I doubt that "NSA has enough terraflops on tap to bypass any encryption almost instantly." - either there's some unknown backdoors in things like Rijndael, or they have much more advanced quantum computing device than anybody else... but I doubt both of those.
f0dder, f0dder, f0dder... I love you man, but you're not nearly paranoid enough. When I think about the NSA, I imagine a kind of super-evolved human, with more than 50% of their body-mass constituted by neurons. Which have been soaked in a special formula of stimulants (Coffee) and augmented with alien bioware scavanged from crashed saucers. Which have been trained from infancy to crack codes in their subconcious, their conciousness busy enough cruising the interweb looking for Enemies of the United States.
Then, just imagine what kind of computers such gods would create. And multiply by 50.
THEN, only then, might you be paranoid enough. Maybe. Follow me?
No, really... why are you following me? *sob*
On the subject of encryption, one method I understand to be nearly fool-proof is the one-time pad
. Or maybe I mean a Vernam cipher. Whichever.
The idea is very simple but diabolically hard to break: XOR every letter of your message with the next byte of a one-time generated stream of random noise (previously recorded for you just for this use). The name comes from WWII when agents would carry specially-created pads of prewritten gibberish around with them for encryption purposes. They'd tear off one sheet of the pad for each message, thus staying in sync with their senders/recipients, who had identical pads. The text was sometimes created by a human randomly spasming their hand on a typewriter loaded with carbon paper.
ANYWay, this article got me thinking about encryption again. I'm an idiot when it comes to the subject, but one thing I do remember: the one-time pad is supposedly unbreakable, *if* you keep your pad-material away from prying eyes, and *if* it's used exactly once.
The downside to OTP is it's inconvenience. In the modern world, the pad-of-carbon-copies has been replaced with massive files of random bytes... so how do you get the pad-file to your compatriot? Email? Remember, if the pad's ever compromised it's USELESS.
Then I thought about this: what if we used DVD movies as the one-time-pad? As far as the computer's concerned it's just a massive collection of bytes, and short of the apocalypse I can't imagine any message I'd want to send someone that was longer than 4.5 gigabytes.
Then all I have to do for you to acquire the right pad material is make sure you have the same movie as me, share the initial offset into the data-stream, and we're ready to go. Ha! Suck this, NSA!
Just make sure when I say "Terminator 2" you get the Special Edition 3-disc set, not the Ultimate Edition 4-disc set."