E-mail Privacy

Apparently, it is simply not possible for an American company to offer secure email. Sooner or later the United States Government is going to come knocking, and they’re not above judicial film-flams to get what they want.

Google doesn’t want your email encrypted, either. They want to read it and sell what you’ve written to advertisers.

But there’s nothing stopping you from encrypting your own email, except the inconvenience of getting your communication channels set up with your friends. Unfortunately, that’s still a PITA, especially for friends who cling to browser-based email reading.

My perfect world: every email is encrypted. There is no reliance on a central authority for the encryption. No email company or certificate authority that can be hacked or subpoenaed.

My perfect world may be a tiny bit closer to reality: Apple has announced that the next version of the Mac OS will have streamlined email encryption. S/MIME is already supported in Apple’s Mail app, but it’s not nearly as simple as it should be. If I were in charge, setting up your computer would automatically generate your own identity certificate, and every email you send would have it attached. With a single click anyone who got that email would set up a secure, encrypted email connection with you. And that would be that.

We’ll see how close Apple comes. But it gladdened my crusty old heart to see a big company at least talking about the issue.

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