Etiquette for other people's signatures in responses

John Clizbe JPClizbe at
Wed Apr 8 21:14:44 CEST 2009

Brian Mearns wrote:
> Hey, I'm relatively new to PGP and I just wanted to get some feedback
> on the proper etiquette for quoting signed messages in responses.
> Clearly, it's inappropriate to edit a person's response if they're
> signed it, but is it considered rude to remove their signature from
> the message in the response? For instance, if I did just want to
> include part of their message in the response, could I clip that part
> out and delete the signature?

Edit away. The signature only applies to the original message. Usually
replying will break the signature. If not, the the custom on interleaved
responses certainly will.

It is not rude to remove the original signature. I think it's preferred.
Most MUAs remove both the Usenet sig ('-- ') as well as the OpenPGP sig,
though some webmail apps are broken in this respect. But those broken
ones tend not to handle quoting very well either.

The original message context may usually be found unless one is using a
webmail app with broken threading.

> Feel free to contact me using PGP Encryption:
> Key Id: 0x3AA70848
> Available from:

That's a very old and unmaintained server. Please use and direct others
to a modern keyserver. Round-robin DNS pools such as,
pool.sks-keyservers, and are useful.

John P. Clizbe                      Inet:John (a)
You can't spell fiasco without SCO. hkp://  or
     mailto:pgp-public-keys at

Q:"Just how do the residents of Haiku, Hawai'i hold conversations?"
A:"An odd melody / island voices on the winds / surplus of vowels"

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