key question

David Shaw dshaw at
Mon Mar 1 04:24:57 CET 2010

On Feb 28, 2010, at 8:09 PM, Robert J. Hansen wrote:

>> You can certainly tell a lot about someone by the signatures on their key.  Either directly from the signature or because those signatures point to other keys that have their own signatures, etc.  With your permission, may I see what I can find from the signatures on your key D6B98E10?
> Go for it.  It's public data.  Assuming there's nothing intensely personal in there, I'll pass the results on to the list.
> My point regarding the signatures don't tell you much -- if anything -- is there is no guarantee that a signer has had any contact with the key holder.  It's foolish to make conclusions about someone's social network based on their key material.  If I have a signature from a person, it is not a statement that I know that person, that I approve of that person, or that I would ever associate with that person.

Understood, and I agree it makes no such statement.  However, it does make a reasonably good statement that you were physically located near that person at a certain point in time, roughly what that time was, and roughly where (geographically) it happened.

Better than that, though, signatures point to other keys.  And self-signatures are signatures, too.

I'll send you some stuff.


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