posted on Nov, 8 2007 @ 11:39 PM
I remember hearing back about the millennium or so, that PGP had a built in key for the US intel and law enforcement.
My understanding was that PGP uses a system of "public key/private key," where you can give the other key to your confederate. But I thought the
NSA had delayed the release of PGP until they had inserted a second "private key" just for them, rendering decrypt a trivial exercise.
I figure its only a matter of time until organized crime penetrates the govt and gets the USG key. Then PGP will quickly become old hat.
Here's the strategies I'd recommend:
Invent a new, authentic language, and use that to communicate. In that case, you can use ANY email you want. Constructing a language is not as hard
as it sounds, and you can make a "model" language of just a few hundred words. The trick is to use an alien grammar system. My experience working
with US feds is that they are extremely short on linguistics and liberal arts in general. They seek the technical solution over the human, which is
why we weren't expecting the 1979 Iran revolution. But that's another thread. Making your own language is called "conlang," for constructed
language. Wikipedia article has links to good sites, including the "language construction kit."
2. Download a computer model of the enigma machines, or purple code from WWII. There are dozens of downloadable enigmas online for free. A number
of amateur cryptologists actuall re-decrypt the famous messages from the Abwehr from WWII. While they are obviously dated, local law enforcement wont
have a chance. And even the Feds will have to spend a weekend or so figuring out exactly which one you used, and then a bit trying to suss out your
settings. Enigma-type machines are not true encryption, but they will take resources to break, and buy you time. I suggest putting false
information in PGP and enigma-ed emails, that could confuse them with your conlang or number 4 below.
3. A one time pad
This is the only truly unbreakable cypher. A random (not computer generated and thus pseudo-random) series of numbers on a pad. your correspondent
has a copy. You use each page of the pad only once. each number tells you to shift the answer x number of spaces forward in the alphabet. This
really IS unbreakable, until the man gets a copy of your pad.
4. Handwritten cyphers
I believe that the governments have become extremely dependent upon digital evidence; so much so that they are ill-prepared for handwritten cyphers.
Just look at the trouble the online community has, trying to quantify the "letters" in the voynich manuscript. They can't even agree on how many
letters there are in the text!