making the X.509 infrastructure available for OpenPGP
mailinglisten at hauke-laging.de
Thu Feb 6 03:48:31 CET 2014
Am Mi 05.02.2014, 11:23:24 schrieb Werner Koch:
> In general it does not make sense to use the same key - there is no
I think that is not correct. It is today but not from the perspective of
a) If a CA uses the same key in both formats then we can get the
advantage which I have explained first: Enabling an X.509 CA to make
useful OpenPGP certifications.
b) If normal users convert their X.509 certificate to OpenPGP then the
respective CA could automatically create a signature for it as Peter has
explained. I didn't think of that when starting this thread. Some detail
questions arise: Which keys shall be the same? Doesn't make sense to
demand that an X.509 key is the same like an OpenPGP offline mainkey.
Doesn't make sense to demand avoiding offline mainkeys, too. So the best
way would probably be to require just a subkey to be the same. I assume
the current conversion tools are not capable of that yet but that would
not be a problem for long. In most cases being reachable via both
standards is an advantage. That is valid for both current OpenPGP-only
users and S/MIME-only users.
c) The other way round – an OpenPGP certificate is converted to X.509 –
would probably affect less people but would have the analogous advantage
like the one above: If somebody uses OpenPGP only and gets a
certification by an X.509 CA for it (made possible by (a)) then he could
open his communication to the S/MIME world easily if the CA offers to
certify the same key in both formats. In the S/MIME world this would
have an advantage (for the contacts of this user) over getting an
independent certificate because (only) the OpenPGP version probably has
more certifications than just the one by the CA so the authenticity
becomes more probable. That is a less radical version of dkg's remark:
Using OpenPGP's certification capabilities in the S/MIME world.
Nobody would be forced to trust any CA. The CA problems would be
avoided. But the one single important argument for using S/MIME would be
destroyed. I believe that the OpenPGP community must be interested in
getting this argument – ease of use (with respect to key verification) –
out of the way. More or less the whole official German computer science
community at the universities is preaching S/MIME for exactly this
a) The DFN offers X.509 service only.
b) The Fakultätentag Informatik has published a statement about a crypto
culture at the universities after Snowden:
c) The GI (Gesellschaft für Informatik) is preparing a very similar
A CS professor at Berlin's biggest university (more or less the biggest
one in Germany) has even told me that he doesn't want me to organize
OpenPGP courses there! That is the situation.
Does anyone here dare claim that we can get the majority of the people
to use crypto (read: OpenPGP) without the help of the universities? That
we can get the schools teach OpenPGP if the universities manage to make
most crypto-using students use S/MIME?
From the perspective of spreading OpenPGP it seems quite dangerous to me
to ignore the CAs (for "political" reasons or whyever). Of course, using
OpenPGP does not morally oblige someone to help spread it. But I think
it would be fair not just to say something like "I don't care about CAs"
but to add "I don't care whether OpenPGP or X.509 gets the new crypto
users". Of course, someone could both not care about CAs and be
interested in spreading OpenPGP but that attitude would rise some very
Crypto für alle: http://www.openpgp-schulungen.de/fuer/unterstuetzer/
OpenPGP: 7D82 FB9F D25A 2CE4 5241 6C37 BF4B 8EEF 1A57 1DF5
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