In the wake of the 9/11 tragedy the Onion posted an article entitled Not Knowing What Else To Do, Woman Bakes American Flag Cake. With all of the recent press about the NSA’s programs to gather information on American citizens without warrants, I found myself thinking about that article. I’m not a very particularly political person and not really interested in making political statements but I found myself wishing there was something I could do. So I baked a cake, so to speak.
The cake, in my particular case, is actually a WordPress contact form plugin that securely encrypts the messages using PGP/GPG public key encryption.
The plugin is called SimpleSecure. It’s a fairly basic form processor but what I’d consider to be special about it is that GPG is implemented entirely in pure PHP code. This means that no binary versions of PGP/GPG are needed on the server. Nearly any other form processor with GPG support does so by making shell calls to an executable installed on the server. This tends to make installation difficult and even impossible on some hosting environments. With this plugin you can send encrypted messages from any server that supports PHP.
Releasing this plugin feels like somewhat of an insignificant and meaningless gesture on my part. But, it’s something that I’ve been thinking about for a long time and hopefully it will be useful to those who take their privacy seriously.