[conspire] Offering GPG/PGP Workshop at CABAL

Daniel Gimpelevich daniel at gimpelevich.san-francisco.ca.us
Wed May 14 21:03:41 PDT 2008

On Wed, 14 May 2008 17:56:53 -0700, Rick Moen wrote:

> In any event, the only sorts of S/MIME certificates that are actually
> any use in the real world are those attested to by paid notaries.[1]
> Which is what makes that crypto regime, for real-world purposes, a
> top-down PKI model, regardless of anything the CAcert.org Web site
> claims.

I am not in any way disputing that to be the current state of affairs.
PhilZ said: "An argument could be made that as a matter of solidarity with
the rest of the population you should encrypt your email."[1] If this is
to be accomplished with PGP/GPG, the entire "rest of the population" must
be participants in the web of trust. I investigated this possibility a
couple of years ago, and found the OpenPGP functionality in the GPG
software thoroughly incapable of such an endeavor. PKI does not appear to
have this limitation. The fact that no PKI model is used for widespread
e-mail encryption among the masses cannot in any way negate the fact that
such a thing is not only possible and simple, but also imperative, nor the
fact that such a thing falls well outside the potential of PGP. Sure,
getting people to become part of anything like that is not something
that's reasonable to expect, but the existence of the technical means for
it is obvious, and appears to me to be limited to PKI exclusively.

> Getting back to the point, that happens not to be what Mark's talk is
> about.

The confirmation of this fact was all that I was seeking in my initial
message, but you decided to poo-poo the alternative to what his talk was
to be about (There has apparently been a deafening lack of interest in the
talk itself.), very much along the same lines on which I poo-pooed S/MIME
upon first being introduced to it in 2003.


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