Signature Thursday: How strong is yours?

It's looking like writing about signatures is just going to become my Thursday thing here. CBS news has been running a story today on two convicted murderers who "escaped" because orders granting them early release had the forged signature of a judge. The scare quotes around "escaped" are critical as guards literally checked them out and walked them through the exit of the prison. As far as any legitimate investigation could reveal, it appears that they were released.

The forgery leading to the release was of the signature of the Florida judge who by virtue of presiding over the Casey Anthony case most likely has the most digitally recorded signature in the history of Florida judges. As these things work, when one's authoritative signature is an image drawn by hand forgery is easy business.

If I had the power I unfortunately lack at the moment, I'd hold the release order as valid. A signature, is a signature. is a signature. The sooner people realize this, the sooner they either move to better signatures or make the choice to stop being people. Before I have endorsed GPG signatures as a minimum standard for ensuring one's humanity, with Bitcoin address signatures as a half measure. Like most half measures though Bitcoin address signatures fail, so learn to GPG already.

Handwritten signatures, 4 digit pins, and other attempts at things belong in the Fail pile. You citizenship, whether you want it to or not will depend on your ability to get into a Web of Trust with a strong cryptographic signature protecting your identity. You can be a judge, legislator, or Emperor if your identity can be forged it will be. Establishing a strong public key based signature for yourself is the most primal and urgent self improvement task you can undertake, as a certain Florida judge has learned if you can't protect your identity you are going to lose the title to call yourself self.

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