Help with OpenPGP plugin in Mozilla Thunderbird and Claws Mail

James Hofmann jameshofmann at
Sun Feb 13 22:50:50 CET 2011

On Sun, Feb 13, 2011 at 12:46:02PM -0500, Grant Olson wrote:
> On 02/13/2011 03:03 AM, AgoristTeen1994 wrote:
> > 
> > Hey, this is going to seem like stupid questions, but, I just found out about
> > PGP, OpenPGP, and GnuPG yesterday, and I didn't create a key pair until
> > about 2 hours ago, so I'm pretty unaware of how some thing work...First is,
> > that using either Mozilla Thunderbird, with the OpenPGP plugin, or Claws
> > Mail, to generate a key pair, it only lists, one key, my "key id" Is that my
> > public key or my secret key? Or is it supposed to be both? If it's only one
> > of them, how do I find the other?
> They short answer is yes, it contains everything.  If you add another
> user's public key to your keyring, it will contain everything minus the
> secret key.
> >  Also. I was wondering, in my reading on
> > the internet about this sort of thing, it mentioned signing a message, say
> > an e-mail, with my secret key, so the recipient knows it's from me...but I"m
> > confused, since doesn't that mean, that any one I send a message to, that I
> > "sign" will have my secret key and thus will be able to decrypt any messages
> > they intercept? Thank you for any help, and have a nice day.
> Signing works in reverse compared to encryption.  With encryption,
> anyone can generate an encrypted message with your public key, but only
> you can decrypt it because only you have the private key.  With signing,
> only you can generate a valid signature because only you have the
> private key, but anyone with your public key can verify the signature.
> Signing a message to a complete stranger won't compromise your private
> part of the key in any way.
> -- 
> -Grant
> "Look around! Can you construct some sort of rudimentary lathe?"
I read AgoristTeen1994's question a bit differently. 
Using your secret key to encrypt something is not at all the same thing
as giving somebody your secret key.  Using your key doesn't give it


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