005 14:44:17 -0400, Stephen K. Gielda wrote:
>> The one problem you face is that some kid somewhere will crack
>> your substitution encoding and post a reader to all the cracks and
>> warez groups if your product captures even 1% of the market in
>> your niche. Your users will then view your product as worthless
>> when their 13 year old shows them the reader. A reputation lost is
>> hard to regain. To maintain profitability and marketablity you'll need
>> a little more added. That same programming loop you'd have in the
>> code performing the substitution could easily be doing some
>> excryption. Your end user still won't see it.
> Yes, I see what you mean. Then comes the question of what zero
> cost, zero overhead encryption would I use and how to implement it?

There are many solid algorithms (actually, nearly all of them) that are
royalty-free and implemented in open source or public domain libraries. All
you have to do is learn the API and link to the library.

> Question two, what if the substitution is randomly generated and the
> substitution set is comprised of 27 different languages, including
> obscure dialectical ones?

If the substitution is randomly generated, then you'll need a way to
communicate what it is to the receiver, i.e. you've introduced a key. And,
once you have the hassle of communicating a key safely, then you might as
well use a good encryption algorithm instead of substitution.

The overwhelming cost and complexity of any encryption/authentication system
is in the secure transmission of keys -- and without keys, you have no
security, only obscurity.


Stephen Sprunk      "Those people who think they know everything
CCIE #3723         are a great annoyance to those of us who do."
K5SSS                                             --Isaac Asimov