Facebook funds GNU Privacy Guard development

The social media giant has pledged thousands to assist in the development of the open-source security project.

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Facebook has agreed to sponsor the open-source GNU Privacy Guard (GnuPG) development project with $50,000 a year.

Together with online payment provider Stripe, the tech giant announced the sponsorship deal on Thursday. The companies have both pledged $50,000 per year to fund the development of GnuPG, an open-source security project designed to improve secure communication online.

GnuPG, an open-source implementation of the OpenPGP standard, allows users to encrypt and sign data and communication online through a flexible key management system and access modules for all kinds of public key directories. Also known as GPG, features a command line tool, can integrate into a variety of applications and the latest versions have also begun to support S/MIME and Secure Shell.

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As GnuPG is open-source, it is offered under a free general public license. The system is mainly financed by donations.

Scott Renfro, a software engineer on the Security Infrastructure team at Facebook said:

"We think it's important to have a diverse family of software that can stand the test of time, and this is a great opportunity to support such a project. GnuPG was started 17 years ago, and we hope it keeps improving for years to come."

In October, Facebook began offering its web services through the hidden Tor network. The service, aimed at improving user privacy when accessing Facebook, allows Tor nodes to communicate directly with Facebook's data centers.

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