Secure communication

Secure communication is when two entities are communicating and do not want a third party to listen in. In order for this to be the case, entities need to communicate in a way unsusceptible to eavesdropping or interception. Secure communication includes means by which people can share information with varying degrees of certainty that third parties cannot intercept what is said. Other than spoken face-to-face communication with no possible eavesdropper, it is probably safe to say that no communication is guaranteed to be secure in this sense, although practical obstacles such as legislation, resources, technical issues (interception and encryption), and the sheer volume of communication serve to limit surveillance.

With many communications taking place over long distance and mediated by technology, and increasing awareness of the importance of interception issues, technology and its compromise are at the heart of this debate. For this reason, this article focuses on communications mediated or intercepted by technology.

Also see Trusted Computing, an approach under present development that achieves security in general at the potential cost of compelling obligatory trust in corporate and government bodies.