clients? One simple solution is to encrypt or encode your messages.
letter names and supercomputers. Thanks to Philip Zimmermann, an academic and
commercial cryptographer/software engineer with a passion for civil rights and
privacy, anyone with access to the Internet may now download free, for personal
use, the latest version of PGP, the most widely used e-mail encryption software in
the world. The following description of PGP and its operation is taken from PGP
for Personal Privacy—Version 5.5, User’s Guide (“PGP Guide”) and “Frequently
Asked Questions” at multiple locations on the Web.
application that allows people to exchange messages, with both privacy and
authentication. Privacy means that only those intended to receive a message can
read it. In the law office context, messages are to be read only by the lawyer and
the client or, increasingly, the lawyer and a court or regulatory agency. By
providing the ability to encrypt messages, PGP provides protection against anyone
reading the message as it passes along the transmission network. Even if a packet
is intercepted, it will be unreadable to the snooper.
person is really from that person and has not been altered along the way. In
addition to keeping messages private, PGP also enables you to safeguard files
stored on your computer by encrypting them. It matters not if someone breaks
into your computer through your Internet connection, penetrates your security
with a "Trojan horse" or "Worm" designed to call home with your secrets or
merely turns on your computer when you’re not there and looks through your
files. All they can read is the incomprehensible gibberish of the scrambled file.
to others. To human rights organizations abroad, security may mean life or death
to those involved. (See “letters From Human Rights Groups” that Zimmerman has
source code) inside the US, see the MIT PGP web page at
http://web.mit.edu/network/pgp.html. PGP, in its latest versions for Windows
95/98/NT/2000, Macintosh, Linux, and Solaris, can be found there and
downloaded free for personal, noncommercial use. This distribution is done in
cooperation with Philip Zimmermann, Network Associates, and with RSA
Security, which licenses patents and software for one of the public-key encryption
technologies which PGP utilizes.
key" cryptography. (PGP Guide, p. 35.) We are not talking about actual physical
keys, but blocks of text generated by your computer using the PGP program. Two
complementary computer files, called a key pair, are used to maintain secure
communications. One of the keys is designated as your private key, to which only
you have access, and the other is your public key that you freely exchange with
other PGP users. Both your private and your public keys are stored in files on
your computer called “key rings,” which are accessible from the PGPkeys