implications of subkeys?

Nick Andriash
Wed Feb 27 16:29:01 2002

Hello Alex,

On Wednesday, February 27 2002 at 05:25 AM PDT, you wrote:

> Others can't sign a subkey (or a primary key)- they sign  the UIDs which are
> atatched to a primary key.

Alex, Frank and Dizss... That sounds simple enough, and thank you. I
think another aspect which is confusing to me is the term "Master
Signing Key", and then "signing subkey", which is, as I understand it,
something PGP doesn't offer. So, in an attempt to understand this,
myself and other people sign my UID(s), while my (owner) signature is
also attached to any subkey, be it signing or encryption, correct?

What is the purpose behind a signing subkey, and how does it differ from
the Master (Private) Key which I presume is also used for signing... or
are they one in the same? Can one change a signing subkey without it
affecting the Master Key? Can others still verify your signature even if
you change your signing subkey without having to issue a new Public Key?

Nick Andriash
Courtenay, B.C. Canada