Its first operatives famously cracked coded messages encrypted by the Nazis, hastening the end of the second world war.
Now Bletchley Park is planning a new school for the next generation of codebreakers in order to plug a huge skills gap in what is fast emerging as the biggest security threat to 21st-century Britain. [continue]
Should any snoopy individual or entity be able to read your email, or would you rather have private email? I’m opting for the private approach, myself.
If you’d like to have private and encrypted email, you might want to check out Tutanota. It’s hosted in Germany, where privacy legislation is pretty decent. It’s encrypted, open source, and pretty cool. Get an account for free and try it out!
I’ve been using Tutanota for a while now. It’s not perfect, but it is pretty fine, and is improving all the time. I like it. I’m particularly pleased that it is dead easy to use, even for those those of your friends who aren’t so good at the whole internet thing.
Encryption software that makes it hard to spy on what people do and say online is “essential” for free speech, says a United Nations report.
Without anonymising tools, many people will find it far harder to express opinions without censure, it says.
Any attempt to weaken encryption software will only curb this ability, it warns.
The report comes as many governments seek to put “backdoors” in encryption software to aid law enforcement.
“Encryption and anonymity, separately or together, create a zone of privacy to protect opinion and belief,” says the report written by David Kaye, a special rapporteur in the UN’s office of the high commissioner for human rights. [continue]
App maker Open Whisper Systems took an important step in this direction today with the release of a major new version of its Signal encrypted calling app for iPhones and iPads. The new version, Signal 2.0, folds in support for encrypted text messages using a protocol called TextSecure, meaning users can communicate using voice and text while remaining confident nothing can be intercepted in transit over the internet.
That may not sound like a particularly big deal, given that other encrypted communication apps are available for iOS, but Signal 2.0 offers something tremendously useful: peace of mind.
Unlike other text messaging products, Signal’s code is open source, meaning it can be inspected by experts, and the app also supports forward secrecy, so if an attacker steals your encryption key, they cannot go back and decrypt messages they may have collected in the past. [continue]
By the way: if you happen to be an Android user, check out the Wickr program.
The 300,000-word journal of Charles Wesley, the co-founder of the Methodist movement, which was written in an obscure shorthand, has been solved and the diary transcribed. It has taken nine years.
It appears that the shorthand was used not for speed, but for security. What was so important that it required the secrecy of a complex code?
(They tell you later on in the article.)
Wesley’s is not the only diary that has used a code, however, with everyone from Beatrix Potter to British prisoners of war using their secret diaries to express feelings that no-one else was meant to understand. [continue]
This kind of stuff fascinates me, partly because I’ve thought up a secret code system of my own, which I think would be awfully difficult for somebody to decode. Maybe one day I’ll develop it.