[sword-devel] what problem are you trying to solve? (Re: encryption and integrity checking.)

Peter von Kaehne refdoc at gmx.net
Wed Mar 11 12:47:35 MST 2009

Karl's question is probably the one I will need to answer first:

What problem do I want to solve?

a) A bible which has not been (will not be) distributed sufficiently on
paper to allow recipients to compare with known good texts.

b) A hostile environment in which the Bible is considered a societal evil.

c) A hostile environment where cults will try and undermine genuine
Christian growth by producing a counterfeit "Christianity"

On the plus side:

d) An environment in which genuine computing knowledge is rare and not
by necessity in the hand of those who oppose.

e) An environment where Bibles are ripped out of your hand due to
genuine hunger.

f) An environment where theoretical access to source code will not
significantly allow subversion of whatever scheme we chose as the source
code on our servers is essentially not accessible due to slow internet

This is not a theoretical scenario, but one which affects in this or
similar form several areas of this sad world.

The challenge is to create sufficient protection to the text to make it
easier to distribute an intact module then to mess with it. Easier for
someone with less knowledge than me, a non programmer. Someone who is
used to ripped Windows XP, has possibly some tools, but can neither
compile nor is mentally capable of learning this within sufficient time
scale. Someone with evil intent but not sufficient stamina to copy 66
books per chapter by hand, re-insert encoding and produce an equivalent
but distorted module.

The challenge is to do this while maintaining the ease of copying a
module + programme allowing viral redistribution.

The target is to create create just enough of an obstacle that the
genuine text can overtake all ripped copies - until the church has
sufficient strength to ignore cults and cranks and 6the genuine text has
enough publicity to discredit the hoaxes.

How is this for a reformulation of my problem?


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