GMail PGP verification?

David Shaw dshaw at
Fri Feb 13 22:05:43 CET 2009

On Fri, Feb 13, 2009 at 05:51:13PM -0300, Faramir wrote:
> Joseph Oreste Bruni escribi??:
> > On Friday, February 13, 2009, at 12:44PM, "David Shaw" <dshaw at> wrote:
> >> Interesting.
> >>
> >>
> ...
> > I like the idea of signature validation, but I'm not so sure I would like the idea of uploading my private key to Google's servers in order to actually sign an email or to perform decryption.
>   I think the same, validation would be awesome, and harmless. But if
> google "host" the private key of an user, probably there will be ways to
> force them to decrypt messages sent by the users... I mean, if I am the
> only one with access to my secret key, google can say "sorry, there is
> nothing I can do to decrypt that message". And while we all expect
> google should try to protect our privacy (which is very different from
> trusting they are doing that), nobody can expect them to become a martyr
> of customers privacy, by refusing to obey a legal order...

Yes, exactly.  This is more or less how Hushmail works, and we've seen
Hushmail give up cleartext under subpoena.  I'm not all that perturbed
by Hushmail's activity (which they were pretty clear about): it just
means that if your threat model includes such things as a legal order,
then you don't use the system.  I suspect the vast majority of people
wouldn't care very much if Google held keys for them - they're already
trusting in Google for many other things.


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