Change comments?

Neil Williams linux at
Mon Dec 15 18:44:21 CET 2003

On Monday 15 Dec 2003 6:20 pm, Malte Gell wrote:
> Am Montag, 15. Dezember 2003 15:40 schrieb David Shaw:
> > The comments are part of the user ID string, and are not changeable.
> Would it be a bad idea to change this? For instance I have a key solely

The comment is part of the identity of the user and changing the comment is 
akin to changing the email or the name - those who had signed that UID would 
have every right to be upset. 

> to use with ICQ and its comment string contains the ICQ UIN. Should the
> UIN ever change I had to add a new dummy uid to create a new comment

Create a new UID with the new ICQ UIN if and when needed. Revoke the old UID 
and, out of courtesy, request that each signatory refreshes their copy of 
your key.

> string with the new UIN. IF the comment string could be edited this
> wouldn't be necessary. What do you think about making the comment
> string more flexible? Of course any change would be protected by the
> passphrase.

But any change would also destroy the worth of signatures on that UID - the 
UID would be untrusted and all signatories would be obliged to re-validate 
the changed UID. Far clearer to revoke the old one and add a new, then 
everyone can see exactly what you've done and why.


Neil Williams
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