Pretty Good Privacy
Domestic politics in Austria is going wild at the moment. The Domestic Intelligence Agency has sold North Korean passport blanks to South Korea, a crazy dossier of a mole is going around talking about internal corruption and Nazi shit. The FPÖ Minister of the Interior then had the constitutional protection searched by a racist police unit for petty crime and – ouch – had the hard disks confiscated by right-wing extremism experts* inside, where information on FPÖ-related fraternities was presumably also collected. And two days after our campaign launch, this minister of the interior Kickl wants to introduce a madmens monitoring package with state trojans and all that jazz.
But Peng is here to help. We have created a PGP key for every parliamentarian* in Austria’s National and Federal Council and permanently uploaded it to the public server pgp.mit.edu from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. All email addresses and public PGP keys of the parliamentarians*in also published on the website gvkeys.at. As a result, every citizen can now communicate securely with his or her representatives via this asymmetric end-to-end encryption.
In order for parliamentarians to decipher the e-mails that are now sent to you in encrypted form, they will of course need their own private key. And this one is handed to them 10 minutes walk from the parliament, in the “Museumsquartier”. On presentation of their identity card, politicians can pick it up daily from 4 to 6 April during office hours of the newly established Department for Email Encryption Matters.
Peng also strongly recommends that they create their own second key and encrypt their hard disk, and is happy to offer free advice. They can then use the private key provided to revoke the first public key created by Peng on the MIT server. Instructions can also be found on the gvkeys.at website – until then, however, the key handed out in the Museumsquartier can be used for decryption. If parliamentarians do not collect their keys, parliamentary communication could be restricted in the long term.
“Some parliamentarians have already expressed their concern, because they are wondering if and when Wolfgang Preiszler with his task force to combat street crime (ESG) will be at your door to pick up their private hard drives,” says Achim von Ribbeck von Peng. “I know that this support for Austrian democracy can have a somewhat paternalistic effect, as we Germans are used to interfere in other countries without being asked. But setting up PGP now really only takes 5 minutes and will lead to a much safer, yes, a better Austria with which the German secret services will be happy to work again in the future”.
Encrypted and printed keys on canvas
Peng encrypted the first private PGP keys ever created of Austrias President Alexander Van der Bellen, Minister of the Interior Kickl and President of the National Council Sobotka with their own public keys and displayed them on 1.00×1.40 m large framed prints on canvas in the exhibition “Shaping Democracy” in the MuseumsQuartier in Vienna. Minister of the Interior Kickl’s print will also be auctioned off – as soon as the production costs have been financed, everything else will go directly to the civil rights organisation epicenter.works in Vienna.
On April 13, the vernissage opens with the works at Galerie modulart in Vienna (Galerie modulart, hexadecimal on canvas, 1.00 x 1.40 m). Further prints by Sibylle Geißler, Peter Gridling, Margarete Schambröck and Sebastian Kurz are available on request.
More information about encryption
General information about PGP:
For the installation of the most important everyday communication: