looking up pgp keys

John Clizbe John at enigmail.net
Mon Sep 16 01:22:10 CEST 2013

Tim Prepscius wrote:
> Actually, I'm not even sure why there needs to be a PGP key server pool.
> Perhaps I am missing something of great importance?

Strictly speaking, keyservers are not required to use OpenPGP. What they do
allow is more along the lines greasing the wheels of ease of use.

Bob signs his posts to a mailing list you have started to follow. You would
like to verify those signatures. You need his public key. You may either send
an email to Bob and request it, or some part of your email configuration can
automagically check the keyservers for the key, fetch it, and verify the
message for you.

You know who Alice is, she operates a well-known web site. You wish to pass on
a tip to her about a soon to break story, but do not want to send it in the
clear. You need Alice's public key. As with Bob, you may send an email and
request it or you may look for it on the keyservers. But which is the correct
key, there are several with a matching email address.  Alice has thoughtfully
taken care of this for you by listing her preferred key's fingerprint on her
web site along with a link to pool.sks-keyservers.net that will fetch the key
for you.

> This happens to me often, so I am already prepared to be flabbergasted
> by my own stupidity.  Lol.

No, it's a very good question.

John P. Clizbe                      Inet: John (a) Gingerbear DAWT net
SKS/Enigmail/PGP-EKP                  or: John ( @ ) Enigmail DAWT net
FSF Assoc #995 / FSFE Fellow #1797  hkp://keyserver.gingerbear.net  or
     mailto:pgp-public-keys at gingerbear.net?subject=HELP

Q:"Just how do the residents of Haiku, Hawai'i hold conversations?"
A:"An odd melody / island voices on the winds / surplus of vowels"

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