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A common sense guide to the Internet...

Why Bother...

The information age as we understand it, began with the invention of the telegraph and telephone. Conversations began to be conducted electronically.

Unfortunately this medium also enabled our discussions to be "overheard" by a third party, without our knowledge; telegrams intercepted... telephone calls monitored... Harnessing the power of computers this interception process is vastly simplified. Both email and telephone calls can be routinely and automatically scanned on a large scale without detection, looking for interesting keywords...   Rather like trawler fishing...

I am a law-abiding citizen with nothing to hide... Why should I encrypt my email? Why do you send your mail in an envelope, rather than openly on a postcard for anyone to read? By using cryptography you assert your right to privacy, simply that, nothing more.

The only way to uphold a citizen's right to privacy in the information age is by using strong cryptography. By doing nothing, new technologies will give a hostile government new automatic surveillance capabilities that Hitler and Stalin could never have dreamed of. You do not have to distrust a government to want to use cryptography. You may be targeted by identity thieves, business rivals, organised crime, or foreign governments. Your Credit Card and Banking details exposed...and so on.

One measure we can apply is to use cryptography as much as we can. With the universal use of strong cryptography it would be much harder for any government to ban it.

A Right to Privacy...

A right to privacy is the mark of a free society. A right to privacy is predicated on the belief that each human being has intrinsic value, that is, is valuable in and of him or herself. Respect for this belief becomes the fundamental source of all human rights. The public availability and use of strong cryptography empowers people to take their privacy into their own hands. With privacy ensured, a country is free in the broadest sense of the word. Only then can people exchange ideas and discuss concepts without the threat of Big Brother.

If privacy is outlawed, only outlaws will have privacy.

NB: In some countries it is illegal for a citizen to use cyptography in their personal communications.

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