Jan 12, 2008

Open Source E-mail Encryption

"...Perhaps you think your email is legitimate enough that encryption is unwarranted. If you really are a law-abiding citizen with nothing to hide, then why don't you always send your paper mail on postcards? Why not submit to drug testing on demand? Why require a warrant for police searches of your house? Are you trying to hide something? If you hide your mail inside envelopes, does that mean you must be a subversive or a drug dealer, or maybe a paranoid nut?..."
-Philip Zimmerman, Creator of PGP

Of course it doesn't, it simply means you value your privacy.

PGP, or more specifically OpenPGP is a great, and more importantly FREE method of securing your data and your e-mails. You don't want "The Man" reading your e-mails, and neither do I.

There are many PGP and OpenPGP programs out there, but the one that is the most versatile that I have seen is called GnuPG. It comes in some form for every operating system. It comes standard with Ubuntu Linux, and there are versions for Windows and MAC.

If you are a fan of Mozilla Firefox, and Thunderbird like I am, then you will be happy to know that there are GnuPG plugins for both of them. Enigmail for Thunderbird, and FireGPG for Firefox. Of course you have to have GnuPG installed for the plugins to work.

If you have any doubts on the strength of the encryption, it uses PKI and the encryption keys can go up to 4096 bits, which is so strong that if you take all of the computing power on the planet it would still take something ridiculous like 10 billion years to crack (Give or take). I also found a quaint little article here about how the FBI has problems cracking PGP.

"So ya ya ya, yackity smackity... where do I download this fantastic software?"

I thought you would never ask. You can download it from the following sites:





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