Help understanding gnupg needed!

John Clizbe JPClizbe at
Tue Apr 18 07:56:01 CEST 2006

Julia Dashkevich wrote:
> Hi,
> I have just installed GnuPG to use it with Enigmail extension for Thunderbird 1.5. 

Welcome to the GnuPG and Enigmail user communities. There is an Enigmail
specific list at Enigmail at

> Having gone through the setup and key generation, it was necessary to make my
> public key available on the web keyserver. Is it true that if i publish it
> there my email address (which comes in the user id) may become a target for
> spammers?

Necessary? I need to have a look at the Wizard again.

Yes, it's possible spammers will harvest addresses from keyservers. But you'll
get more SPAM just from posting to an email list such as this than you will from
making your key available on a keyserver.

SPAM happens. Learn to deal with it. You're never going to defeat it. Never.

You're using Thunderbird. Good. Train the Junk mail filter and stop wasting your
energy try to prevent SPAM from happening. Trying to defeat spammers is a
Sisyphean task.

I know of only one way to prevent yourself from receiving SPAM - Don't use email.

> Is it possible to show an existing webmail address in the user id which is 
> not the email address i am going to use with encryption feature?

Yes, make the webmail address your primary UID. But you will still need to have
the other address as an UID on you key if correspondents are to find your key.
Lookup in mail programs is typically by email address. Keyservers may be
searched by name, email address or Key ID.

> Moreover, will i only be able to send encrypted mail to other gnupg users, or
> does it matter if the recepient has encryption software of the kind?

You may send encrypted mail to anyone using OpenPGP compliant software: GnuPG,
PGP, hushmail,... S/MIME based encryption is NOT interoperable.

> ANy imput will be welcome - please respond, i need this info in order to make
> a decision whether to proceed with using this software or quit.

Why quit? You've already done the difficult part -- setting it up.

John P. Clizbe                      Inet:   John (a)
You can't spell fiasco without SCO. PGP/GPG KeyID: 0x608D2A10/0x18BB373A
"what's the key to success?"        / "two words: good decisions."
"what's the key to good decisions?" /  "one word: experience."
"how do i get experience?"          / "two words: bad decisions."

"Just how do the residents of Haiku, Hawai'i hold conversations?"

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