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Using a Unix Timestamp as the sole source for the nonce would make me nervous. In addition to forged NTP replies (and legitimate operators deliberately resetting the clock for some reason, and I'm not sure whether leap seconds would pose a risk), you also would need to worry about "what if I send two messages within the same second" On the other hand, you ...


It is simply a parameter for indicating the length of the keystream in bits. Internally, EEA2 will call AES the appropriate number of times to produce that much output, truncating the last block as needed. It is not mixed into AES inputs or the key, so like you said it has no effect on the output bits themselves, beyond choosing how many are taken.

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