What could make GnuPG + Enigmail "easier"?

Robert J. Hansen rjh at sixdemonbag.org
Mon Apr 10 05:33:59 CEST 2017

> There's been some discussion both on and off this list about the fact
> that people don't use GnuPG (even with Enigmail) because it's 'too
> hard'. I have friends that are reasonably intelligent who just can't
> figure it out and, for the life of me, I just don't see why.

Better grab your reading glasses.  :)  Academic computer science
literature is full of papers researching this subject.  John Clizbe and
I (speaking of, John's been gone for some time; I hope he returns soon)
keep a curated list of some good ones.


Gaw, S., Felten, E. W., and Fernandez-Kelly, P. 2006.  Secrecy,
flagging, and paranoia: adoption criteria in encrypted email.  In
_Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing
Systems_ (Montreal, Quebec, Canada, April 22 - 27, 2006).  R. Grinter,
T. Rodden, P. Aoki, E. Cutrell, R. Jeffries, and G. Olson, Eds. CHI '06.
ACM, New York, NY, 591-600. DOI=
http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1054972.1055069  Available at:

Garfinkel, S. L., Margrave, D., Schiller, J. I., Nordlander, E., and
Miller, R. C. 2005. How to make secure email easier to use. In
_Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing
Systems_ (Portland, Oregon, USA, April 02 - 07, 2005).  CHI '05. ACM,
New York, NY, 701-710.  DOI= http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1054972.1055069
Available at: http://simson.net/ref/2004/chi2005_smime_submitted.pdf

Steve Sheng, Levi Broderick, Colleen Alison Koranda, and Jeremy J.
Hyland.  Why Johnny Still Can’t Encrypt: Evaluating the Usability of
Email Encryption Software. Poster session, 2006 _Symposium On Usable
Privacy and Security_, Pittsburgh, PA, July 2006.

Alma Whitten and J.D. Tygar. Why Johnny Can’t Encrypt: A Usability
Evaluation of PGP 5.0. In _Proceedings of the 8th USENIX Security
Symposium_, Washington, DC, August 1999. http://bit.ly/OaEeTD

Views, reactions and impact of digitally-signed mail in e-commerce.
Garfinkel, Schiller, Nordlander, Margrave and Miller.  Originally
published somewhere in _Lecture Notes in Computer Science_, but I got
mine from:

Usability of Security: A Case Study. Alma Whitten and J. D. Tygar.
Carnegie Mellon University Computer Science technical report
CMU-CS-98-155, December 1998.

More information about the Gnupg-users mailing list