Printing Keys and using OCR.

Ryan Malayter malayter at
Thu May 17 05:24:51 CEST 2007

On 5/16/07, Peter Todd <pete at> wrote:
> Then only that
> passphrase needs to be securely stored and the secret key can be stored
> with standard backup procedures.

I believe the originally posted question centered around long-term key
storage, for which magnetic and optical media are inadequate. Popular
media would require continual maintenance, such as burning to new
discs every 5-10 years, or upgrading the tape format to LTO-1600 in
2013. Whether or not the private key is protected by a strong pass
phrase doesn't really matter; how to store and recover a key from
paper is the challenge.

This discussion does raise in my mind another issue: if you're worried
about being able to read CD/DVD or other media at some distant point
in the future, shouldn't you also archive the GnuPG source code so you
can compile a version for some future architecture for which there may
be no OpenPGP software? We know ASCII, HTML, and PDF will last
forever, but OpenPGP is probably not guaranteed immortality by its


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