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Date: Wed, 11 Feb 2015 21:16:30 +0530
From: Donghoon Chang <>
To: "" <>
Subject: Re: [PHC] PHC status report

In the beginning of the competition, the criteria were clearly mentioned
from the following link.

However, as mentioned from another following link, when 9 candidates have
been recently selected, new criteria, which are totally unrelated to the
original ones, were added.

The two new criteria are added as follows:

1. Elegance of design
2. Originality and innovation

I wondered who added these new criteria, which were never mentioned before,
without the request of any permission of changing it internally and

Due to the above new criteria, some of the candidates were not selected.
Directly speaking, the new criteria were secretly created, which is against
the rule of competition, to kick out those candidates, which is unfair and
even a crime.

Another main issue of the PHC is that 9 candidates were chosen without
providing comparison results with proper metrics, which are against all
other competitions such as AES, SHA-3, Caesar Competitons, etc. The
competition should be scientifically based on proper metrics with clear
comparison (not based on voting out of favoritism), according to the
criteria which were given in the beginning.

Since I was one of internal evaluators of SHA-3 candidates as a guest
researcher of NIST for three years, it more seems to me that the procedure
of the PHC looks immature to me. Even the PHC panel's recent selecting
procedure undermines the dignity of the PHC, the PHC panel, submitters, and
even crypto community. Please think it seriously.

I hope that the PHC panel might accept and correct their mistake and make
every effort to restore our dignity including everyone participating in the

- Donghoon Chang

2015-02-11 16:37 GMT+05:30 Krisztián Pintér <>:

> On Tue, Feb 10, 2015 at 4:00 PM, Solar Designer <>
> wrote:
> > I think publishing the upvote and downvote counts
> counts? why not the votes themselves? why is it a secret? normally
> secret voting protects the voters from retaliation. i don't think it
> applies to that case. on the contrary, keeping the vote secret (as
> well as unexplained) casts the shadow of doubt on the rationality of
> it.
> > we used the voting as a tool to focus
> > further discussion rather than to definitively choose the finalists.
> i was under the impression that the voting was the selection method.
> if it wasn't, then it indeed does not matter much. what matters is the
> actual rationale, what the selection was based on.
> > I guess you'd prefer some scoring system?  It wouldn't work.  Opinions
> > varied on what properties would be best to have vs. to avoid, so we
> > couldn't possibly have arrived at a common scoring system.
> the very reason to have a detailed rationale is that people don't have
> to agree the result, they can rely on the facts. if the panel declares
> a winner using one set of preferences, but that does not coincide my
> own preferences, i can still use the results to find my own winner for
> my own situation.
> >> this discussion should also be summarized, anonimized, and made public.
> > That's significant effort that's unlikely to address your concerns.
> that is the only task the panel had. you are talking about skipping
> the only reason this competition exists. when you signed up to this,
> what is it exactly that you offered to do? also, how is it that it
> does not address my concerns? my concern is that the selection process
> is not transparent, and basically no information is published.
> publishing the actual decision process exactly solves that problem.

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