timothy writes: At this Freedom to Tinker blog, Ed Felton has a thoughtful, accessible piece on the debate at Mozilla about whether Firefox, by default, should trust a Chinese certificate authority. Felton explains in clear language why this is significant, therefore controversial. An excerpt: 'To see why this is worrisome, let's suppose, just for the sake of argument, that CNNIC were a puppet of the Chinese government. Then CNNIC's status as a trusted CA would give it the technical power to let the Chinese government spy on its citizens' "secure" web connections. If a Chinese citizen tried to make a secure connection to Gmail, their connection could be directed to an impostor Gmail site run by the Chinese government, and CNNIC could give the impostor a cert saying that the government impostor was the real Gmail site.'
"Card readers? We don't need no stinking card readers."
-- Peter da Silva (at the National Academy of Sciencies, 1965, in a
particularly vivid fantasy)