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NY Times: Secrecy for Everyone, as Encryption Goes to Market

May 18, 2000, 18:56 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Lisa Guernsey)

"Privacy issues are becoming public concerns as Internet privacy is increasingly turning up on the evening news. More people are becoming aware of the vulnerability of their computer files because of things like hard-drive excavations by private and public investigators, who routinely dig through e-mail and other archives once thought to be far beyond the reach of any curious eyes."

"And entrepreneurs are betting that as soon as mainstream computer users realize their vulnerability, they will rush to sign up for privacy products...."

"Many companies have also published the code that lies behind their programs -- open-source code -- so that the programming can be reviewed by other technical experts. Among those that have open-source philosophies are Hush Communications, Zero-Knowledge, PrivacyX and Network Associates, which now owns the P.G.P. software."

"Meeting the technical expectations of the cryptography crowd while creating a simple product for consumers can be a challenge. Computer experts get a charge out of exposing security holes in systems that hold themselves up to be fail-safe and are constantly searching for signs of missteps."

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