Philip Zimmerman

Updated: 09/15/2017 by Computer Hope
Philip Zimmerman

Name: Philip R. "Phil" Zimmermann, Jr.

Born: February 12, 1954, in Camden, New Jersey, USA

Computer-related contributions

  • Author of Pretty Good Privacy (PGP), the most universally used e-mail encryption software in the world.
  • Known for his work in VoIP encryption protocols, particularly ZRTP and Zfone.
  • Created the encryption algorithm, BassOmatic.
  • Chief designer of the cryptographic key agreement protocol (the "association model") for the Wireless USB standard.
  • Co-founder and president of Silent Circle, a global encrypted communications firm.

Honors and awards

  • Inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame by the Internet Society (2012).
  • Named one of the "Top 50 Tech Visionaries" of the last 50 years by PC World (2008).
  • Ranked PGP 9th in the 25 Most Influential and Innovative Products introduced since the invention of the PC in 1981 by eWeek (2006).
  • Named a "Hero of Freedom" by Reason (2003).
  • Inducted into the CRN Industry Hall of Fame (2001).
  • Listed as one of the "Top 10 Innovators in E-business" by InfoWorld (2000).
  • Named one of the "Net 50", the 50 most influential people on the Internet by Newsweek (1995).
  • Fellow at the Stanford Law School's Center for Internet and Society.


"The natural flow of technology tends to move in the direction of making surveillance easier, and the ability of computers to track us doubles every eighteen months."