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Joel O'Connor wrote:

> They say education is power abd naybe they were correct.  I agree with
> the fact that more people need to use encryption, the problem (as you
> stated) is that people do not understand how to use it, or even know
> it exists.  Unfortunate for us, fortunate for big brother.  While the
> only way we can counteract this debate is through empowerment, the
> question remains, how do you spread the word to up to a million
> people, enough to get their interest and keep it, enough to take the
> time to teach them how to use the tools.  I work for an IT department
> and the users I train rank from intelligent to "where the hell did you
> come from?!"  Teaching people who have no want or need is the hardest
> part, just ask Christians, they know what it's like.  Our greatest
> problems lie within our inability to train and make use of what lies
> in front of us, if people don't see the need, then why would they?
>   Another point, some people feel that if they have nothing to hide,
> then why use it.  An acquaitance of mine has the same stubborn
> attitude, what steps do you take to thwart that?  That excuse bothers
> me beyond belief, but it is a common thought that if you need to take
> the steps to hide something, then it must be wrong.  God help us. . .
> ---Anonymous <[email protected]> wrote:
> >
> > I think setting up mirror sites of crypto archives
> > across the world is a great idea.  However, I also
> > think we need to focus on getting more and more
> > people to use crypto.  I would guess that the vast
> > majority of computer users worldwide see no use
> > for encryption in their day-to-day lives -- and
> > even those that do don't also use it.
> >
> > If everybody in the world is using encryption, it
> > is going to be extremely difficult for "democratic"
> > governments to tell them they can't use it any more.
> >
> > Unfortunately, it's easy for governments to blame
> > crypto for terrorism and a host of other crimes,
> > simply because the average citizen doesn't understand
> > the concept of an "electronic envelope".
> >
> >
> >

    I think the concept presented at the end of that last paragraph is one
of the best ones I have heard.  If put to the average user on those terms,
I would think it would be relatively easy to convince them of the value of
crypto.  No non-technical type would even think of sending snail mail
without an envelope, out in the open for everyone to read.  So the concept
of an "electronic envelope" for email is a very easily grasped one.
However, I have noticed that the rules that often apply to snail mail,
including basic grammar, punctiation, capitalization, etc., often do not
apply to email for some odd reason.    I think some more of the problem
lies in the fact that the tools aren't all that user-friendly for the
non-power user.  A lot of people are intimidated by the very concept of
email itself.  I can only imagine what they must think when someone begins
to go on and on about public keys, and private key, and codes, and
encrypting, and decrypting.  People fear technology.  They are the same
people who will never enter a credit card number on a secure web site, yet
have no qualms about telling it to someone over a public telephone, or cel
    That's a good place to begin, though.  "Would you send a letter to
someone without an envelope?"  "Then why not put your email in the
electronic equivalent of one?"