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Why I Don't Use PGP

Why I Don't Use PGP -- The Top 10 Reasons (from the David Lettercrypt

(...drum roll...)

10. Because I use a Mac and the Mac version is not out yet.

9. Because the Mac version may NEVER be out.

8. Because my old IBM PC won't read the 3.5" diskettes my Mac puts

7. Because downloading encrypted files with ZMODEM, writing them to
DOS format (with Apple File Exchange), hauling out my Toshiba 1000SE
laptop and firing it up, loading the 3.5" diskette, and then running
PGP takes 5 minutes per message.

6. Because after doing all of the above, I usually get "This is not a
PGP file," due to some obscure mistranslation somewhere along the way.

5. Because I barely have the time to read and respond to my ordinary
e-mail, let alone decrypt mail, respond (on my DOS machine), and then
reverse the above procedure.

4. Because I'm not yet convinced it is needed. It will be someday, but
not for right now. (Getting PGP volume up is a great idea...it's the
actual decryption that's a pain. Maybe we ought to send dummy

3. Because ideally our mailers should handle this in a push-button way
(I know about the security flaws in having a nonlocal host machine,
such as my NETCOM host, do the PGP procedure...I am hoping that
someone will write something that transparently "reaches down" into my
machine and triggers the computation locally on my machine--and I need
a Mac version, of course. Probably an off-line Newsreader for the Mac,
like Nuntius, is needed.)

2. Because I don't give out my PGP key (generated on my Toshiba) to
all of those who have e-mailed me about it (especially in the wake of
my postings about the Denning proposal). The last thing I want is more
e-mail from people I've never met, sending me their encrypted secrets
of the universe.

(...and the Number One reason I don't use PGP?.....)

1. Because computers were supposed to make my life easier, and they

Well, that's enough reasons. I guess I'm just lazy, or have higher
priorities than to spend 5 frustrating minutes per mail message.
Ironically, I'm not alone. I have heard that even Phil Zimmerman lets
his PGP-encrypted messages pile up in his incoming mail, due to the

As Eric Hughes has noted, it is precisely this pain that will cause
improvements to be made.

Timothy C. May         | Crypto Anarchy: encryption, digital money,  
[email protected]       | anonymous networks, digital pseudonyms, zero
408-688-5409           | knowledge, reputations, information markets, 
W.A.S.T.E.: Aptos, CA  | black markets, collapse of governments.
Higher Power: 2^756839 | PGP 2.0 and MailSafe keys by arrangement.