Organizing a GPG key signing party in London

Bernard Tyers - ei8fdb ei8fdb at
Tue Feb 18 23:20:53 CET 2014

Hello Ludovic!

I’d like to go along and take part.

One thing: what kind of person are you expecting to attend? I would like to suggest you open it to journalists, human rights defenders, activist communities?

I was at the Fosdem KSP and eventhough I enjoyed it (can you actually “enjoy” a key signing party?) I observed some ways in which it might have been improved, particularly for first time party-goers.

I had intended on writing this up as some feedback for the great Fosdem people in case they were interested, but you’ve prompted me to do it here:

NB: This feedback makes the following assumptions:

1. People who *are not* advanced/expert GPG are encouraged to attend.
2. A similar key signing protocol to the modified Zimmerman-Sassaman is used.

1. Explain whats needed *before* you attend the key signing party.

Steps of:
a. Submit your keys before date X. Give clear steps on how to submit the keys.
b. Inform the user when the list of participants will be released. Explain the list of participants needs to be downloaded.
c. Please, please, please outline the steps the user needs to take to verify the participant lists keysum *on the website not* in the list of participants.

(I spoke with a lot of party goers at Fosdem who were unaware of the steps…which were in the list of keys. But if you didn’t know you had to download the list, and didn’t have access to a printer….)

2. Explain the overall process involved *once you are at* the key signing party.

Again, at Fosdem this seemed to be handled eventually by word of mouth and general “whipping” people into order. Some people were unsure of the process.

3. Explain what is needed *after* the party finishes.

This was handled well at the Fosdem party.

A few other things I made a note of were:

- If possible try and had tables provided for the people taking part so they can put their documentation/equipment down while they are checking keys etc. 

- Have some people helping out when people don’t know what’s involved.

- Think about capping the maximum amount of people able to attend, or think about having two sessions.

I thought it interesting even those who looked like “seasoned” key signing party goers needed to stop and think about what they should do in certain circumstances.

Only because of the kindness of one party goer I managed to get as far as I did. 

While the Fosdem party webpage technically had 99% of the information needed, it was not very user-friendly, particularly to a non-seasoned KSP person. I really hope they can redesign it to be easier to read.

If you need some help, please let me know as I’d happily help out.

All the best,

On 12 Feb 2014, at 11:40, Ludovic Hirlimann <ludovic at> wrote:

> Hi,
> I'm organizing a pgp key signing party in London on March the 25th at
> 6:30 PM BST in the mozilla space of the mozilla office in London.
> I've been trying to reach out to Londoners and Uk users of pgp using
> twitter ( ),
> I've tried to contact the Linux Users group, but din't get much out of
> it. So I'm going to try to get some atention here.
> The space is limited in the london office so you'll need to register
> using event brite at
> .
> Ludo

Bernard / bluboxthief / ei8fdb

If you’d like to get in touch, please do:

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