choosing an encryption target from a User ID

David Shaw dshaw at
Wed Sep 23 01:16:05 CEST 2009

On Sep 22, 2009, at 6:54 PM, Daniel Kahn Gillmor wrote:

> Can you give me an example of a script
> that has this behavior "baked in" to the point where adopting a better
> heuristic would break it?

It doesn't work that way.  The default is "the first valid key".  It's  
been that way in the PGP world since before GPG as a product was  
written.  If you want to propose a specific alternative, I'm ready to  
listen, but I'm not going to defend the default behavior of 15+ years.

> Also, i believe this behavior is *only* relevant in situations where  
> the
> user asks gpg to encrypt something to a name or User ID.  Is that  
> right?
> or are there other circumstances in gpg where the "choose the first
> matching User ID" heuristic is used?

It's used everywhere user IDs are referenced in the product.  --list- 
keys.  --edit-key, --sign-key, etc, etc.


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