I know that normally it's the public key to be shared and the private key to be kept secret (hence the names) in asymmetric encryption.
I have a special case that I want to encrypt some files and let users decrypt them. Symmetric encryption cannot be used according to the design. Digital signature cannot be used because the files have to be encrypted.
To my understanding, in asymmetric encryption, the public key, though named "key", is actually the lock, while the private key, is the key. People use the public key to lock (encrypt) information, and the key owner uses the private key to unlock (decrypt) the information.
In that case, if I keep the public key secret and share the private key, it should be viable for me to encrypt with the public key and for users to decrypt with the private key, right?
If the answer to the last question is yes, is there any existing asymmetric encryption algorithm that I can use to do so, effectively? To my understanding, in RSA, the private key consists of modulus and public exponent. The modulus is also a part of the private key. It means that the only secret I can keep in the public key is the public exponent. However, the public exponent is only 1 byte long. It can be easily cracked by brute force attack.
EDIT: Only authorized users will receive the private key.
EDIT: I know the normal use of asymmetric encryption. I'm just being creative and trying to solve a problem with existing technologies. I may be wrong about some terms and knowledge. If it cannot be done, it just means that the answer to the question is "no".