GNU Privacy Guard

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The GNU Privacy Guard (GnuPG or GPG) is the standard for encrypting e-mail messages, instant messaging conversations and files on the Internet. It works by encrypting messages using asymmetric keypairs individually generated by GnuPG users. You generate a key-pair, give the public key to your friends and keep for yourself - and decrypt with - a private key which is protected by a passphrase.

[edit] Finding peoples keys

This little shell script will check a number of known nameservers for a persons public GnuPG/PGP key. Keys are identified by a number such as 0x79E48D63A1A23194.

File: fetachkey
#!/bin/bash
#
# Thanks to George Shaffer
#
if [ "$1" == "" ];then
  echo "Enter a key as argument!"
  exit 1
fi

echo 'tickets.rutgers.edu
tickets.rutgers.edu
pgp.mit.edu
keyserver.veridis.com
pgp.keyserver.ch
pgp.surfnet.nl
www.stinkfoot.org
pgp.es.net
pgp.rediris.es
pgp.nic.ad.jp
pgp.uk.demon.net
pgp.zdv.uni-mainz.de
keyserver.linux.it
keys.iif.hu
pgp.eteo.mondragon.edu'|while read keyserver;do

if gpg --keyserver $keyserver --recv-key $1
then
   echo Found key at $keyserver
   exit
fi
done
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