Software Lets User Encrypt On Web

    Date19 Dec 2002
    CategoryCryptography
    3979
    Posted ByAnthony Pell
    We all know that data sent over the Internet can be intercepted. How to prevent it? One method is to encrypt it. Various technologies exist for doing this, but they haven't caught on with individual users, partly because people don't really . . . We all know that data sent over the Internet can be intercepted. How to prevent it? One method is to encrypt it. Various technologies exist for doing this, but they haven't caught on with individual users, partly because people don't really care, and partly because encryption software has been awkward to use.

    That may be changing. PGP(.com) is now selling PGP 8.0, one version being personal encryption software, hoping for a mass market. I haven't seen it, but reports on the Web describe it as user-friendly. If it or any similar product sells truly well, it will have major ramifications for the security state, the war on terrorism, and the balance of privacy versus governmental monitoring.

    PGP stands for Pretty Good Privacy. It is encryption based on what is called public-key cryptography and was made publicly available years back by Phil Zimmerman over attempts by the government to prevent its release. The reason was fear that mobsters and spies would use it to make their communications impervious to federal interception.

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