LINUX CLASSES - COMPRESSION, ENCODING AND ENCRYPTION
Can Linux Do File Encryption?
Making Your Data Top Secret
Internet email is about as secure as sending a postcard--any postal clerks along the delivery path can read your message if they
wanted to since there's no envelope to protect it. So if you're concerned about your private email or files falling into the wrong hands,
encryption is the solution.
Encryption will scramble your message so that only the holder of the secret decryption key will be able to read it. The de facto
standard for encryption is the PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) program, written by Phil Zimmerman. Actually pretty good privacy
is a pretty serious understatement. If you use a sufficiently long password key, the computing power required to crack the code that
PGP uses becomes astronomically large.
Are You a Crypto Criminal?
PGP is such a good program that the United States government has classified it as a "munition" and made exporting it illegal, for
reasons of national security. Apparently the feds are worried that the bad guys will be able to correspond in a way they can't decode.
Although it is not illegal to send a message that has been encoded by PGP, you can't export (via email, FTP, or any other means) the
PGP sofware from the United States, except to Canada (or from Canada, except to the United States), without a license from the
federal government. The one strange exception to this rule is that printed books containing the PGP source code can be exported.
It is also illegal to use PGP in some countries (it's legal in the United States), so if you are an evil terrorist or are plotting the
overthrow of your government, check with your local authorities first before using PGP. The Crypto Law Survey at
http://rechten.uvt.nl/koops/cryptolaw summarizes the legalities of PGP around the world.
If you're interested in learning more about PGP, visit the International PGP Home Page
Previous Lesson: Encoding and Decoding
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Comments - most recent first
(Please feel free to answer questions posted by others!)
(12 Dec 2011, 08:21
better yet use steganography, encrypt a message inside a pic or music or
video and send, to normal people they wouldn't know it is encrypted.
(24 Feb 2011, 20:11
GnuPG is the alternative for Linux, if you want it to run with the GUI and
context menu install "seahorse-plugins" and then you can right click and
encrypt a file, you also need password and encryption keys for key
management on Gnome. For KDE you can install kgpg and use that for all
(05 Feb 2011, 08:46
looking for encryption software for linux
(02 Jul 2010, 21:57
Hi Bob... Are there any other encryption alternatives (non illegal) to PGP
Again, thank you for this great site!!!
I welcome your comments. However... I am puzzled by many people
who say "Please send me the Linux tutorial." This website *is* your Linux Tutorial! Read everything here, learn
all you can, ask questions if you like. But don't ask me to send what you already have. :-)
NO SPAM! If you post garbage, it will be deleted, and you will be banned.
by Bob Rankin
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