Proposal: Personal Data Encryption (maybe SoC?)

Tim Newsom cephdon at
Wed Mar 21 18:03:15 CET 2007

On Wed, 21 Mar 2007 9:34, Joe Pfeiffer wrote:
> Tobias Gruetzmacher writes:
> Right -- these look like good approaches, but to a different problem.

/please excuse my direct manner.. Its just how I write (smile)

What do you mean by different problem? Maybe I don't fully understand.  
The way I see it you have a few interoperating components...  Dbus can 
be the primary transport mechanism, some reader plugin which abstracts 
the actual source of the data.. Be it the filesystem or a file which 
sits on the filesystem that has its own filesystem.. Or a dbfile system 
(I have not heard much about that recently)... A writer plugin which 
does pretty much the same thing, but for writing and not reading.. Maybe 
they are even the same plugin.. /shrug

Then you have some authenticating system which allows various methods of 
authenticating a user.. Be it fingerprint reader or pincode or whatever 
based on the currently selected provider/plugin... And you have the 

At the lowest level is the encryption/decryption system.. Right above 
the filesystem somewhere.

Now, when the phone is idle long enough or locked and a user tries to do 
something, the currently configured login / unlock / whatever you want 
to call it authentication plugin is activated and asks for the required 
information / gesture / whatever.

Once obtained the user is granted whatever rights they configured for 
that action.. By default it can be nothing or a pincode and the default 
level can also be set to wide open, no encryption and full access.  
That's the state of almost every phone on the market right?

Ok.. So an advanced users phone may have 3 or 4 levels of authentication 
and access / encryption.. Maybe even different algorithms are used.  Who 
knows?  When they log in they probably set it to the lowest level of 
access.. The notes application can read plain text with no problems and 
any unsecured data is visible.. Including contacts, notes, pictures, 
music, whatever.

Now suppose this individual decides to read an encrypted file or runs an 
application configured to access an encrypted file or file system.. The 
authentication system would then ask for additional authentication and 
once granted handle the key pass to the decryption system / whatever to 
read the file.

Now I don't have any experience with truecrypt or LUKS yet.. But they 
were mentioned along with encryptfs etc as a means of handling the 
encryption part.

Maybe you can help me with where I missed out on the problem so that I 
can get my head around it? (Grin) I would love to make sure I fully 
understand what you are saying.

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