Enigmail speed geeking

Stephan Beck stebe at mailbox.org
Thu Mar 12 18:55:08 CET 2015

Am 12.03.2015 um 16:51 schrieb Robert J. Hansen:
>> As to your enigmail essay, point 1, would you go that far that
>> keeping keys on hard disk is unsafe and using a smart card is a
>> must?

> If email crypto makes it hard to read email, few people will adopt the
> technology.  We want technologies that make our lives easier, not
> harder.  Smart cards, although a really good idea in certain
> environments, make crypto harder in a lot of environments.  I'm not sure
> the (marginal) additional security from using a smart card is worth the
> (very real) usability expense.
> Is it unsafe to keep your keys on your hard disk?  Dunno.  Depends a lot
> on your situation.

> Is using a smart card a must?  Dunno.  Depends a lot on your situation.
> Hope this helps.  :)

Yes, thanks a lot. From your answer I deduce that a single-user,
non-professional environment may not require use of a smart card,
or may not require it with the necessity it may have in high-security
environments. As Andreas pointed out in his message, there are the USB
sticks as, for instance, the Yubico Key that my email provider offers or has
been offering for a while. I was actually thinking about moving in that direction.
As to the "email crypto (devices/technology/software) have to be easy to use"
and "it makes crypto harder" arguments, that's certainly true for extending
(mass) usage. But on an individual level, I guess it also depends on how much
you love (playing with) software and related devices and are already used to it.
The cries for simplifying GnuPG, for instance, that have been resounding
throughout this list lately may be reasonable up to some point,
but, in my case, I like it (and the WoT as a central concept behind it) too much
to ever change (to another mail/file encryption software). And for me there is a
bunch of commands/options yet to be discovered!


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