Do you like the Google search engine? Yeah? I do too. In fact, I LOVE Google, and basically don’t use any other search engine. Why would I? Google gives great search hits, it’s fast and has that lean, efficient interface that doesn’t get in the way of my searching for information.
But do I trust Google Inc. to do no evil, to know everything about me; every aspect of my life – and not misuse that information, today and in the forseeable future?
Maybe I’m being Ultraparanoid™, but I’d have to say ”NO!”.
”But Google doesn’t know everything about me”, you say. Well, let’s take a look at what Google DO know (or may know), shall we?
If you use GMail, Google reads all your mail. If you use Google Desktop, Google reads every document on your computer. Just those two are enough to give me the creeps. But it gets even worse – a lot worse!
So, you’re a security-minded individual who uses a HW firewall, a client firewall, antivirus SW and anti-spyware SW to protect yourself, your computer and your privacy. Great! Now you’ve found a great way to communicate with your friends and family in a secure fashion: Skype! Well, let’s take a deep breath and have a closer look at Skype. Here’s a conversation between me and you:
You: I’ve found a way to communicate with my friends and my family in a secure fashion!
Me: Wow, that’s great. Tell me more about it.
You: It’s a voice-over-IP program with chat functionality.
Me: Sounds nice, but how exactly is it “secure”?
You: It encrypts everything with a 256-bit EAS algorithm – it’s unbreakable!
Me: Yes, 256-bit AES is a strong algorithm. Did you make sure to choose a long and complex passphrase when generating the master key to keep the implementation of the encryption as strong as the algorithm lets you?