Signature timestamp ordering and dissecting

John Clizbe John at
Wed Sep 18 15:28:42 CEST 2013

kwadronaut wrote:
> Hi,
> Up until now, I always see signatures on a key ordered in chronological
> fashion, with GnuPG, sks' web interface and enigmail. It's always in a
> format with day, month and year (sometimes year-month-day or another
> format of that data). Now I'm curious to see when a signature has
> *exactly* been made. Can I see the exact time stamp of individual
> signatures? 

gpg  with --with-colons --fixed-list-mode

or you may use pgpdump

> And the next question would be: how? And: is there any
> specific rationale behind ordering the signatures in a chronological
> way? 

Times are stored as a number of seconds. Sorting numbers in order is a
sensible thing

> Can signatures be made at the exact same time?

Certainly. If one signs all of the UserIDs of a key, they will have the same time.

Caveat: the time recorded is the local system time (as UTC) when the signature
is made. If the machine's clock is off, the time will also be off.  Also, the
clock time may be manipulated before the signature is made.

John P. Clizbe                      Inet: John (a) Gingerbear DAWT net
SKS/Enigmail/PGP-EKP                  or: John ( @ ) Enigmail DAWT net
FSF Assoc #995 / FSFE Fellow #1797  hkp://  or
     mailto:pgp-public-keys at

Q:"Just how do the residents of Haiku, Hawai'i hold conversations?"
A:"An odd melody / island voices on the winds / surplus of vowels"

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