PGP/MIME considered harmful for mobile

Daniel Kahn Gillmor dkg at
Fri Feb 25 06:37:16 CET 2011

On 02/24/2011 11:15 PM, M.R. wrote:
> On 02/25/2011 03:15 AM, Daniel Kahn Gillmor wrote:
>> I do *not* consider PGP/MIME harmful for mobile.
> They might not be harmfull for ~your~ mobile...

heh.  i don't have a "mobile", so i can guarantee that :)

> Any mail with attachments is likely to be harmful for mobile.
> You just don't know what device and what program will be used to
> read your mail and most of those will have difficulty with
> attachments. If you must use signatures, please make them in-line!

There are good reasons to prefer a PGP/MIME and S/MIME signature
standards over inline PGP.  These standards have been around for a long
time, and modern mail user agents should be able to cope by now, even if
all they do is discard the multipart/signed wrapper and trailing
signature parts.

It would be really useful to hear about specific MUAs that can't handle
PGP/MIME-signed messages like this one, and to get clear descriptions of
the failure modes.

But without these kind of specific reports, vague statements like "most
of those will have difficulty" just sound like FUD to me.



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