Do you think your email is safe from prying eyes? Can you send an email to someone without practically anybody being able to not only capture a copy of the message, but read it? For most people and especially members of the body of Christ, the answers to these questions is a sobering "NO!".
The end of the age draws near and soon anti-Christ will reign in this world. Technology is already in place that makes possible the large scale monitoring of communications, especially electronic communications such as email.
Picture this: Christianity has been outlawed. Christians have to operate in secret in order to be effective in helping each other and reaching the lost. No longer would it be wise to simply send emails.
An example of a common email today that will be illegal in the future is:
===== To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com Subj: New Meeting Planned (the body of the email in this example would contain the time, location, speaker and topic details of a church meeting which in that time will be illegal and dangerous if it were known to any but those who are attending.) =====
In the anti-Christian environment at that time, the text in this email would be spotted by programs similar to the ones used to filter out spam. The sender and all of the recipients would be identified and soon arrested. Their computers get searched, yielding the identities and locations of more Christians who would also be arrested and martyred.
Christians will have to exist largely as an underground of sorts. Messages must be secure from prying eyes so that communication with each other is possible in a world that is even now deciding that it is better off without us. Sending messages of encouragement, prayer requests, teaching, bible study as well as organizational emails concerning meetings, the moving of supplies, arranging to help those in need, and so on. In the world that is coming, it would be frowned upon to say the least.
A better way by far, is for 'pastorjoe' to use a combination of encryption software, anonymous remailers and a 'Nym' email address. A 'Nym' is a an email account under a pseudonym. It is obtained by sending setup messages to a 'Nym-Server' using a chain of anonymous remailers. The message is encrypted in several stages of creation so that each one can only decrypt the part of the message that it has to deal with. Each remailer strips out the header information in the email that shows where it came from. It then sends the already encrypted body of the message to the next remailer This way, only the last remailer in the chain has information about the final destination . No information about the actual sender is given (with an exception for 'Nym' addresses).
By using this method, people can exchange emails with confidence that they are not being read by any but the intended receiver. This way no one has readable files containing the true email address or identity of anyone else. Instead, that information is kept in text files that have been encrypted so that information that could get someone martryed is safe from prying eyes
The process of setting up this kind of message can become very involved. Fortunately there is software that automates the task. "Jack B Nymble 2.1.4" It also can be used to set up "Nym" email accounts. These allow email to be sent and even replied to in such a way as to preserve anonymity. If both the sender and receiver are using this kind of email client, then the identity and security of BOTH parties is ensured. If a client program like Jack B Nymble is used with reasonable care, it can easily automate most of the process.
The first step in establishing solid, reliable security is to know what kind of software to get and where to find it. There are several types of software needed:
Firewall. This program stands like a wall between your computer and the internet, blocking unauthorized access both incoming and outgoing.
Encryption. Software that can render text and data files unreadable by anyone who does not have the key needed to de-crypt it. One I like is a gem called "Pretty Good Privacy" or "PGP" for short.
Anonymity. Programs that allow the user to send and receive email in a completely secure anonymous manner.
Other usefull links for anonymity software:
I will be discussing these and other topics in upcoming articles in which I will present reviews and walk the user through some uses of these programs.
Does this sound excesseively paranoid? Perhaps, but all you have to do is take a look around at the modern world we live in. Security has become almost an obsession because of the events of Sept 11 and rightly so, but this need for security does not and can not dare to stop on a political, military, or business level. It must also be adopted by God's people and used as He intended.
A few years ago there was a running joke going around about Al Gore claiming to have invented the internet. Naturally he didn't and a lot of people will be surprised by who REALLY deserves the credit . . . God. Sound absurd? Think again. One of the things that God is all about is creativity. The devil, contrary to popular belief, doesn't create anything. He simply twists what God created to serve his purpose. God did not inspire the creation of today's technology only to have it used against His people. He has intended, from the beginning, for His people to use ALL of the resources available to them! That includes among other things: Computers and the internet, email, web pages, and even sophisticated modern encryption technology.