his public key is 5 monitors high, and her same key is 1 ?

Pete Stephenson pete at heypete.com
Fri Jan 24 14:42:30 CET 2014

On Fri, Jan 24, 2014 at 2:24 PM, shmick at riseup.net <shmick at riseup.net> wrote:
> what are the factors involved in creating such discrepancies with folks'
> public key lengths ?

As far as I can tell, the two major factors that affect the size of
public keys are:
1. Key length. (That is, a 4096-bit key will be larger than a 2048-bit
or 1024-bit key.)
2. Number of signatures on the key. A brand-new key will be
considerably shorter than one that has accumulated numerous signatures
from other people.

> are public, private, and key pairs in general stronger/safer (what ever
> that may mean) if observing their public keys are many monitors high or
> have they gone to extreme measures in something in particular ?

Key length does have an effect on security: 2048-bit keys are larger
and harder to brute-force than 1024-bit keys. The same applies to 3072
and 4096-bit keys compared to 2048-bit ones, though there is a point
of diminishing returns.

Pete Stephenson

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