Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
Tempus fudge-it.

idea: add, search, annotate, link, view, overview, recent, by name, random

meta: news, help, about, links, report a problem

account: browse anonymously, or get an account and write.



secure snail mail

  (+2, -1)
(+2, -1)
  [vote for,

basically, its this

an organization wants to ensure that nobody is reading stuff from their snail mail. (snail mail is more anonymous than email ya know? and requires less technical know how)

They distribute a program that contains the organization's public key.

How this works is that the person sending them mail, first write it up in PDF format, and then sends the document to the program.

The program then strips all the text/pictures(and its position in the PDF) from the PDF, and encrypts just the text. (the pictures however is kept unencrypted to save space)

The program then prints two kinds of paper: one is essentially a large 2d barcode, to store all the encrypted text and its metadata. The second one, stores all the images as well as its position in the PDF.

The sender then mail these two set of sheets to the organization.

The organization then scan both sheets of paper to a decryption program, where it then spits out the resulting PDF. (preferably in a laptop, unconnected to any computer or internet)

What this does, is that any person peeking into the mail, will just get scrambled information.


Alternatively, you can just burn a cd... but that is kinda slow, and can get broken easily

mofosyne, Jun 29 2010


       This is crazy complicated, but possibly workable and cool in a steampunk kind of way. (+)
MisterQED, Jun 29 2010

       But if the images aren't digitally encoded, and encrypted, then anyone can look at them!   

       Surely it would be simpler and more secure to encrypt the entire PDF document, and print it as one big 2d barcode.
goldbb, Jun 29 2010

       Couldn't you just ship it in a locked box?
Alx_xlA, Jun 29 2010

       — Alx_xlA   

       Where the alternative decryption key is a heavy mallet?
mofosyne, Jun 30 2010

       A locked box with a booby trap?
Alx_xlA, Jun 30 2010

       [cue mission impossible music] "This tape will self-destruct in five seconds. Good luck, Jim."
goldbb, Jun 30 2010

       //Where the alternative decryption key is a heavy mallet// Hmm, first I've heard of using a mallet. Rubber hose cryptography on the other hand is quite well-established.
mouseposture, Jul 01 2010

       Encrypted can also be compressed. Then a long letter turns into a short three liner, which you copy with a pencil from the screen.
pashute, May 13 2013

       I think goldbb's proposal is elegant.   

       Although, if the files carry large bitmapped images which can suffer additional lossy compression I can imagine that mapping the data into an analogue form which scans well might be a win.   

       //(snail mail ... requires less technical know how)//   

       I'm not convinced that the proposed method suits this requirement.   

       //Encrypted can also be compressed.//   

       Well-encrypted material can't be compressed. Either compress before encrypting, or don't bother.
Loris, May 13 2013


back: main index

business  computer  culture  fashion  food  halfbakery  home  other  product  public  science  sport  vehicle