File sharing in plain sight with GnuPG
Governments around the world want access to everything you do, say, write and share. We are getting ever closer to an Orwellian society it would seem. Germany is pressing for a law which requires messaging app services to deliver encrypted messages in plain text to the authorities on demand. If passed, it will no longer be possible to communicate discretely, secure in the knowledge that your conversations and data are private.
If you have not heeded all the warning signs of recent times, perhaps it is time for a rethink. Citizens of the World need to start taking better care of their digital selves.
Protecting your data with GnuPG
As detailed in the I Love Linux article the privacy advantages of using a Linux desktop environment were noted. One such advantage is easy access to the open source GnuPG. Also available for all major operating systems, GnuPG is easy to setup and use, allowing the signing and encryption of data and e-mail communications.
Consider using GnuPG to encrypt your files. With GnuPG, no one can get into protected files without the key or the password. Be sure to use insanely long passwords - 25 characters minimum – as this will make your file virtually uncrackable.
Some real world examples
Email encryption: There is no excuse for sending sensitive data in plain text in this day and age of dragnet government surveillance. Take a look at how to encrypt any e-mail.
Large file sharing: In some circumstances, it is not possible to share large files via e-mail due to size restrictions. Today, many digital photos, for example, can quickly eat up those maximum MB limits on free e-mail accounts. Consider free storage options such as Google Drive and Dropbox, but be sure to encrypt your sensitive data with GnuPG before you send your files out. Always remember that as long as your data is on their servers, they can access it.
P2P file sharing: This is easily achievable amongst a small group of friends. For example, if said group of friends has access to a server, GnuPG encrypted files can be distributed easily and in total privacy. Even if a shared hosting provider is used, the GnuPG files will be inaccessible to the host. Just something to consider in this age of rampant torrent website blocking.
Have a go! See if you can crack this GnuPG file and send me the message inside.