Secure and Trusted Email
Why use it?
Automated systems will get better and better at looking at our data. It is trivial to read email over most networks, but we assume that they are personal. Using Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) will make your email private and personal.
Is it difficult?
No, but it is complicated. The confusing thing about all of this is we don't have a very good language around these ideas of privacy and trust in a networked world.
Maggi and Jake are friends and start writing eachotehr letters that they mail back and forth from Spain to the States. Jake talks about his amazing job in industrial design, and Maggi gose on about the taste and smells of Spain.
Jake gets an ergent letter from Maggi asking for $2,000 for a legal matter. Jake quickly follows the instructions and wires the money.
Jake can trust that the letter is from Maggi for all of these reasons:
- Jake recognizes the envelope and stationary
- Jake recognizes Maggi's hand writing
- Jake can smell a faint hint of lylack which reminds him of Maggi
- Jake sees the canceld stamp being the same as every letter
- Jake can sense her tone and grammer in the letter
- The letter references a previous conversation
- $2,000, though a lot, is something reasonable
All of that information allows Jake to trust the mail from Maggi, but none of these points work in a digital world. The phisical traits of the letter are gone, and the grammer an references can be programatically generated.
How It Works
As simple as I can make it:
- You create a secret key and a public key.
(A bunch of text that looks like gibberish.)
- This secret key you do not share with anyone else.
- This public key you share with everyone.
- With your secret you can sign documents.
- Using your public key anyone can validate your signature.
- With your public key people can scramble messages that only your secret key can unscrable.
If you are using Thundirbird as your email client, then go down to the Thundirbird - Enigmail section.