March 23, 2005
Ciphire Mail is a new encryption and signing agent for the masses. With this transparent proxy, e-mail can be signed and encrypted using special public key infrastructure, but without the need for the user to manually generate certificates (key pairs) and have them validated by a third-party certification authority. So far, so good. I would even say: wonderful! Finally! That's what we needed.
That said, I was wondering whether Ciphire thought of interoperability with existing e-mail solutions that have seen wide-spread implementation. The best-supported e-mail cryptography standard is probably X.509 certificates and S/MIME. Standard e-mail clients such as Outlook, Apple Mail and Thunderbird/Mozilla have it built-in, and it works seamlessly once you have managed to install your certificates.
Ciphire doesn't use X.509 keys and S/MIME. Instead, they install a local mail server that forwards your mail, acting as an encryption proxy. Ciphire's big challenge is to get a critical mass with a system that needs to be installed beside the local user's mail client. I'd say since neither PGP nor S/MIME have really reached what seasoned bullshit bingo players call market penetration, Ciphire will get its chance.
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