Anonymity and the internet

Hans Ehrbar ehrbar at marx.econ.utah.edu
Mon May 27 06:22:54 MDT 1996


It is good that we are having this discussion about security on the
internet.  Things can get moving very quickly, and then we will need
to know what to do.  The internet is such an indispensable organizing
tool, people will be using it!  The question is how to use it best.

In my view the best single thing we can do right now is that we on the
marxism list all get PGP software and learn how to use it.  Perhaps we
can store a list of our public keys somewhere at Spoon's.  This does
not conceal our identity but to my understanding it conceals quite
effectively the content of our messages.


For those who know even less about it than I, here is the simple
mechanics of it: PGP uses two different keys, one for encrypting and
one for decrypting.  Your "public key" is the key for encrypting
messages to you.  Someone who knows your public key can send messages
to you which practically nobody can decipher except you, because you
are presumably the only one who knows your private key.

It is a little work and hassle to get the software, to install it, and
to learn it, but it does not cost any money, and this is something
everybody on the marxism list should do right now.  This gives us time
to learn it, to play around with it, to learn which practices are
unsafe and to improve our safeguards, etc.  Do you agree?


Hans Ehrbar.


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