It's time for PGP to die.

Heinz Diehl htd+ml at
Sun Aug 17 13:14:05 CEST 2014

On 17.08.2014, david at wrote: 

> Leaving aside the issue of how popular encryption of mail is - we are faced with the fact
> that 98 per cent of computer users are completely ignorant about software and hardware. They
> just go into PC World and buy what they like.

Looking around where I live and work, nearly nobody is even able to
install Windows itself, and software installation is mainly done by
"IT specialists". I agree that this phenomenon is caused at least
halfways by ignorance. How would these people ever be able to use GPG?
The anwer is: they would if they would care - but they don't. "I've
got nothing to hide, so why bother?" (*). These people won't use GPG,
even if they were capable to do so. Even in the light of the recent
spying on the privacy of the general public. "I've got nothing to
hide, so I can be sure that they didn't that to me". You won't change
those peoples attitudes and perception - ever.

> We make an effort - but I have very very few friends that I have had to install gnupg on
> their computers - every one I know knows nothing about computers. While we are concerned
> with our "rights" to private communication - concerned with NSA GCHQ 99.99 per cent of the
> world's population while having a general or non-existent idea of "security" have no idea of
> what they should do. We fiddle while Rome burns.

I'm afraid this won't change.
> After 20 odd years while there has been advances in cryptography and GUIs there has been an
> almost zero growth in take up.

This is a global phenomenon wrt the information society. Knowledge as
a capacity for action has never worked. The "know-do gap", failing in
getting evidence into action, is well documented (**).

> No wonder Yahoo and Google (who can not be trusted) are
> providing solutions to end users who are completely ignorant.

"Giving the people what they want" is a common marketing
strategy. This is not about security, it's all about binding the
> Time to die?

Not for me. Never. I appreciate to be able to have at least a little
bit of privacy when communication via the Internet. Even if the use of
GPG encrypted email is limited to 4-5 persons. It's worth every word
written, in every email.
> The implications for security and intelligence services are a real head ache but who cares!!

I also care about the personnel working for my uplink who is tempted
to snook in other peoples email.

> Some countries do not allow encryption by law and those that do will change their laws to
> have access to All private keys or face long term jail sentences.

They fear their own population, because they lie and
misbehave. Unfortunately, this is nothing new either.

> GNUpg would have a great future if the developers had greater vision. We are in a very very
> tiny minority of people. So small we are insignificant. The use of gpg will die out because
> we are ALL getting a bit long in the tooth.

It won't. At least not for me. We (= the people using it) have never
been more. I'm quite sure this won't change.

> Service providers will make their own solutions available simply as an added "end-user
> benefit" but without any legal binding on their own security. We know that the NSA and GCHQ
> would be horrified by the thought of every one in the entire world encrypting their emails.

Provider encryption is useless if you don't trust your provider. It's
like letting your private key get handled by somebody else who does
the decryption for you.

> The fact is 99.99 per cent of the world's population does not know gnupg exists. Or GPG4WIN.
> Perhaps when we are all in our 90's we will say "Oh gpg was a good idea, pity it did not
> catch on."

And that's where the big providers like Go*gle and Yah*o step
in. Wonder why they exactly came on with that after Snowden (and
others) blowed the whistle? Now, at least some are frightened they
could be a target for spying and surveillance, and the big providers
give them what they need...

Just my 5ø.


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