PGP: A Top 10 Industry-Changing Application

Discussion in 'privacy technology' started by Pleonasm, Jun 1, 2009.

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  1. Pleonasm

    Pleonasm Registered Member

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    PGP has been recognized as an “industry-changing application"…

    Source: Top 10 industry-changing applications

    For those who may be unfamiliar with the history of PGP, it is fascinating…

    Source: Pretty Good Privacy
     
  2. caspian

    caspian Registered Member

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    Is it any better than TrueCrypt?
     
  3. Pleonasm

    Pleonasm Registered Member

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    Caspian, the intent of my post wasn’t to argue that PGP was better/worse than a competitor, but simply to highlight a (little bit) of recognition for the historic role of PGP in the discipline. It’s my impression that some folk are unaware of the importance of PGP in the evolution of the industry, and hopefully this "top 10" designation will help (?) in some small way to ameliorate that condition.

    :)
     
  4. Sheldon7

    Sheldon7 Registered Member

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    Pleonasm,

    Thanks for posting this, I was unaware of the background. I am grateful to Zimmerman for developing PGP and I use it in some form, every day.

    Also - really like your username / definition :D
     
  5. noone_particular

    noone_particular Registered Member

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    They're not comparable. PGP is for encrypting e-mail, data and/or files sent from one PC to another. True Crypt is for file encryption on a local PC.
     
  6. noone_particular

    noone_particular Registered Member

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    I am quite familiar with PGP and other encryption software. Been using it for the last 6 years. You apparently misread what I posted.
    PGP is for encrypted communication, such as e-mail, data files, etc. TrueCrypt is for encrypting files that are stored locally. They're different applications for two completely different tasks, therefore not comparable. I don't know where you see anything regarding cracking PGP in what I posted. If the key is good, PGP is basically unbreakable with present technology.
     
  7. Pleonasm

    Pleonasm Registered Member

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    None_particular, it’s true that PGP has several different components and can be purchased in a few different product configurations. To clarify, however, PGP – like TrueCrypt – does provide capabilities for both whole disk (partition) encryption as well as encrypted virtual volumes. PGP Desktop ("corporate" edition) has both of these local encryption capabilities included, for example, as well as the ability to encrypt specific folders (PGP NetShare) and files (PGP Zip) on a PC.
     
  8. noone_particular

    noone_particular Registered Member

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    Which one is the subject here, the freely available PGP software that the article you quoted referrs to, or PGP the corporation and the rest of the commercialized software they're offering? I was referring to the same PGP software as the article you quoted. Regarding the PGP corporation, I haven't kept up with their present product line that uses the same name. Yes, they offer software under the PGP name that performs the same function as TrueCrypt, PGP disk for instance. PGP disk was also part of certain unofficial free versions of PGP that are still available if you know what to look for.
     
  9. Pleonasm

    Pleonasm Registered Member

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    None_particular, that’s a good point. I haven’t used the PGP freeware version for many years, so I really don’t know what functionality it now includes.
     
  10. LockBox

    LockBox Registered Member

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    That's a good top 10 "game changers" list. The #1 choice of Mosaic is probably indisputable. And yes, no question that Zimmerman and PGP brought encryption to the masses and definitely deserves that spot in the top 10. Well-deserved recognition.
     
  11. caspian

    caspian Registered Member

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    I am sorry. My wording was poor. I did not mean to compare. I don't know enough to compare. I should have asked what the difference between the two products was. But from what I have heard, PGP is a really good product.
     
  12. caspian

    caspian Registered Member

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    Thanks for the link.
     
  13. noone_particular

    noone_particular Registered Member

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    My response wasn't clear either. In a nutshell, PGP uses keys to encrypt and decrypt files. The key has 2 parts, a public key that one distributes by the method of their choice, and a private key. When someone wants to communicate securely with you, they use your public key to encrypt the message or file. You decrypt it with the private key. The beauty of the design is that there's no way to figure out ones private key by using the public key. Once encrypted with your public key, no one can read it unless they have your private key. The original PGP is the implementation of this ingenious concept that still works as well now as it did back then. This is the PGP I was referring to when I said that they weren't comparable. The public/private key concept is timeless and the powers that be hate it! The Wikipedia article linked in the first post is quite incomplete. There's much more, including the release of unofficial versions by other parties with vastly increased key strengths and abilities. There were even claims of NSA required back doors being discovered and allegedly removed in these unofficial versions. I'll let you decide for yourself what is and isn't true. You'll need the Wayback Machine to see many of the original sites. Here's a couple links to get you started.
    http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-the-best-version-of-pgp.htm
    http://web.archive.org/web/20020602085251/http://disastry.dhs.org/pgp/
     
  14. Pleonasm

    Pleonasm Registered Member

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    Noone_particular, now I better understand your comment about TrueCrypt not being comparable to PGP. Since TrueCrypt does not support public/private keys (to the best of my knowledge), it isn’t as well suited for “data in transit” as is PGP.

    For those interested in the history of cryptography (including the development of the public/private key concept), an overview is provided in “An Inadequate History of Cryptography” (chapter 3) in An Introduction to Cryptography (2006 edition) by PGP.
     
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