[FoRK] At what point is email officially broken?

Simon Wistow < simon at thegestalt.org > on > Thu Dec 7 01:38:22 PST 2006

On Wed, Dec 06, 2006 at 01:59:11PM -0800, Tom Higgins said:
> Crypto? PGP has been out for a decade or so and it is being used by
> what percent of the email population? Yea, see it may sound good it
> might flash a little something but without use it means not much.

Funnily enough I was talking with someone about this yesterday - what if 
Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft implemented client side PGP in their 
webmail products?

At first I imagine it would only be signing. Obviously all the people on 
the same service as you would be easily authenticated. 
Authenticating people using the other big two webmail services could 
easily be done by some sort of agreement between the Big Three players. 
Mayb even toss in AOL whilst we're at it.

Hopefully, by then, unsigned email would start to be in the minority. 
Also, potentially, since crypto has been built in more or less 
transparently to the end user mail can start to be encrypted as well as 
signed (although that's far less likely since then then wbemail 
companies can't data mine your inbox).

The big problem, of course, is allowing people not using those services
to participate in such a way that doesn't also allows spammers to keep
going and also doesn't boil down to "use a whitelist".

This is the step just before "Profit!" and just after "Steal 
Underpants!". When I work it out, I'll make my millions and retire into 
the life of the Gentleman Scientist.

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