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Friday, Aug. 15, 2014 04:43 pm

How to securely contact Patrick Yeagle using PGP encryption

More than ever before, data security is crucial to reporters and their sources. The massive, indiscriminate, spying dragnet utilized by the NSA and other government entities means regular email and phone calls are no longer a secure form of communication. If you have sensitive information you'd like to send to Patrick Yeagle without the possibility that someone could intercept it, you can use the OpenPGP encryption method, an open-source system of secure communications. I use GPG4Win, which integrates into existing email clients like Thunderbird. Here's a solid explanation and walk-through of public key encryption, and you can find more information at https://www.gnupg.org/ and https://www.enigmail.net/index.php/en/.

Each PGP user has both a "public key" that gets shared to the world a secret "private key". If someone has your public key, they can send you encrypted emails or attachments that are extremely difficult - if not impossible - for anyone but the intended recipient to read. Your private key allows you to unencrypt data sent to your public key. (The private key includes the public key, so I'll just refer to both keys as one key.)

If you already have your key, you can simply send me an encrypted email at pyeagle@illinoistimes.com. (I also accept unencrypted email, of course.)

If you don't already have your key, you'll first have to install the GPG4Win package (or another package that works with your email client), generate a key with the included software and import the key into your email client. Your key will automatically be associated with your email.

My public key is available here.

Confused? Don't worry; I was at first, too. Just send me a regular email explaining that you'd like to speak more securely, and I'll try to walk you through the process.

-Patrick Yeagle

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