[OTR-dev] Clever logging for weechat_otr plugin (+ log management discussion)

Michael Rogers michael at briarproject.org
Thu Mar 14 12:35:22 EDT 2013

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On 14/03/13 15:04, Thijs Alkemade wrote:
> End-to-end encryption and confidentiality are orthogonal features,
> in my opinion.
> In my browser, I try to maximize the usage of SSL. Banking
> information or login credentials being stolen are dangerous
> problems that I want to avoid.
> On the other hand, I have private browsing/incognito mode for those
> websites I would not want to keep around in my browser history.
> I don't find it necessary to require both at the same time: I'm
> happy with my browser suggesting my bank from my history (hey,
> saves me the risk of some typos) and I'm fine with private browsing
> happening without SSL, if that's not available.
> I think the situation for OTR and logging is exactly the same: I
> use OTR if I don't want my conversations to be read by Google,
> Microsoft or the US government. I'm not using OTR to be able to
> pretend that the conversation never took place. But when I do want
> that, I make a separate, concious, decision to also turn logging
> off.

When I say "confidentiality", I mean that the content of the
conversation is concealed from third parties. I'm not talking about
concealing the fact that a conversation between two parties has taken

Logging undermines confidentiality by keeping a record of the content
of the conversation that may later be obtained by third parties. Some
people may decide that the usefulness of having a record outweighs the
risk of the record being exposed. But I'm arguing that today, when
using OTR is an uncommon choice indicating a desire for
confidentiality and/or deniability, and when keeping logs confidential
involves making other uncommon choices such as disk encryption, we
should conservatively assume that the risk of keeping a record
outweighs the usefulness, unless told otherwise.

In the future, OTR and disk encryption may be commonly used, in which
case a different default may make sense.


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