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E-Mail Encryption is Smooth as Silk

I believe it has been probably ten years, perhaps even longer, since the first time I set up my e-mail client for encryption. And then waited, eagerly, for someone else to join the club so I could play with it. Ten long years I have waited, and finally I have some play-mates!

I just started a new software development gig, and found to my great glee that everyone in this startup is required to communicate by encrypted e-mail. Understanding PGP encryption keys, and the exchange of public keys, is really the only awkward bit. (Well, and maybe for webmail addicts the additional step of setting up a desktop e-mail client.) After that receiving and reading encrypted e-mail is absolutely transparent. And sending encrypted mail is almost so, perhaps (depending on your e-mail client) requiring a conscious choice between MIME and inline encryption. And for the latter, manually encrypting attachments.

Apparently inline encryption is more widely used and supported in software, but for some reason not as good. Probably at least in part because MIME automatically encrypts attachments and inline does not. The part requiring care is if you send a MIME-encrypted e-mail to someone whose e-mail client only supports inline encryption, decryption is not automatic. But at least with claws-mail[1] it is not hard to keep track of what is going on with the inline / MIME thing.

Usage is really quite seamless. I continue to be astonished that more people are not willing to make the effort. But then I am not a webmail user either. Never have been, never will be.....

[1] http://www.claws-mail.org/

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