key-signing for pseudonyms

Mark H. Wood mwood at IUPUI.Edu
Tue May 18 16:12:17 CEST 2004

Hash: SHA1

On Mon, 17 May 2004, Atom 'Smasher' wrote:
> i think the issue of identity is shady for anyone who we don't ~really~
> know... someone's name could ~really~ be "george w bush", and they could
> really have the ID to prove it... that doesn't mean they're *the* george w
> bush. if this is someone i know, i'd sign the key. if this is someone i
> don't know, i'd be suspicious... they could be an impostor.

Exactly!  What does a given label *mean*, and does it help you establish
the relationship you consider to be "identity" for your particular
purpose?  I did a search a few years back and found three other guys in my
home town alone who are named Mark Wood.  One even has my middle initial.

Say someone is in the Witness Protection Program.  You've checked out his
name and other details, and it all matches his records.  Have you
identified him or not?  It depends on what you want to know.

I think that before we ask how we can identify someone, we need to ask
ourselves, "what do I mean by 'identify'?"

- -- 
Mark H. Wood, Lead System Programmer   mwood at IUPUI.Edu
Open-source executable:  $0.00.  Source:  $0.00  Control:  priceless!

Version: GnuPG v1.2.3 (GNU/Linux)
Comment: pgpenvelope 2.10.2 -


More information about the Gnupg-users mailing list