What is the benefit of signing an encrypted email

reynt0 reynt0 at cs.albany.edu
Tue Feb 1 17:00:31 CET 2011

On Wed, 19 Jan 2011, Werner Koch wrote:

> I'd like to see a feature in MUAs to wrap the entire mail as presented
> in the composer into a message/rfc822 container and send the actual
> message out with the same headers as in the rfc822 container.  This
> allows to sign the entire mail including the headers.  On the receiving
> site the MUA should figure out that the signed headers match the actual
> ones and visually indicate the message including the header as signed.
> This is fully MIME compliant and should not break any MIME aware mailer
> (except for those only claiming to support MIME).

I am late to speak up on this, but FWIW the basic idea
as a standard seems to me useful as a simplification
for unsophisticated users.  The whole original package
can be created signed and presented signed--that is the
way simple users want to think about things.  Questions
about receiving mailer softwares having trouble comparing
inner and outer header copies are about an added feature
which seems not essential.  The user can evaluate those
to the extent they want or are able.  The basic mental
experience of the user is kept simple, with the
possibility for the user to practice increased involvement 
and understanding as their ability/learning/time/etc allow.

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