PGP to Android, NFC and beyond

October 31, 2011 by Jon Callas     No Comments

Blogmaster Note: This was originally posted on October 31, 2011 to the ZDNet Australia Patch Monday series.

Callas is now the chief technical officer at Entrust, a privately held company that does identity-based security work for clients ranging from the FBI and the US Department of Homeland Security to the UK and Saudi governments.

He’s been in the computer security game forever. He was principle software architect for mainframe giant DEC in the 1980s, with Apple for a couple of years in the 1990s and as director of software engineering at Bruce Schneier’s company Counterpane.

He was also part of the 1990s crypto war over Phil Zimmerman’s Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) algorithm, one of the first civilian encryption systems created.

Patch Monday: PGP to Android, NFC and beyond

The emerging commercial information security industry needed its own cryptographic systems to protect data. But the US Government, and other governments around the world, had the Cold War view that encryption was a matter for the military, not civilians.

Times have changed. PGP and other civilian encryption systems are mature technology. All our email should be safely encrypted by now, but it’s not. Why is that?

The podcast interview starts with Callas recounting those days and his thoughts on why the vast majority of our email is still in plain text. But it soon moves on to current and future matters, such as why your smartphone equipped with near-field communication (NFC) won’t just be your wallet, but your key identity device.

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Jon Callas


Jon Callas has over 30 years of experience and served as Entrust’s Chief Technology Officer. Prior to joining Entrust, Callas co-founded PGP Corporation which specialized in email and data encryption software. Over the course of more than fifteen years, Callas held leadership functions including CTO and CSO. Most recently, he also served as an operating system security expert with Apple. Additionally, he has held leadership positions with corporations including Wave Systems Corporation, Digital Equipment Corporation and Counterpane Internet Security Inc. He has also authored several Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) standards including OpenPGP, DKIM, and ZRTP.

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