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Phil Zimmerman, inventor of Pretty Good Privacy cryptography, will unveil a prototype of his new privacy software for net phone calls this week. Unlike PGP however, it doesn't use a PKI (public key infrastructure).

It's based on the open source Shtoom VoIP client software, Zimmerman told CNET, and he hopes to have working software available next year. As with PGP, he hopes to found a start-up to develop and license the software.

Zimmerman published PGP in June 1991 and spent much of the 1990s being hauled through the courts in an ultimately successful attempt to prevail against a US government lawsuit. PGP source code was a munition, claimed the government, and it prevented him leaving the US for three years.

Network Associates eventually bought PGP Inc in 1997 and went on to release a suite of attractive and professional products for both Windows and the Mac. (Zimmerman is a veteran Mac guy). After NAI abandoned the software in 2002, PGP Corporation was founded to buy the software back. Zimmerman sits on the company's advisory board. ®

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