What email encryption is actually in use?

James A. Donald jamesd at echeque.com
Wed Oct 2 19:45:47 PDT 2002

On 2 Oct 2002 at 16:19, Adam Shostack wrote:
> Whats wrong with PGP sigs is that going on 9 full years after 
> I generated my first pgp key, my mom still can't use the 
> stuff.

The fact that your mum cannot use the stuff is only half the 
problem.  I am a computer expert, a key administrator, someone 
who has been paid to write cryptographic code, and half the 
time I cannot use pgp.

Of course, I have had real occasion to use this stuff so rarely 
that I suspect your mother would never use it no matter how 
user friendly.

The lack of demand may have something to do with Hettinga's 
rant, that all cryptography is financial cryptography.  As I am 
fond of pointing out, envelopes were first invented to contain 
records of goods and payments.  People use encryption when
money is at stake.  If people start routinely making binding
deals on the internet, they will soon routinely use encryption. 

         James A. Donald

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