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Securely Contact Apscitu Inc.



For reasons too numerous and complicated to go into here, although you'll get an idea from the following discussion, talking to someone on a cell phone is a bad form of communication for important messages. If careful, email is much better (and can include recorded talk messages).

There are two general aspects to email security: being sure who you are emailing with (a.k.a. authentication or signing) and encrypting email messages (so they can't be read or changed by anyone else). The first is the foremost since it doesn't matter if email is encrypted if you're actually communicating with hackers in the first place.

You have used (while reading this page for instance) and probably have heard of the most common system of encryption: the "s" for secure in https, which involves getting a "certificate". This system can also be used for email. Much less known is that this system is also supposed to provide authentication. Unfortunately this authentication depends on you trusting a certificate-issuing company that you probably never heard of and who may have violated that trust before, being more concerned with making a lot of money in the short term than really being trustworthy in the long term.

For most people, a better form of authentication is an email address from a well-known respected university. Anyone can get a .com, .org, and even a .net domain name and set up an email address with it. But getting a .edu domain name is restricted. I know because, as a test, I seriously tried to get a .edu domain name, apscitu.edu, but was refused. In addition, with a .edu email address you can be sure the person really is affiliated with the university.

I have a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT so have the email address Dr.Duane.Thresher@alum.MIT.edu. I also have a Ph.D. in supercomputing from Columbia University so have the email address Dr.Duane.Thresher@caa.Columbia.edu. So to establish my authenticity first email me at one of those university email addresses and I will respond proving I got your email there.

However, do NOT send any sensitive information in those emails. Like most universities, Columbia's email system has been handed over to Google. Google provides access to your emails to its employees, the NSA, CIA, FBI, etc. This is particularly true of university Gmails because at universities there are many foreigners, who are supposedly the only people the NSA, CIA, FBI etc. are allowed to arbitrarily read the emails of but they often "accidentally" read the email of U.S. citizens on the same email system. MIT's email system was not handed over to Google but IT incompetent people were put in charge of it and they let Microsoft handle parts of it. Microsoft is no different from Google in who it lets have access to your emails.

I've actually set it on my university accounts so emails to Dr.Duane.Thresher@caa.Columbia.edu and Dr.Duane.Thresher@alum.MIT.edu just forward to one of my own highly-secure Apscitu Mail email servers, which includes Dr.Duane.Thresher@Apscitu.com. Once you've authenticated me, use that email address. In fact, I'll be responding to your email to one of my university email addresses, with your email included as proof, from Dr.Duane.Thresher@Apscitu.com (so it won't go through Columbia or MIT). After you become an Apscitu Inc. client I'll provide you with an unadvertised, so even more secure, email address.

Apscitu Mail is our most important service. We provide various levels of email security, starting with the most important, your own private individual highly-secure email server, including your own domain name. For Apscitu Inc.'s consulting we strongly recommend Apscitu Mail.

Talking to someone does provide some trust so I can email you a phone number where I can be reached and we can talk about non-sensitive things. Similarly, I can email you a paper mail address. Of course, after you become an Apscitu Inc. client we will have face-to-face meetings.