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Re: [Gnumed-devel] encryption of documents in archive

From: Busser, Jim
Subject: Re: [Gnumed-devel] encryption of documents in archive
Date: Tue, 7 Jan 2014 23:51:24 +0000

On 2014-01-06, at 11:22 AM, Karsten Hilbert <address@hidden> wrote:

> Do people think it is worthwhile to make available
> on-demand encryption of documents stored in the
> archive ?
> Karsten

I am of two minds on this.

Part of me thinks it could be very helpful (prudent, even) to have the 
*capacity* to encrypt a set of files, in order to avoid copies of these files 
to be

- sitting insecurely out in the file system of a praxis client machine or server
- or transported insecurely by the patient who may lose their USB stick or CD 
in transit or misplace it

Challenges would be found in

1) the selection of the cryptographic system(s)  … symmetric, asymmetric, or 
multiple options to support, and
2) management of the keys

Patients who have the sophistication to manage a key pair could provide the 
praxis with a public key with which to encrypt the files, which key could be 
stored as a comm channel in the existing schema, and which encrypted file 
output could be copied onto USB stick or CD or even emailed as an attachment. 
The task would then fall to the patient to decrypt these at their home or at a 
future point of care. In this scenario, the key set would have to have been 
generated under a protocol that GNUmed could manage. 

I am only not sure whether we would need to "know / store / manage" the kind of 
key provided by the patient (RSA and RSA vs DSA and Elgamal vs ??).

I suppose if the praxis intended to send the files to a third-party like some 
other praxis or hospital, the exported files could be encrypted with a 
symmetric or asymmetric key pair exchanged between the different organizations. 
I only do not know where, within GNUmed, we would store such keying information.

-- Jim

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