future proof file encryption

peter p at sabuleti.net
Fri Feb 27 12:04:00 CET 2009

Thanks for all your responses - and the speed of them.

The shoe  box works fine for my pre-digital snaps - not so good for the
post digital ones! Currently, I dump my camera into my computer, sort
out the interesting images, archive them and dump the archive into
Amazon's S3. Then I feel safe from my own stupidity, hardware failures
or whatever - I can always get back to the image as it came out of the
camera. I'm going to add encryption using GPG to the mix.

I don't expect to fully understand cryptography - but I should have an
"operational" understanding. I feel a bit closer to that. Is it true to
say then, that if you wanted someone to be able to decrypt a
(symmetrically encrypted) file, they'd need to know the algorithm used,
the key and they'd also have to use the same program to decrypt as used
to encrypt the file?

Thanks again

Mark H. Wood wrote:
> Staggering off-topic a bit, this also points out that, for a variety
> of reasons, if you want to store data for the long term, you need to
> establish a periodic review of every single item in your archive.
> You need to be aware of obsolescent medium types and file formats and
> suchlike, and recode at-risk items using then-current best practice.
> You need to be aware of media volumes that are degrading, and copy
> at-risk items to fresh volumes before they become unrecoverable.  You
> should copy older volumes from time to time anyway, at intervals
> appropriate to the medium, to evade trouble before it starts.  This is
> a good opportunity to switch to a newer medium if there is one you like.
> You also need to archive things you might need to recover your items.
> File format documentation, useful software, and the like.
> If you do all that, your archive should be usable in toto for hundreds
> of years, which is probably longer than you need.  Much of it can be
> automated, requiring your attention only briefly.
> Or you can stash it all in an old shoebox, like the rest of us do. :-/

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