Encryption expert Phil Zimmermann has defected from security vendor Network Associates (NAI) to join Irish rival Hush Communications.The inventor of widely used encrypted email program PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) was reportedly unhappy with the direction NAI was taking the software. As chief cryptographer, Zimmermann will be charged with establishing Hush as a de facto standard for encrypted communications. The company's flagship service - hushmail.com - is already well known. In a statement, Zimmermann said one of his key aims is to ensure Hush technology is compatible with global encryption standards. "For the past decade PGP has been the gold standard for email encryption but we've always had trouble expanding beyond the power users because of ease of use problems," he said. "The OpenPGP Standard will be well served by Hush's fresh approach to ease of use and its roaming capability." Zimmermann added that Hush's track record of publishing source code had also attracted him to the company. The move is further bad news for security and anti-virus specialist NAI, which saw its share price slashed in December on the back of poor results.