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Limits on the Provable Consequences of Oneway Permutations
, 1989
"... We present strong evidence that the implication, "if oneway permutations exist, then secure secret key agreement is possible" is not provable by standard techniques. Since both sides of this implication are widely believed true in real life, to show that the implication is false requires a new m ..."
Abstract

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We present strong evidence that the implication, "if oneway permutations exist, then secure secret key agreement is possible" is not provable by standard techniques. Since both sides of this implication are widely believed true in real life, to show that the implication is false requires a new model. We consider a world where dl parties have access to a black box or a randomly selected permutation. Being totally random, this permutation will be strongly oneway in provable, informationthevretic way. We show that, if P = NP, no protocol for secret key agreement is secure in such setting. Thus, to prove that a secret key greement protocol which uses a oneway permutation as a black box is secure is as hrd as proving F NP. We also obtain, as corollary, that there is an oracle relative to which the implication is false, i.e., there is a oneway permutation, yet secretexchange is impossible. Thus, no technique which relativizes can prove that secret exchange can be based on any oneway permutation. Our results present a general framework for proving statements of the form, "Cryptographic application X is not likely possible based solely on complexity assumption Y." 1