Differences: OpenPGP vs. X.509

Bernhard Reiter bernhard at intevation.de
Wed Jan 21 09:43:12 CET 2009

On Dienstag, 20. Januar 2009, Stefan X wrote:
>  But to be able to use it also
> for private email encryption, such discussed interoperability with
> OpenPGP and also with Open Source applications will be important.

But note that Free Software can do S/MIME with the cards just fine.
(E.g. KMail/Kontact via gpgme and thus GnuPG2's gpgsm.)
So Free Software is technically compatible to S/MIME already.

The biggest obstacles are good configuration and administration.
Of course distributors could help a lot with good configuration.

As I explained before, it is important for people to understand what a 
specific signature means. Currently the differences for S/MIME and OpenPGP 
are wide on the average. So when building a user interface, I personally 
suggest to keep S/MIME and OpenPGP usage visible and distinct.
This caters much better to the internal and practical limits that each of the
methods currently have. 


Managing Director - Owner: www.intevation.net      (Free Software Company)
Germany Coordinator: fsfeurope.org. Coordinator: www.Kolab-Konsortium.com.
Intevation GmbH, Osnabrück, DE; Amtsgericht Osnabrück, HRB 18998
Geschäftsführer Frank Koormann, Bernhard Reiter, Dr. Jan-Oliver Wagner
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