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Preparing for the Keysigning Cryptoparty, 2 Dec 2013

Posted by Bob Jonkman on 24th November 2013

Key Pair

Cryptoparty like it’s 31 December 1983!

At the next KWLUG meeting on Monday, 2 December 2013 I’ll be demonstrating how to do e-mail encryption with Thunderbird and Enigmail. If you’ve never used e-mail encryption before then bring a laptop, and we’ll create keys and learn how to use them. We’ll save the lesson with pointy sticks for another day.

For those people who already have GnuPG/PGP keys I’m also hosting a Formal Keysigning. Participants will introduce themselves, read their GnuPG key fingerprint, then anyone else is invited to vouch for that person:

Bob: “I’m Bob Jonkman, and my GnuPG fingerprint is 04F7 742B 8F54 C40A E115 26C2 B912 89B0 D2CC E5EA”

Andrew: “I’ve known Bob since the early days, and that’s really him”

This is a great way to expand your Web Of Trust to include people whose keys you might not otherwise sign (because you don’t know them very well, or they only have ID issued by an authority you don’t like). With all these introductions and vouchings the chance of someone misrepresenting their identity is vanishingly small, so you can trust that the key fingerprint they read is really associated with that person.

To make this process go smoothly I’d like to have a printout of all the participants’ keyIDs, UserIDs, and key fingerprints, which I’ll distribute at the keysigning. That way you can just check off each name/keyID/fingerprint as people read them, and then sign their keys later at your leisure. But to get that printout I’ll need the public key of anyone who would like to participate in the keysigning.

If you’re using Thunderbird and Enigmail then open the Key Management window, right-click on your key and select “Send Public Keys by E-mail”, and send it to me ( )

If you’re a command-line weenie then use

gpg --export 0xYOURKEYID > 0xYOURKEYID-public-key-for-YOURNAME.pgp

and send that file 0xYOURKEYID-public-key-for-YOURNAME.pgp to me (substitute your actual keyID and actual name as needed).

Of course, I’d prefer signed, encrypted e-mail, but public keys are public (so encryption isn’t necessary), and public keys should already be self-signed anyway.

Unfortunately, if you’re creating your keys for the first time at the meeting you won’t be able to send me anything now. You can still participate in the vouching process, and we’ll have an informal keysigning after the formal keysigning, where all you need to do is read your fingerprint straight from your computer and those people who already know you can sign your key.

I’m still working on the procedures for the formal keysigning; you can see the work in progress (and contribute!) on the Formal Keysigning page on the Wiki.

Thanx, and hope to see you on Monday, 2 December 2013!

–Bob, who is the Keymaster. Who will be the Gatekeeper?

The Cryptoparty keypair logo from the Cryptoparty Artwork repository on GitHub is available in the CC0Public Domain.

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Posted in Crypto, email, KWLUG, PGP/GPG, privacy | Comments Off on Preparing for the Keysigning Cryptoparty, 2 Dec 2013

Goodbye Twitter?

Posted by Bob Jonkman on 14th January 2013

No Twitter logoJon Newton writes:

Goodbye Twitter

Twitter […] has become a hard-core marketing vehicle, with all that implies.
With several hicups and false I’ve been posting on for quite a while; but I can’t see any point in continuing with Twitter.

On I can at least be fairly certain people are following because they’re genuinely interested 🙂

That’s a principled, honourable, and brave move.

I’m as strong an advocate of Free, Libre, and Open Source Software as anyone, but I’m still making use of Twitter because of the network effects — there are so many people I find interesting on Twitter that the pain of using it is less than the benefit. On the other hand, the people I find interesting don’t use because there aren’t enough other interesting people there…

Of course, I’m not seeing much of the promotional material on Twitter because I use other software such as Pidgin and Mustard to view the messages. More F/LOSS applications to keep me safe from commercialism.

Another reason I probably won’t abandon Twitter altogether is because I’m also an advocate of keeping a (low) profile on the mainstream services (such as Facebook and Google Plus), simply to prevent others from acquiring my username and hijacking my identity. So I only post to, but sends those messages to Twitter automatically, and again I don’t have to deal with Twitter’s rampant commercialism.

Hopefully your good example will encourage me (and others) to take the next step and reject Twitter completely. You’ve given me something to think about.


No Twitter Logo is based on twitter-logo by The Daring Librarian, modified by Bob Jonkman. Used and re-licensed under CC BY-SACreative Commons — Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic — CC BY-SA 2.0.

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Posted in FLOSS, Internet, Microblogging, Social Media | Comments Off on Goodbye Twitter?

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