This program encrypts your ICQ messages, but they can only be read by others using a PGP decryption tool. Low overhead and easy installation make it a simple addition for ICQ users who want to ensure their messages are private. The configuration interface is a basic Windows dialog box. The program merely adds a single button with a few encryption/decryption options to your ICQ window. Pretty Good Privacy is a time-tested encryption system that uses a two-key system--simply two sequences of characters. You create a public key that anyone can find on your ICQ profile or on a key server so that anyone can send encrypted messages to you. PGP-ICQ uses your private key to automatically decrypt the message. You don't have to remember others' public keys as PGP-ICQ autosaves them for future use. It takes longer to explain PGP-ICQ than to use it, but novices and advanced users alike will enjoy the functionality it adds to ICQ.
From Samopal Corporation:
PGP-ICQ is an encryption plug-in for ICQ that allows users to encrypt/decrypt their ICQ messages using PGP keys. It works with Windows and does not require the user to have the PGP software installed. This program also features a built-in tool to manage PGP keys. Version 0.95 features a user's manual, the ability to exchange public keys through ICQ, and PGPKeys can now generate keys of any length and expiration date.
Note: If you are using PGP-ICQ with ICQ 2000, you must switch to the single message mode.
This is a great tool for ensuring privacy in online chat. Even if you "have nothing to hide", encrypting even your simple ICQ messages and emails is no different than putting a letter in an envelope vs. a post card.
My buddies and I tried to use this thing at work. We (like in most companies) are all behind firewalls. In this situation, ICQ requires that you send messages thru the server. This program generates ENORMOUS messages when after it encrypts them. They're simply too big to send thru the server, rendering this product unusable at work (where you're most likely to want to encrypt your ICQ messages).
Even the shortest of messages can become huge when encrypted with PGP, exceeding the 450 character per message limit that is imposed when sending through a server. Many people who need ICQ encryption for messaging while at work will be disappointed because most offices have firewalls that require ICQ messages to the sent through the ICQ server; and the messages that this program generates are too big to send that way.