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Email Security
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August 3, 2010
5:52 AM
AlanR
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Blacberry users are being victimised by ISP's in some countries on the grounds that they cannot be monitored.

Shivers down the spine… brrrrr.!!!

Doesn't that make you comfortable knowing that all your e-mails can easily be "monitored" by whichever snooper wants to take a gander at your soiled missives (or whatever else they care to take an interest)? Surprised

How then can we individuals send confidential data, legal or private documents etc. amongst ourselves safelyand securely?

Whatever standard encryption techniques we use to send stuff, without decent password protection that only the correspondents know, they will always be at the mercy of "the watchers". Cue sinister laugh…

Bright ideas / solutions anyone?

SEEK (Google) and yea shall find. Ars Longa, Vita Brevis.
August 3, 2010
7:39 AM
Gvape
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GPG. It's a standard and it's still not been cracked. Thunderbird even has a plugin you can use to easily decrypt and encrypt messages you recieve. It's not too difficult really, but you end up with the problem of sharing keys with the other user. You'd have to meet with them somehow, that way the monitoring guys wouldn't be able to see your key.

EDIT: Oops, I meant PGP, but GPG is basically the implementation of PGP, and it's free (in both senses of the word), so no worries there.

Guh-vah-pay
August 4, 2010
12:09 AM
yourpalal
Inner Peace
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AlanR said: ….Doesn't that make you comfortable knowing that all your e-mails can easily be "monitored" by whichever snooper wants to take a gander at your soiled missives (or whatever else they care to take an interest)? Surprised….


 

Hey AlanR!

Man oh man, how many people have been brought down …by their…soiled missivesSurprised

Wonder if the WIKI….you-know-who…. crowd is in on this……..& ready to release 90,000 documents ……of Blacberry emails!!??!!Wink

Life is just a phase you're going through…you'll get over it.
August 6, 2010
6:37 AM
AlanR
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Gvape said:

GPG. It's a standard and it's still not been cracked. Thunderbird even has a plugin you can use to easily decrypt and encrypt messages you recieve. It's not too difficult really, but you end up with the problem of sharing keys with the other user. You'd have to meet with them somehow, that way the monitoring guys wouldn't be able to see your key.

EDIT: Oops, I meant PGP, but GPG is basically the implementation of PGP, and it's free (in both senses of the word), so no worries there.


Thanks Gvape; you hit the nail right on the head there – need for communicating partners to have the passkey without this being intercepted also.

PGP / GPG may work for emails, and other files attached can also be encrypted in various ways, but each party concerned either has to have the associated software and/or the related passkey(s).

For corporations with security issues, this is no big deal, but, for the average user – at least a big hassle.

Which brings us back full circle to the question of how can we poor individuals regain privacy of our internet communications?

Maybe I am being paranoid on this issue, BUT – BIG Brother IS Watching you.

SEEK (Google) and yea shall find. Ars Longa, Vita Brevis.
August 6, 2010
2:20 PM
karen
Washington, DC Metro Area
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It's easy. Just don't post anything online that you mind if other people see.

August 6, 2010
8:24 PM
phoenix_rising
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@ AlanR: Of course BB is watching. That's not some shocking news flash. That's what the NSA in the US, for example, exists for – and the NSA dwarfs the CIA and FBI. Every single form of electronic communication is monitored whether you like it or not. If that freaks people out, they can head for the hills, become luddites and reject technology. But that's just the way it is. And it's just the way it will remain for a long time to come. There is no such thing as internet privacy. Period.

“Peace if possible, truth at all costs.” – Martin Luther King Jr
August 6, 2010
9:28 PM
Wheezer
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I'm reminded of a saying my dad used to use: "A lock on the door of your house only keeps honest people out."

The same holds true for internet security. I don't even think encription programs are very reliable. Because who invented them, the US Military (as far as I know anyway). Trusting the government to invent anything that is secure and doesn't have some backdoor way for them to get in isn't very wise.

Karen's advise is the best advise I've ever heard about using the internet.

                       wheezertech.forumotion.com
August 6, 2010
9:36 PM
phoenix_rising
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@ Wheezer: I like your dad's saying. Very true. And I concur – Karen's advice is the simplest and best.

“Peace if possible, truth at all costs.” – Martin Luther King Jr
August 6, 2010
10:22 PM
Wheezer
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Dog gone it! I did it again!

Why do I always spell "advice" – advise? Grrrrr…

Must be an old age thing. Embarassed

                       wheezertech.forumotion.com
August 6, 2010
11:43 PM
AlanR
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phoenix_rising said:

@ Wheezer: I like your dad's saying. Very true. And I concur – Karen's advice is the simplest and best.


Ahhh! The Golden Triangle uttereth words of wisdom indeed.

Total agreement with you guys on all points.

Unfortunately, due to geographical dispersal, we often need to communicate in near real time – for which the internet is ideal; and most of the time our missives are of little consequence in the grand order.

However, there are times when confidentiality is an issue and it is to this where my concerns are addressed. I do not have recourse to a corporate VPN but still need to ensure my "secret" legal intellectual property is not compromised. In such matters, for the time being, it seems the only way to have peace of mind is to stick to the traditional meeting room discussion format. Takes longer though. Frown

 

Now, where are those Luddites..?

SEEK (Google) and yea shall find. Ars Longa, Vita Brevis.
August 7, 2010
1:13 AM
phoenix_rising
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@ AlanR: Hope the meeting room isn't bugged. Wink

“Peace if possible, truth at all costs.” – Martin Luther King Jr
August 7, 2010
9:13 AM
Ashraf
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What is with the sexism? I insist we refer to the eye in the sky as big it, big person, or big sibling. Saying big brother is down right insulting.

On a serious note, the tussle between privacy and "national security" inregards to monitoring will always exist. * Shrug*

August 7, 2010
10:19 AM
karen
Washington, DC Metro Area
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@AlanR – well, the Luddites are certainly not on dotTech :-)

August 7, 2010
10:30 AM
phoenix_rising
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@ karen: LOL! You got that right!

“Peace if possible, truth at all costs.” – Martin Luther King Jr
August 7, 2010
11:50 AM
Conn Platt
Lancashire, England
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Wheezer said:

I'm reminded of a saying my dad used to use: "A lock on the door of your house only keeps honest people out."


Your Dad sounds as though he was very wise. That saying is true for a lot of things. 

 

There is just no privacy left in the world, since computers came into our lives. Every piece of information about us, where we were born, how old we are, our entire identities are all stored on computers all across the world. It would take but one slip to release that information to the rest of the world. In the end, we are practically decapitating our own privacy, if that makes sense. The more that computers come into our lives, the more information they will hold. Soon, nothing will be private, not even the Ministry of Defense's information and computers, which can i point out got infected with the Conficker Virus. Not even Military installations of the highest security will soon be cracked and it's information will most likely be leaked.

 

The only way to stop your information being passed around, is to just not supply it in the first place on the internet, Things like facebook and other social networks, people giveaway some of the most identifying things of their lives and simply do not realise it, even though they are trying not to giveaway this info, they seem to forget about it on Social networking sites.

Difficult, to be sure…..but it shall be done!!
August 9, 2010
2:26 PM
karen
Washington, DC Metro Area
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I think having lots of personal privacy only really only happened in a brief part of human history.

In rural communities/villages/small towns, everyone knew everyone else and everyone else's business. Sure it wasn't the whole world, but for all practical purposes it was the whole world for those who lived there.

However, industrial societies and fast transportation allowed big cities and a large degree of anonymity/privacy. Now the internet is bringing us all back together and eroding privacy--for better or worse.

August 9, 2010
7:29 PM
yourpalal
Inner Peace
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Good points from all. However, one can not minimize the effects of..well,…just plain idiots! Wink In our city's most highest security area, someone (who was rapidly fired) took home a laptop (supposedly to get extra work done before the next day Confused, ya right!!) which had names, addresses, & social security numbers, etc., of everyone registered to vote!!

Because of the security breach, I guess the only "bright side" possible, is that everyone got a free year of "credit watch" from a well-known triple bureau monitoring service.

Life is just a phase you're going through…you'll get over it.
August 10, 2010
4:48 PM
karen
Washington, DC Metro Area
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Well, the idiot shouldn't have taken it home, but the harddrive should've been encrypted. Then the loss of the laptop wouldn't have been that big a deal.

August 11, 2010
3:23 AM
yourpalal
Inner Peace
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karen said:

Well, the idiot shouldn't have taken it home, but the harddrive should've been encrypted. Then the loss of the laptop wouldn't have been that big a deal.


Hey Karen!

That interesting, because the 'harddrive encryption' suggestion you mentioned came out in the newspaper investigation--but a few days too late--like one of those DUH! moments Wink. Maybe they should have come to dotTech for advice in the 1st place…& saved the city $$$$$!

Life is just a phase you're going through…you'll get over it.
August 11, 2010
2:08 PM
karen
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Any laptop I take home from my gov't job is required to be encrypted.

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