I posit, that for IT security, dealing with encrypted files that contain passwords for accounts, we need to have an opensource version of a Dead Man’s switch. Under normal circumstances, when a person draws up a Last Will and Testament, in the Appendix’s, are listed financial details including bank accounts, property notes and documents and nowaday’s other sensitive data. Normally, a Will is then filled with a lawyer, who keeps until your demize and then reads it to the beneficiaries of said Will. This is fine, if you can afford a lawyer, but what if you can’t? What if you have sensitive data as part of that Will that needs to get into the hands of the beneficiaries, such as a master password that is used to unlock a password vault, or the location of burried gold in your backyard? The potential for death is everywhere, at anytime, with no warning and when it happens, will you be able to pass on that information to your beneficiaries?
The most famous recent case of the use of a Dead Man’s Switch was Edward Snowden, during the time he was leaking data to the Guardian.
Edward Snowden has set up a dead man’s switch. He’s distributed encrypted copies of his document trove to various people, and has set up some sort of automatic system to distribute the key, should something happen to him.
Now, there is a Dead Man’s Switch on the internet but it is closed, private and untrustworthy. Also it is online on someone’s server, a completely unacceptable situation, but that is all which is available at the moment.
What I propose is that the coders of this community, get together and create a new Dead Man’s Switch, either in the form of a script/app that can run on your computer whereby you set a reminder time to “check in” and in the even of failure, it uses your existing mail setup like Thunderbird, to send an mail out to the people you have specified.
I think a script/app running at startup would be sufficient. But, upon starting it needs:
- interval check time (eg, every 1 day, 7 days, 14 days, 21 days, 30 days)
- optional backup interval check (means if the first check fails, do you want to wait for the next interval check to fail before sending)
- contents of the message you want to send to beneficiaries
- email addresses of said beneficiaries
- message needs to be encrypted on the computer to keep data secure
The progran or script should be written in a language that runs on Linux and Mac without the need to compile/make. Better still if starting with Linux, make into an AppImage for compatibility across systems.
I understand I am asking some people to collaborate and code a project on Git, but this would benefit potentially thousands of people.
For reference, some projects have been started but need to be modified:
This one uses Eth blockchain in the form a dApp
The more simple the better. Written in Python, or compile that into an AppImage.
If people are interested, please leave thoughts, opinions, and if you want to create this app or modify the above, please keep updates.