Securing Thunderbird Email with OpenPGP
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Joined: 04 Oct 2003
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If you need to use PGP, here's a good way to do it, all open source products. Read the full article at newsforge.

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Email is commonly used in business today, yet only a small percentage of users take the time to guarantee their email is sent in a secure and confidential manner. If you're not part of that elite group, read on to learn how to setup OpenPGP with the Mozilla Thunderbird mail component.

OpenPGP is a patent-free encryption scheme based on the same security architecture as the commercial version of PGP, which has been available since the early 90's. Thunderbird uses OpenPGP through the GnuPG implementation -- developed by the Free Software Foundation -- for interpreting and sending digitally signed and encrypted messages.

Learning about PGP isn't a bad idea in general, although for many users I'd say it's overkill, but you never know, often people have no idea how fully transparent your email is when it moves over the internet, and even when it's stored in the email servers. There is almost no real legally binding way of keep ing someone from reading your email currently.

PGP [pretty good privacy] was developed by Phil Zimmerman, who felt that there should be a way for individuals to be able to freely and safely communicate no matter how oppressive the governments in their countries might be. This has probably saved many people's lives around the world over the last years.

From Phil's site:
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Originally designed as a human rights tool, PGP was published for free on the Internet in 1991. This made Zimmermann the target of a three-year criminal investigation, because the government held that US export restrictions for cryptographic software were violated when PGP spread worldwide. Despite the lack of funding, the lack of any paid staff, the lack of a company to stand behind it, and despite government persecution, PGP nonetheless became the most widely used email encryption software in the world.

Who says one man can't make a difference?
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