STEED - Usable end-to-end encryption

Devin Fisher lists at
Wed Oct 26 21:06:41 CEST 2011

It should probably be likened to sending a letter in an security-obscured and tamper evident envelope. How often is that done?

That being said, I've appreciated the discussion on this topic. Being a neophyte to mail encryption (I haven't even set up any of my own yet) gives a good perspective of the challenge.  Providing the tools, putting the security envelopes next to the regular ones, is a crucial first step and no matter how much user or carrier adoption hand-wringing occurs nothing will change until the tools are accessible. 

Note the distinction between "accessible" and "available".


-----Original Message-----
From: "Robert J. Hansen" <rjh at>
Sender: gnupg-users-bounces at
Date: Tue, 25 Oct 2011 22:02:29 
To: <gnupg-users at>
Subject: Re: STEED - Usable end-to-end encryption

Hash: SHA256

On 10/25/11 6:46 PM, MFPA wrote:
> If people don't care about privavy, why did envelopes rather than
> postcards develop as the default for sending messages through the 
> post?

This one should be obvious: because a postcard doesn't allow you to
write much more than a Twitter post, and many times people need to
send more than a handful of characters.  In the mid-to-late '90s,
prior to the adoption of email, I was routinely sending my girlfriend
ten-page letters.  The envelope was pretty handy for keeping all those
pages together.

We keep on trotting out the envelope analogy, but perhaps we should do
some more thinking before we do that.  It doesn't appear to me to be
as advantageous to our position as we think.  The envelope gives the
letter author immediate benefits beyond just enhanced privacy.

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