MY NEPHEW IS A PROGRAMMER. Sort of an old-school programmer, one who tries to make his programs small and efficient. He has developed a small but nifty encryption program, and a site to go with it.
It’s called InfoGuard. It’s not a fancy-looking program, but it works. You can download a trial version, which will encrypt a very small text file, just so you can see how it works. (Not currently available, undergoing upgrades)
His program uses a rather unique method of encryption, which makes it virtually unbreakable. But you have to be responsible if you use it. Lose your key, and your file can not be un-encrypted. There is no master key. So you’ll need to keep backups of either the keys you generate or the unencrypted files somewhere.
He says that the government always ends up wanting the keys to any encryption programs, which makes the programs virtually useless, as far as keeping ALL prying eyes out of your stuff. I like to not believe that kind of stuff, I like to believe that all humans are trustworthy and honest, but I’m afraid it’s true. Or not true, depending on how you read that sentence!
Check out this
article by Phil Zimmermann (no longer available), the creator of PGP. It talks about how the government wants a backdoor into all kinds of communication devices (email, cell phones, etc). Also, check out the beginning of this article about Mr. Zimmermann, which gives the background of his creating PGP, and the government’s 3 year investigation of him, because of it. I think my nephew might be right.
Now maybe, just maybe, my nephew is going to be the next Phil Zimmermann. Who knows? And then we can all say we knew him when…..