Chapter 3

Public Keys

Bob’s eyes fluttered shut reading Sam’s howto, but he twitches into awareness when Sam’s wristwatch emits a tiny beep, just 20 minutes into their flight.

“OK sleepyhead, are you ready for more GnuPG?” Sam asks.

Bob, brushing sleep from his eyes, answers, “Sure. Can you explain how to do public key encryption now?”

Sam answers: “Public key encryption is the real thing. Strong cryptography scared the US government back in the 1990s because it’s so strong. With my public key, you can encrypt a message to me and as long as I can keep my private key safe, I am the only person in the world who can decrypt that message.”

Bob asks, “But why is that so scary?”

Sam, leaning forward, says, “That first thing I showed you, how to encrypt ...

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