... un-PLUGged?

Tue Jul 8 22:28:02 2003

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On Monday, July 7, 2003, at 06:37 PM, Walt Mankowski wrote:

> Magnus just posted a similarly cryptic message to the Philadelphia
> Linux User's group list.  Apparently he thinks it's significant that
> Philadelphia has dropped down from first to second place in the "Top
> Cities" list. :)

I see the PLUG guys are taking it lying down.  :)

(Disclosure: I'm a double agent, with one foot planted firmly in PLUG 
soil and another foot planted firmly in TriLUG soil.  I also may have 
had a little to do with organizing the recent activity in 

It seems to me that is a horribly under-utilized tool.  
Yes, it's a little rough around the edges and could use some tweaks to 
its interface but on the whole it is a very good foundation for privacy 
enthusiasts (not just GnuPG, but PGP also).

As it stood until a couple of days ago, only a few cities seemed to 
take the site seriously at all.  I happened to know that the Triangle 
area had a stronger roster of GnuPG users than the biglumber index 
indicated, and that it was in the same ballpark as PLUG participation 
in terms of raw numbers.  TriLUG just lacked some of the determination 
to announce a keysigning at every meeting, or to advertise a list of 
all of the GnuPG users who are willing to meet up with others outside 
of TriLUG for a key signing meetup.

Right now there are somewhere between 40-50 active GnuPG users in 
TriLUG.  Better than half of them are willing to meet up for impromptu 
key signings.  But they weren't listed anywhere. is the 
logical place to advertise that availability.

Inciting a little friendly competition between the LUGs is actually 
beneficial all around.  GnuPG gets exposure.  In the Philly & Triangle 
regions it shoots down the old argument "I can't use GnuPG/PGP because 
nobody else uses it."  PLUG & TriLUG both get exposure (which PLUG has 
already enjoyed) as being good resources for learning about 
privacy-enhancing software.

And who knows, maybe a little friendly competition will arouse the 
interest of other user groups and get them in on it.  This could only 
mean more key signing events, more GnuPG evangelism, and (on the Linux 
side) more people being exposed to Open Source operating systems like 
Linux as a better platform for protecting your privacy rights.  
Everybody wins.


C. Magnus Hedemark
PGP Key fingerprint = 984D 9A88 3D60 016F BE01 1506 60FB 85E1 9ABD 96F6

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