Emergic: Rajesh Jain's Blog

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Rethinking Email

June 5th, 2006 · No Comments

The Register writes:

Email in its current form will never, ever, ever be spam-free. It will never be virus-phishing-scam free. It will cost companies and individuals billions of dollars (http://www.internetnews.com/ec-news/article.php/3350891) in theft, criminal activity, and the reality of spam will grow from the 50-70 per cent it is today to 90 per cent of all traffic. Email will continue to harm millions of people through banking scams, identity theft, viruses, and more. Email will never be secure, because it was never designed to be secure.

The only solution is to start from scratch. Develop a new email system and make it secure. Use existing, proven technologies and a few new and novel ideas starting with the latest encoding mechanisms, a reliable hashing algorithm, fast compression, strong encryption and signatures. Build an electronic identity. Encode, hash, encrypt, compress, sign, and provide a novel way to share keys when needed, for example. I don’t know how this will all turn out, but perhaps yEnc, MD5, AES, H.264, and GPG are some potential technologies that could be used together. A new transport protocol would need to be flexible enough that any of these technologies could be replaced, transparently to the user, as better and stronger options become available. It would need to be seamless for the client no more messy GPG or other stop-gap solutions that few people actually use. Secure email should be a mandatory “secure bundle” of email that is safe for sending a credit card number to a business or someone I know.

Tags: Software

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