WKD Research: Measuring use. An mailinglist maintainers that would help?

Bernhard Reiter bernhard at intevation.de
Fri Oct 22 16:35:37 CEST 2021

Hello friends of OpenPGP,

as part of his Bachelor thesis [1], Christoph wants so to find out, which 
actions could increase the overall usage of WKD.

Ideally we should be able to observe some changes in the usage of WKD over 
time and hopefully can credit something to some changes like measures tried 
during the research.

So how do we observe WKD usage over time? Obviously this is hard to do,
as we are in a decentral system, this is designed to keep things private.

Thus our measurement could only be indirectly.

One idea is: If we have a public email address where a lot of emails are send 
to, e.g. the submission address of a mailinglist
we could set up an OpenPGP key for it via WKD
and use a small tool to pipe each incoming mail through on the server
to decrypt and count the mail.

We can also count the number of request for the WKD address on the webserver
serving the WKD. In both counts, no personal data is saved.
So it is just about the safety of the decryption tool, which can be provided.

Do you know email addresses, e.g. of mailinglists, where you know the server 
administrators would be potentially willing to help this academic research?

An other ideas?

Best Regards,

[1] https://wiki.gnupg.org/WKD/Misc

www.intevation.de/~bernhard   +49 541 33 508 3-3
Intevation GmbH, Osnabrück, DE; Amtsgericht Osnabrück, HRB 18998
Geschäftsführer Frank Koormann, Bernhard Reiter, Dr. Jan-Oliver Wagner
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