comments on uid

Peter Lebbing peter at
Sat Mar 17 17:25:30 CET 2012

> Thanks for the info. Is there some reason why we can't edit the UID? I
> realize it doesn't help if the key is on a server but this key is not.

Well, the UID is what other people sign. Suppose by a wonderful coincidence
my name is Barack Obama. To prevent confusion, I create this UID
"Barack Obama (NOT the US president) <barack at>"

People sign this. They have seen my birth certificate... erm... I mean
passport :), and the comment is quite helpful. Now I change the comment. I
don't think by now I need to spell it out anymore, but here goes:

"Barack Obama (US president) <barack at>"

People might not be so happy they signed this UID.

But you can simply create a new UID (command adduid from --edit-key) and
delete the old UID (command deluid). That, as you say, doesn't help when
it's on a keyserver as you can't delete data from a key on a keyserver.
Likewise, people who already have a copy of your key and import your "new"
key will still have the old UID as well(!).

When other people already have your key, revoking the UID (command revuid
from --edit-key) is the standard way, if you think it's worth it for a
changed comment. As people who sign your key sign an UID, you also "lose"
all signatures when you revoke the signed UID.


I use the GNU Privacy Guard (GnuPG) in combination with Enigmail.
You can send me encrypted mail if you want some privacy.
My key is available at

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