Keeping e-mail encryption alive

Tuesday, 23 April 2002, 6:49 AM EST

Phil Zimmermann knows a thing or two about adversity.

His invention for encrypting e-mail, Pretty Good Privacy, was so good that the government considered it munitions subject to tough export controls. Prosecutors threatened him with criminal charges when others leaked it overseas.

The government ultimately backed off. But now, the company that makes the most popular version of PGP is the one pulling the plug.

It's yet another setback, but Zimmermann isn't rattled.

"PGP has been around for 10 years and has endured incredible obstacles and hardships," Zimmermann said. "Powerful forces have been arrayed to stop PGP and yet those obstacles were overcome."

[ Read more ]




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