The Computer Privacy Handbook

A Practical Guide to E-Mail Encryption, Data Protection, and PGP Privacy Software

André Bacard

Publisher: Peachpit Press, 1995, 274 pages

ISBN: 1-56609-171-3

Keywords: IT Security

Last modified: April 30, 2021, 3:04 p.m.

"I've Got Nothing to Hide… Why Do I need Computer Privacy?"

We all live in an age of irresponsible data proliferation. Your IRS records, medical history, credit information, and intimate data are on computer files. These files make your life potentially an open book to snoops, business competitors, nosy neighbors, and even criminals. The Computer Privacy Handbook gives you the practical tools to reassert your privacy.

You'll find out:

  • Who is selling your secrets
  • How computers help snoops
  • The dangers of a cash-free society
  • How the U.S. government wants to monitor all telecommunications
  • Why e-mail can be terrible unsafe
  • The advantages of anonymous remailers
  • How to protect yourself with encryption and digital signatures
  • How to safeguard your Social Security number

Also included is a complete, user-friendly manual for PGP (Pretty Good privacy), a top-rate software program that protects your personal and business data files and e-mail from snoops! PGP is the de-facto world standard fro e-mail privacy.

  • Part One: Guarding Our Privacy in the Information Age
    • An Overview of Surveillance
      • I've Nothing to Hide. Why Do I Need Privacy?
      • What Price for Your Secrets
      • Who Is Leaking Our Secrets?
      • Privacy Defined
      • A Few Privacy Controveries
      • Participants in the Privacy Debate
      • A "Surveillance Age"
        • Electronic Surveillance
        • Optical Surveillance
        • Managerial Surveillance
        • Biological Surveillance
      • Why Privacy is Controversial
      • How Computers Help Snoops
      • The Dangers of a Cash-Free Society
        • The Cash-Free Look
          • Cash-free benefits
          • Cash-free nightmares
      • Why Is Big Brother in Kindergarten?
      • The FBI's Digital Telephony Proposal
      • Do You Want a National ID?
      • Why Would You Use an Identity Card?
      • A Prototypical National ID: Your Social Security Number and How to Protect It
      • Chris Hibbert of CPSR Speaks Out
      • Aren't Computer Files and E-Mail Already Safe?
      • Password Protection: What They Don't Tell You
      • The Guardians of Cyberspace
      • Anonymous Remailers
  • Part Two: Cryptology ("Crypto")
    • Roots of the Clipper Chip Controversy
      • What Is Cryptology ("Crypto")?
      • Where to Meet Cryptologists
      • The Powers and Limitations of Crypto
      • What Is High-Quality Crypto?
      • Data Encryption Standard (DES)
      • What Is RSA?
      • International Data Encryption Algorithm (IDEA)
      • Digital Signatures
      • Popularizing Digital Signatures
      • What Are DigiCash and Blind Signatures?
      • Steganography
      • Hiding in Pictures: Stego
      • Should Crypto Be Softwaare or Hardware?
      • Crypto Is a "Munition" and Export Controlled!
      • What Is the Clipper Initiative?
        • Crypto Experts Oppose Clipper
        • White House Press Release on Clipper
        • CPSR's Clipper Chip Petition
        • The Association of Computing Machinery Speaks Out
        • Dr. Matt Blaze Finds Clipper Flaw
        • Vice-President Gore's Letter to Representative Cantwell
        • EFF Analysis of Vice President Gore's Letter
        • Current Status of the Clipper Initative
      • Where Can You Read the Latest Crypto news?
  • Part Three: PGP: Pretty Good Privacy
    • What Is PGP?
    • Who Created PGP?
      • Philip Zimmermann's Statement to Congress
    • Who's Using PGP?
    • How Safe is PGP? Will it Really Protect You?
    • Does PGP Provide Too Much Privacy?
    • Which Version of PGP Should You Get
    • MIT PGP Version 2.6
    • ViaCrypt PGP Version 2.7
    • Finding PGP
    • Registering with a Public Key Server
    • Stable Large Email Database (SLED)
      • Support For PGP Data Encryption
      • Privacy Protection and Controlling Your Personal Data
      • For More Information on SLED
    • Finding the Latest PGP News
  • Part Four: Using PGP on the PC
    • Quick Start For Manual Haters
    • Installing PGP on Your PC
      • Setting Your Time Zone
    • Escaping Panic If You Get Lost
    • Selecting Which PGP Crypto To Use
    • Using PGP's Conventional Cryptography
      • Encrypting with Conventional Cryptography
      • Decrypting with Conventional Cryptography
    • Using PGP's Public Key Cryptography
      • Creating and Organizing PGP Keys
        • Generating your public and secret keys
        • Where PGP stores your public and secret keys
        • Viewing your public key ring
        • Looking at your public key
        • Adding a key to your key ring
        • Removing a key or user ID from your key ring
        • Viewing the "fingerprint" of a public key
        • Selecting keys via key ID
        • Signing a public key
        • Viewing the signatures on your public key ring
        • Removing signatures on your public key ring
        • Checking the certifications on your key ring
        • Editing your trust for a user ID
        • Editing your user ID or pass phrase
        • Disabling/re-enabling a key on your public key ring
        • Creating a key compromise certificate
      • Encrypting with PGP's Public Key Cryptography
        • Encrypting a message to one person
        • Encrypting aa message to several people
        • Making an ASCII file for e-mail
        • Encrypting a message for e-mail
        • Adding a comment line to ViaCrypt PGP's output
        • Signing a message with your secret key
        • Encrypt "For Her Eyes Only"
        • Encrypt and wipe textfile
        • Encrypt and convert to local text convention
        • Combining encryption options
      • Decrypting with PGP's Public Key Crypto
        • Basic public key decryption
        • Where to put the decrypted files?
        • Decrypting e-mail
        • Decrypting for your screen only
        • Recovering the original filename
      • Advanced Digital Signatures
        • Clear signing a plaintext message
        • How secure are clear signed messages?
        • Useful batch files
        • Separating signatures from messages
        • Detaching a signature certificate
        • Leaving a signature intact after decryption
    • Setting Configuration Parameters
      • Exaamining and Editing Your CONFIG.TXT File
      • Adding a Comment Line to ViaCrypt PGP's Output
      • Alternative Locations for Pubring, Secring, or Randseed
      • ARMOR (ASCII Armour Output)
      • ARMORLINES (Size of ASCII Armor Multipart Files)
      • BAKRING (File Name for Backup Secret Keyring)
      • CERT_DEPTH (How Deep May Introducers Be Nested)
      • CHARSET (Local Character Set for Text Files)
      • CLEARSIG (Cleartext Signed Messages)COMPATIBILITY (Of PGP Versions)
      • COMPLETES_NEEDED (Number of Trusted Introduction)
      • COMPRESS (Enable Compression)
      • INTERACTIVE (Ask for Confirmation for Key Adds)
      • KEEPBINARY (Keep Binary Ciphertext Files After Decrypting)
      • LANGUAGE (Foreign Language Selector)
      • MARGINAL_NEEDED (Number of Marginally Trusted Introducers Needed)
      • MYNAME (User ID for Making Signatures)
      • SHOWPASS (Echo Pass Phrase to User)
      • TEXTMODE (Assuming Plaintext is a Text File)
      • TMP (Directory Path Name for Temporary Files)
      • VERBOSE (Quiet, Normal, or Verbose Messages)
    • Security Considerations (For Paranoids Only)
      • Has Anyone Tampered with Your PC?
      • Ensuring That Your Computer Is Virus- and Hacker-Free
    • Are You Telling Your Friends Too Much?
      • Where Are Your "Deleted" Files?
      • Is Anyone Fooling with Your Public Key?
      • Is Someone Listening to Your Keystrokes?
      • Is a Traffic Cop Watching You?
      • Are You on a Party Line?
      • What is the Cost of Paranoia?
  • Part Five: Bibliography
  • Part Six: Appendix
    • Pro Privacy Cyberspace Resources
      • Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility
      • Electronic Frontier Foundation
      • Electronic Privacy Information Center
      • The Privacy Journal


The Computer Privacy Handbook

Reviewed by Roland Buresund

Disappointing *** (3 out of 10)

Last modified: May 21, 2007, 3:25 a.m.

Yet another book about PGP that tries to be something more. Pathetic.


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