Let's talk PGP

I read this on CNET’s Download.com and am beginning to learn about encryption and privacy in the digital age:

[quote]“PGP: Gone are the days of true encryption”
The older versions of PGP were the ultimate security and encryption solution. Now, you are better off programming one yourself. Let me explain… I reside in the United States and I am very concerned about how the government is practicing its anti-privacy “laws.” Regarding computers, one of the biggest pro-government organization, Microsoft, is known by many to infiltrate its ever-so notorious operating system, Windows, by secretly placing code written for (and most likely by) the government. And at what cost? Well, Microsoft is still a monopoly, right? The last time I checked the laws of the United States of America, a monopoly was strictly forbidden and must have ceased operations. Simply it’s a win-win situation: Microsoft provides the government with an infiltrated ‘popular’ operating system, while the government allows Microsoft to stay as a monopoly. More money for Bill, right? What about the latest [anti-trust] trials, you say? What happened, my friend? Nothing! It was just a campaign that was greatly publicized to show how the good ‘ole U.S.A. was hunting down monopolies. Why wasn’t the trails’ outcome publicized? Can’t you figure that one out yourself? Regarding PGP, the government is very knowledgeable about its existence. Because reality is that the government must have greater power than the people (forget what you learned in high school about how “the people run the government”), they created a corporation to purchase PGP and to rewrite the software. And what’s wrong with that, you might ask? Well, it is now closed-source! Previously, PGP was open-source. Meaning, the programming code was open to the public to view. Now, being closed-source, the programming code is hidden to the public and is only viewable to its developers and selected parties (e.g., government agencies). The ideology behind open-source is to not only get people involved making software better, but also have peace of mind knowing there are no secret coding to hurt innocent people of their rights. My view is: “If you have nothing to hide, why not make it open-source?” No wonder why the open-source operating system, UNIX/Linux/etc., is not being strongly marketed in American markets and being labelled as “you don’t want this OS for your home - get Windows instead… now.” Don’t you see why? They want each and every person to be Microsoft-compatible so they, too, will have control over you. You are very ignorant if you still believe PGP is very secure. If you still don’t believe what I have been talking about, know this: the corporation that bought the original PGP software was “Network Associates.” Don’t think the word “was” is a typo. “Network Associates” (the name probably represents government “associates”), has now decided to stop “developing” PGP and has handed it to McAfee (another pro-government organizations) for them to incorporate into their own products. “Network Associates” (most likely referred to as “Operation Network Associates”) was just a purchase-and-kill operation. They bought PGP; they rewrote it; infiltrated it to destroy its credibility; and now it’s dead. The U.S. government, acting against the Constitution and Bill of Rights, does not want any sense of privacy to its citizens. They want to see, hear, smell, taste, and feel what you are doing and what you are thinking (talking, communicating, etc.). Welcome to the 21st entury. “Democracy” in the United States? I spit on it. It is worth nothing! [/quote]

Comments :?:

Privacy and encryption are serious issues, but this is pure paranoia. If you don’t like commerical implementations of PGP, try gnupg instead. Still want PGP, but don’t want to buy it from the PGP corporation? Then buy it directly from Phil Zimmerman the developer of PGP. While you’re at his site, read his senate testimony and especially his No Regrets about Developing PGP. I think you’ll find that he takes a strong, well-reasoned stand on privacy issues.

yeah, for those guys who frequent coffee shops to access Internet thru WLAN, be careful if there’s another guy sitting nearby as he/she could be running a “Packet Sniffer” and could intercept your mail login user and password and anything else that’s not encrypted :sunglasses:

Most of those coffee shops authenticate via web, but not on the WLAN link (via WEP) so it’s like being on a LAN where any rookie hacker could catch all data packets going thru… :bulb:

What is the action that you recommend? Great people are not known for their concerns, but for thier solutions. I have to ask Quirky, “How do we protect our privacy?”


[quote=“Bongo”]What is the action that you recommend? Great people are not known for their concerns, but for thier solutions. I have to ask Quirky, “How do we protect our privacy?”


Now you have me embarking on a mission. Let me think about it. I am new to all of this. I have just lived my life assuming that “they” are watching, but that “they” are doing so to protect me and to keep me in my place while maintaining control over many of the resources.
I mean, if I was free from all taps and monitoring, I’d be dead or living on a mountain somewhere in central Taiwan with a long beard.

well the solution is to install PGP in your machine, so everytime you send/receive/check email it will go encrypted, not easy though, but worth it :stuck_out_tongue:

Don’t say/type anything you wouldn’t want everybody to read (type is more important then say). If anyone had a real reason to be really private about their info they’d be in a position that would have people that made sure their stuff was really private.

I choose to stay in a position that doesn’t have people wanting to read my stuff and if they did, they probably wouldn’t want to read it again.

And don’t worry, “they” are always watching. You can’t stop that. Even when you’re living on a mountain in Taiwan with a long beard. :wink:

I mean, if I was free from all taps and monitoring, I’d be dead or living on a mountain somewhere in central Taiwan with a long beard.[/quote]

Where is Dan Jacobson?

From what I understand, there’s no easy(read “automatic”) way to do it with Windows (more power to all the *nix users). Also, if you encrypt your email, the recepient will need the key to decrypt it…not particularly convenient or easy to do either. Most people opt to simply PGP sign their email so that you can confirm the person who wrote it and that it hasn’t been changed.

A pretty good FAQ about PGP:


You are right milton! It’s really a pain in the ass, but I wouldn’t enable PGP, unless I’m online in an unsafe environment like WLAN, that’s the trick… :sunglasses: