Pretty Good Privacy

(redirected from Pgp encryption)
Also found in: Medical.

Pretty Good Privacy

(tool, cryptography)
(PGP) A high security RSA public-key encryption application for MS-DOS, Unix, VAX/VMS, and other computers. It was written by Philip R. Zimmermann <> of Phil's Pretty Good(tm) Software and later augmented by a cast of thousands, especially including Hal Finney, Branko Lankester, and Peter Gutmann.

PGP was distributed as "guerrilla freeware". The authors don't mind if it is distributed widely, just don't ask Philip Zimmermann to send you a copy. PGP uses a public-key encryption algorithm claimed by US patent #4,405,829. The exclusive rights to this patent are held by a California company called Public Key Partners, and you may be infringing this patent if you use PGP in the USA. This is explained in the PGP User's Guide, Volume II.

PGP allows people to exchange files or messages with privacy and authentication. Privacy and authentication are provided without managing the keys associated with conventional cryptographic software. No secure channels are needed to exchange keys between users, which makes PGP much easier to use. This is because PGP is based on public-key cryptography.

PGP encrypts data using the International Data Encryption Algorithm with a random session key, and uses the RSA algorithm to encrypt the session key.

In December 1994 Philip Zimmermann faced prosecution for "exporting" PGP out of the United States but in January 1996 the US Goverment dropped the case. A US law prohibits the export of encryption software out of the country. Zimmermann did not do this, but the US government hoped to establish the proposition that posting an encryption program on a BBS or on the Internet constitutes exporting it - in effect, stretching export control into domestic censorship. If the government had won it would have had a chilling effect on the free flow of information on the global network, as well as on everyone's privacy from government snooping.


Justice Dept. announcement.

["Protect Your Privacy: A Guide for PGP Users", William Stallings, Prentice-Hall, ISBN 0-13-185596-4].
References in periodicals archive ?
com is a private email service based in the Netherlands that makes PGP encryption accessible and easy to use.
With PGP Command Line for mainframes, businesses now have the flexibility to address security needs with PGP encryption throughout their organization-no matter where the data originates or where it is stored.
Now, users can invoke PGP encryption functionality from a server or client machine before sending files via their transport protocol of choice.
Based on a unified key management and policy infrastructure, the PGP Encryption Platform offers the broadest set of integrated applications for enterprise data security.
Coviant's products offer PGP encryption and secure file transfer (FTP, SFTP and FTPS) to meet the need to encrypt files both "at-rest" and "in-transit" outside the corporate firewall.
Additions to CuteFTP 8 include PGP encryption, complete podcasting support, expanded backup options, improved search and enhancements to the interface that make it even easier to use than ever before.
The new offering will enable organizations to communicate securely with external users who use PGP encryption technology for securing email messages.
The unique PGP encryption product suite includes PGP Universal - an automatic, self-managing, network-based solution for enterprises-as well as desktop, mobile, and FTP/batch transfer solutions.
PGP customers will be able to bridge third party security applications with the industry-leading, standards-based and scalable PGP encryption and key management applications utilizing the PGP Platform with its centralized policy engine.
The TSP Program enables enterprise email security companies to complement their existing products and services with proven PGP encryption solutions.
The TSP Program enables industry-leading enterprise email management solution vendors to complement their offerings with the PGP(R) Universal, PGP(R) Desktop, and PGP(R) Command Line products from the PGP encryption product suite.
The new tape security software incorporates the same strong PGP encryption used by banks, insurance companies, and payroll services to protect sensitive data.