Message encryption far predates computers. Encrypting paper messages was a painstaking process, and encryption has gained a connotation of being a complex, cumbersome process that only computer professionals can navigate.
Although this once carried some truth, it no longer does. Encryption has literally never been easier, and many are working hard to make it easier still.
Government officials such as Senator Dianne Feinstein and FBI Director James Comey hate the idea of encryption being widely adopted. Technology experts criticize this stance as ignorant, but NatSec hawks may be more afraid of the revolutionary potential of this technology than they let on. However, they have so far been unable to stop this from occurring. Message encryption holds the potential for the creation of wide-ranging online autonomous zones. It’s more than just a way for you and a couple friends to communicate. Together, we can create vast networks where people can share resources and ideas, plan collective action, and meet other resisters, all free from the prying eyes of police, employers, and other malicious authority figures.
IT’S MUTUAL AID
Every time another person adopts encryption, it becomes that much more difficult for the state to keep a handle on who is encrypting and how often. The more of us do it, the safer we all become.
IT’S BETTER THAN SOCIAL MEDIA
Social media – Facebook especially – is a tool that empowers both the state and its discontents. Encryption allows us to do the same things social media does, but in a way that protects us from repression. Planning militant actions on corporate platforms is problematic, but with encryption we can come together to make plans to do what we want, when we want.
The number of resources out there to help people encrypt is huge and expanding by the day. This site covers almost everything by device and operating system. If you prefer audio/visual instructions, you can hop over to YouTube and type in the name of your email service plus the word encrypt and pick from several tutorials.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation also has an excellent guide.