This time in English: How to explain the principles of PGP, looking for metaphors
frase at frase.id.au
Thu Jul 3 15:08:06 CEST 2014
On Thu, Jul 03, 2014 at 02:06:04PM +0200, Daniel Krebs wrote:
> I picked the wrong language / list last time...
> So in English:
> What metaphors do you use when explaining people PGP? Two examples:
> 1. A lock with two keys?
> 2. A lock (public) and a key (private)
> Something completely different?
> Problems with both:
> 1. Seems to be kind of hard to understand for most people, because a
> lock with one key to open and one key to close is rather special.
> 2. Signing emails is hard to explain this way. Signining by putting a
> lock on it?
> Any ideas are appreciated.
The way I attempt to explain public key encryption and signing:
Each key in the keypair - one kept private to the owner, the
other made public - is both:
a) A set of instructions for building a lock that *only* the
other key can unlock; and
b) The key for such a lock as could be built with the other key.
Therefore, a encrypted message can be sent to someone by using
their public key to build a "lock" for the message. Only the
private key is able to "unlock" it.
Similarly, a sender of some message can authenticate it by using
their private key to "lock" the message. If it can be
"unlocked" by their public key, only a person who possesses the
private key could have built that lock.
I hope this explanation makes sense. Let me know if you could
suggest improvements to this analogy.
> An Interesting approach (Thanks Neal for the link): Using 4 items: key,
> lock, seal and imprint.
> kind regards
> daniel krebs
> Gnupg-users mailing list
> Gnupg-users at gnupg.org
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