Comments on FC00 paper

Marc Stiegler
Mon, 1 Nov 1999 16:31:56 -0700

>The one thing I found which did not seem consistent with my understanding
>was the description of the seal/unseal operation

When you give the talk that explains the paper, you need to tackle this
head-on, because I always found it difficult to deal with too (sorry I
didn't remember it was difficult till now, I've gotten damaged by
familiarity :-) You need to say, "consider cryptographics protocols, here
are the properties--the thing used as a public key is really a write
authority, the thing used as a private key is really a read authority", and
then say, "we are now building a sealer/unsealer pair with the same pair of
authorities, but we're not using encryption in any way, we're just using
public key encryption as an analogy, and the sealer/unsealer are built out
of capabilites"--or some such.

For me personally, talking about it as write-authority and read-authority is
much clearer than talking about it as a public-key-encryption analogy. Even
the crypto people might find this clearer (indeed, this reaction you just
forwarded suggests this is the case). Then note at the end that this has a
behavior analogous to public key technology.