Apple touts privacy as a major selling point for its hardware, and isn’t afraid to poke holes in Google, Facebook, et al, because it is a good point of differentiation. Yes, Apple’s online competitors have embraced privacy in name only, but Apple gives it to us direct.
Direct? Well, yeah, kinda, sorta, mostly; uh, it depends. Oh, and it’s complicated?
Look, I get it that Messages comes with end-to-end encryption to keep my text messages private. But if the F.B.I. already has a box that can crack any iPhone’s password, then what’s the point?
Why isn’t there end-to-end encryption for email?
As it turns out, there is already. In fact, there are multiple ways to encrypt email messages. So, where is it? What’s the problem? To get email encrypted from end-to-end means both sides of the message– sender and receiver– are required to encrypt and decrypt the message.
That is not so easy when nobody can agree on how it should be done.
Remember Firefox? There once was a day when Firefox was the second most used browser on the planet. These days, Firefox is better than the competition, but getting used less. Mozilla, the folks who develop Firefox, also develop Thunderbird, an open-source email application.
Thunderbird will get OpenPGP— built-in, ready to rock and roll– maybe next year. All you need to obtain more privacy is to send your email message to someone else who uses OpenPGP, which also runs on Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and, of course, iOS. So, why isn’t OpenPGP a built-in standard for email encryption?
The problem is getting everyone who uses email on major platforms to use OpenPGP at the same time. Unlike how encryption works with Messages on iPhone, iPad, and Mac, OpenPGP is more complex, requires managing encryption keys, signing the keys, then encrypting the message and blah blah lt;dr.
If you have to install third party software to get email encrypted, then email won’t get encrypted by the great unwashed masses of email users.
The solution is a big confab between Microsoft, Apple, Google, and Linux folk to determine a standard for encryption, a built-in management method, and then roll it out to the world. In another 10 or 12 years all the world’s PCs and Macs and smartphones will have it built-in, and maybe we can end spam, and live our lives more secure.
Whoa. What was that? An earthquake?
I think I just work up from a crazy-assed dream.