Friday, February 1, 2013

Outdated technology...

John Foley of Infoweek offers his thoughts on the technology needed to implement certain aspects of gun control as they pertain to data storage and sharing.

I suppose one concern is that the Feds already waste billions of dollars and government is notorious for getting technology wrong more often than right.  In that regard, I have little hope that the Feds can do even the basic things properly.

On the other hand, if Congress decides it wants to spend this kind of money on upgrades, there could be a benefit.  The idea has been tossed around for some time now that PKI can partially anonymize background checks for the purposes of avoiding de facto registries.  The idea is fascinating, and while it's not mine, I do have some insight into the technology that would be involved, as well as the legal and ethical issues that may arise. 

Imagine a background check that involves simply a "Proceed" or "Deny" response, the answer being hashed and encrypted by the NICS private key (digitally signed).  No data about the firearm or the seller is collected, and both the request and the signed response are wiped after 30 days.  The FFL (every FFL) has a copy of the NICS public key and can immediately verify the NICS-signed Proceed.  You drop a 4473 off with the FFL at the same time.  Background check is done, ATF has only FFL paper records to fall back on for traces (sorry guys, I don't want a gun registry) and the idiots on the left can shut up. 

Seems reasonable to me.

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