[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Pegasus Mail 2.20

   The new beta release of Pegasus Mail (one of the better e-mail
apps available) has a new feature:

    Runtime-loadable encryptor/decryptor modules for Pegasus Mail.

                         Pegasus Mail System, 
        Copyright (c) 1990-95, David Harris, All Rights Reserved

The hot topic on everyone's lips is "privacy". And, as usual, the
computer industry is in the process of confusing and disrupting the issue
beyond recognition... We have factions all over the place each arguing
passionately for its own most beloved encryption scheme, and some of the
rhetoric is getting pretty heated.

Add to the proliferation of interests the USA's ridiculous export laws on
encryptors and the sum is trouble. As far as I can tell, encryption is
going through what seems to be an industry-standard cycle of chaos:
everyone suddenly realises there's a lack/opportunity/need and rushes to
promote the idea they like best; a small war develops during which the
users and peripheral developers are left bemused and bewildered amongst
the welter of extravagant claims and counter-claims, then eventually
(usually after two or three years of total pandemonium) the group with
the most clout (although not necessarily the best product) will win out
and become "the standard".

I've been through this rat race several times and have no desire whatever 
to go through it again; on the other hand, my USERS have very legitimate 
concerns about privacy. So what do I do? Easy - I pass the buck.

WinPMail v2.2 and later supports third-party, runtime loadable modules to
handle encryption and decryption of mail. A special mechanism has been
defined that allows Pegasus Mail to detect that a third party encryptor
has been used and to determine whether the matching decryptor is
available on the system. The built-in encryptor will remain available for
those sites who only need moderate levels of message security.  WinPMail
will define an open interface for third-party encryptors and it is then
up to other people to write the code. What I envisage actually happening
is people writing "shell interfaces" for WinPMail - i.e., modules that
take the calls I make and translate them into calls to other programs,
such as PGP or whatever, returning the result.

   Let the games begin.

[email protected]http://www.ionet.net/~scottst--
   >~<^xXx       | "The Internet is simply a means of 
        xX   #   | communication. Efforts to stop infor-
      (XXX) #    | mation by enjoining it are doomed to
    (XXXXXXX)    | failure in a free society."
DON'T TREAD ON ME|        -- Prof. Frank Tuerkheimer
=========NSA trip phrase of the week: DEUTERIUM=========