Philippa Beadle, the Global Footprint Manager for Identum whose encryption product Private Post I discussed yesterday, responded this morning to my further questions with the following summary:
We are committed to always providing a free basic consumer version of Private Post which does four things 1) encrypts outgoing email and attachments, 2) decrypts incoming email and attachments 3) verifies the sender of the email, 4) encrypts and decrypts files on your hard drive.
The 60 day free trial has the full feature set and in addition allows you to customise various aspects of the product, for example, to change how long your passphrase is cached for, whether to auto encrypt all outgoing mail, and free auto updates to all the latest features as they’re released. We will continuously enrich the product with useful features as part of our ongoing development and in response to consumer needs.
The free version will also auto update though only to enhance the four things listed in the first paragraph.
If you wish to continue using the full function version after your 60 day trial period the price is €34.99 and includes a free subscription for the first year.
Ms. Beadle was also kind enough to confirm for me that she is female, thus clearing up the confusion in my post from yesterday.
I also had a response yesterday from Bruce Schneier as well. He said, “I don’t generally review products, except to make fun of them.”
I’ll have to say I found Mr. Schneier’s response a disappointment, but I suppose I can understand that one way you can maintain your objectivity is to stay out of the product evaluation business, lest a positive recommendation commit you to being an unwitting supporter of a product or a negative one damn the product unnecessarily to failure. Still I would like to have heard his take on such things as the strength of the encryption algorithm or the wisdom of the Identity-Based Encryption model that Private Post uses. I suppose it will fall to us users to explore Private Post on our own and decide for ourselves on its merits and its weaknesses.