[blog] Happy gnu year

Werner Koch wk at gnupg.org
Thu Jan 1 21:59:34 CET 2015


find below a plain text copy of a blurb i wrote today:


if you like to comment, please group reply to this mail.




Happy gnu year

  to everyone and a big *thank you* to all supporters of GnuPG.  It is
  awesome to see that GnuPG and its makers received a lot of attention
  in the last weeks of 2014.  This is really appreciated by all of us.
  Speaking of me, the donations allow me to keep on working on free
  software and GnuPG in particular — at least for the next months.

  Early December friends reminded me that it is the time to kick off a
  donation campaign to secure the future of GnuPG.  They supported me
  with a [press release] which was republished by others (e.g.  [Cory
  Doctorow]) and soon many small and larger donations started to fill up
  the donation status bar with a bit of green.  I was not just amazed by
  the financial support but also by the many encouraging messages to us
  developers like /Keep the excellent work! Please!/, /Thanks for
  keeping us safe an protecting our basic human rights./, /You guys are
  great! Safe communication should be a right./, /Thank you so much for
  this hard work.  You're truly directing us toward a better world/,
  /GPG is important software for our society's future/, /Thanks for
  doing great work. I know it's under appreciated, but it's absolutely
  necessary/, /Please keep it up, guys, and run further donation rounds
  if you need money. If GPG goes down, we'll all be at a loss/, or
  /freedom of thought, freedom of speech, freedom of information/.  Up
  until today we received more than a quarter of the campaign’s goal and
  donations are still coming in.  Let me add that my work on GnuPG would
  have not been possible without the incredible support of my family who
  deserve all my thanks.

  At the 31C3 the [Reconstructing narratives] lecture ([video]) told us
  again about the depressingly sad state of our world regarding to
  freedom and humanity.  It was also reported that most of our secure
  electronic communication methods don’t do what we expected from them –
  with the exception of a very few tools, GPG (i.e. GnuPG) being one of

  With the raised attention towards securing our communication and to
  help preserving us from a world nobody wants to have, we need to
  improve GnuPG and its frontends.  They need to be easy usable by
  everyone and be a standard part of every communication device much
  like the ubiquitous web browser. It will take time and a lot of effort
  to do that.  I am confident that with enough support we can achieve
  that goal.  Now let us look forward and see what is on the list.

  As a prerequisite we need to establish a solid organizational
  framework to free developers of tasks they are not best in, like
  looking for money, running funding campaigns, preparing paperwork for
  donation programs, and talking to ties and non-techies.

  We need better and streamlined documentation. For example, there are
  lots of different HOWTOs and other documents explaining the use of
  GnuPG and frontend applications.  Many of them are outdated and some
  documents contradicts each other.  Thus the goal is to prepare a
  canonical set of documentation to support all kind of users.  See and
  use the [Wiki] if you are interested to help.

  [Enigmail] is one of the most used mailer frontends for GnuPG and thus
  should be a primary target for improvements.  There are currently only
  two spare time developers for it — despite that some smaller bugs make
  it sometimes hard to use for a beginner.  This needs to be changed by
  improving the communication between the developers and finding the
  resources to assign a paid developer to it.

  The network of OpenPGP keyservers works quite well for the relatively
  small active user base.  For a mass use of it we need to add a few
  things or start to deploy an easier method for retrieving keys.  This
  is essential for making mail encryption the default on the net.

  Although the use or proprietary platforms supports the spook’s
  surveillance programs, it is a pipe dream to believe that free
  operating systems like Linux or FreeBSD can completely replace
  Windows, Mac OS, and Android any time soon.  Improving our crypto
  tools on those platforms is thus essential to help those users and to
  trigger a network effect to make encrypted communication the default.
  For GnuPG this means to make the core components available on these
  platforms using a standard unattended installer, so that frontend
  applications (like Enigmail) can easily install it if not yet
  available.  Separating the GnuPG core from the frontend applications
  also allows for an automatic update procedure to be prepared for
  possible security relevant bugs and to be able to easily deploy new
  algorithms as soon as the needs arises.

  As stated in the press release a second full time developer for GnuPG
  is required to avoid relying mostly on me.  Keep in mind that even
  after having secured enough funds it will take some time to find a
  developer and it will also takes some months until s/he is up to my
  maintenance experience.  Thus is at all costs required nevertheless.

  In general we need to simplify the the user interfaces of most
  frontends and make it easier start with and keep on using encryption.
  A dedicated developers meeting will be the first step towards this.

  Okay, let’s take up our part for a new dawn.

  [press release] http://fsfe.org/news/2014/news-20141217-01.en.html

  [Cory Doctorow]

  [Reconstructing narratives]


  [Wiki] https://wiki.gnupg.org

  [Enigmail] https://enigmail.net

Die Gedanken sind frei.  Ausnahmen regelt ein Bundesgesetz.

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