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16 Years of protecting privacy

Posted 20th December 2013 by Sam Tuke

Today marks 16 years since the first release of GNU Privacy Guard (GnuPG). In that time the project has grown from being a hacker’s hobby into one of the world’s most critical anti-surveillance tools. Today GnuPG stands at the front line of the battle between invasive surveillance and civil liberties.

“Time has proven Free Software to be the most trustworthy defender against companies and governments seeking to undermine citizen privacy” said Werner Koch, GnuPG Founder and Lead Developer. “Although funding our work has not always been easy, the need for universally accessible privacy tools has never been more apparent”.

Some of the world’s top security specialists are now counted among GnuPG users, including Bruce Schneier, Jacob Appelbaum, and Phil Zimmerman, inventor of PGP. This summer the world learned of the extent of Government spying thanks to whistleblowers and journalists communicating using GnuPG encrypted emails. Market leading servers from Red Hat and Debian have built their reputation for security on the foundation of GnuPG-verified software.

“The success of GnuPG’s first crowdfunding campaign, which received 90% of it’s target in 24 hours, shows a fresh willingness among users to support GnuPG in it’s 16th year, and points to new opportunities for the project in future” said Sam Tuke, GnuPG Campaign Manager. “The release of GnuPG 2.1 and the launch of a newly designed website later this year will bring GnuPG and its clients for Windows, Mac, Gnu/Linux, and Android to new audiences”.

Over the years GnuPG has kept up to date with new algorithms, such as Elliptic Curve Cryptography, and reactive to new threats, such as key extraction via acoustic monitoring, which was announced two days ago by researchers as GnuPG updates were released, in coordination with developers. Members remain confident of the future of GnuPG and look forward to facing the privacy threats of tomorrow with community support.

 
   
 
 
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