Paper backup

Paolo Bolzoni paolo.bolzoni.brown at
Mon Apr 25 15:06:50 CEST 2016

I did something similar for the revocation certificate. I used LaTeX
preparing this template for the students:

I think paper backup are a good idea. For example, I keep mine with my
passport, if my passport (and so revocation certificate) get stolen I
have bigger problems than someone revoking my key.

Besides the QR encoding make easy to copy text, even long to computers
(with maximum redundancy you can store up to 3000 ascii chars).
The only disadvantage I see is that some applications read the code in
unexpected ways. For example instead of showing you the text they will
open random websites.
I tried to look around for a "standard" way to state that a QR
contains only plain text, but with no avail.
However, even if not standard starting the text with "TEXT:" seems to
stop many apps from "tupidly interpret the text.

Honestly I don't really get this egpg for reasons we already
discussed, but LaTeX template for sharing the key or keeping the
revocation information are indeed a good idea.

On Mon, Apr 25, 2016 at 2:52 PM, Dashamir Hoxha <dashohoxha at> wrote:
> Hi,
> I have added a feature to egpg to export the key and convert it to 3D
> barcode
> images, included in a PDF file:
> This PDF file can be printed and used as a paper backup. It can be restored
> with the help of a webcam and a barcode reader program (like zbar).
> What do you think of paper backups, are they useful? I have seen some
> advice that recommend them, and even claim that they are safer and
> more durable/reliable than digital backups.
> I think that lots of people are still familiar and comfortable with storing
> and
> keeping hard-copy documents safe and secure (although we live in the
> digital age).
> It could also be nice to generate a PDF page that has the gpg key
> information
> in the format of a business card: name, email, fingerprint (maybe in barcode
> format as well). It can repeat several copies of the business card in the
> same
> page (for example in 5 rows and 2 columns).
> Any idea or advice on how to implement this? Maybe starting with a latex
> template and converting it to PDF? Or any simpler way?
> Thanks,
> Dashamir
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