Charnell Lucich

Phil Zimmermann, the creator of PGP Encrypts VoIP

Posted on: January 21, 2008

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Phil Zimmermann, the creator of PGP has always had the ability to combine politics and technology. In the 1980’s, Zimmermann was a software engineer by day and pulling a double work load as a military police analyst for the Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign. By doing this, he saw the need to develop e-mail software encryption as a means to protect human rights efforts both overseas and at home.
In 1991 he created PGP and published it free on the Internet.

His latest project is Zfone which provides secure telephony on the Internet:

Zfone is a new secure VoIP phone software product which lets you make encrypted phone calls over the Internet. Its principal designer is Phil Zimmermann, the creator of PGP, the most widely used email encryption software in the world. Zfone uses a new protocol called ZRTP, which has a better architecture than the other approaches to secure VoIP.

* Doesn’t depend on signaling protocols, PKI, or any servers at all. Key negotiations are purely peer-to-peer through the media stream
* Inter-operates with any SIP/RTP phone, auto-detects if encryption is supported by other endpoint
* Available as a “plugin” for existing soft VoIP clients, effectively converting them into secure phones
* Available as an SDK for developers to integrate into their VoIP applications
* Submitted to IETF as a proposal for a public standard, and source code is published

Read more on this here. There is also a good read in VON Magazine.

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