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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

freenigma: Easy Email Encryption

freenigma is a Firefox extension that integrates into many webmail services to provide strong encryption (using GnuPG) for any messages you send. It's basically a Javascript userscript (like a Greasemonkey script) that adds a freenigma box to the webmail UI. You can easily encrypt and decrypt messages with a single click. Currently, Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, and Hotmail are supported. To register, you have to submit your email for an invite.

If you trust freenigma, then this is a great solution for users worried about their privacy. Unfortunately, making the process so easy and transparent to the user compromises the security of the encryption since a third-party (freenigma) is involved in generating the encryption keys. However, I think it's very promising. I've seen other email encryption programs that were too complicated to implement for most users, but freenigma is so simple that it could really take off. Maybe one day encrypting email will be commonplace because of this.


(via Read/Write Web)


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