BUG in gpg 1.2.3 (Re: Problem with multiple encryption subkeys)

Adrian von Bidder avbidder at fortytwo.ch
Wed Oct 15 15:10:51 CEST 2003

On Wednesday 15 October 2003 13:46, David Shaw wrote:

> > avbidder at ogo:~/tmp$ gpg --encrypt --armor --recipient 72B20318\! \
> > 	--recipient 7B389D16\! --output file.txt.asc
> > gpg: 72B20318!: skipped: unusable public key
> Hard for me to say something intelligent here without seeing the
> key....

Ah, sorry - I assumed it was a general bug.

Closer inspection tells me: It's a mixture between bad error handling/bad 
error message on gpg's part and a subkey usage policy on the keyholder's 
part: the subkey in question has a creation date in the future. The subkeys 
on that key look like this:
sub  4096g/3C3A2A02 2000-11-30 [expires: 2001-12-31]
sub  4096g/1D0768FB 2002-01-01 [expires: 2002-12-31]
sub  4096g/7B389D16 2003-01-01 [expires: 2003-12-31]
sub  4096g/72B20318 2004-01-01 [expires: 2004-12-31]
sub  4096g/864FF6D6 2005-01-01 [expires: 2005-12-31]

so I guess the real bug is that gpg does not report why the public key is not 
usable. And the 'skipped' output should probably be skipped, too, since the 
key is not skipped but the error makes gpg abort (which I find good 

-- vbi

love, n.:
	When you don't want someone too close--because you're very sensitive
	to pleasure.
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