We have GOT TO make things simpler

Robert J. Hansen rjh at sixdemonbag.org
Sat Oct 5 18:30:09 CEST 2019

> Well, I only remember learning about PGP back then in Usenet and everybody
> used it for email communications or with Cypherpunk Remailers and seldom for
> file encryption.

No, they were using it for file encryption.  They were using email as a
file transport protocol.  That's what inline PGP is: you take a blob of
data, do crypto, base64 it, drop it in email.  At the other end you pull
it out and undo the process.  But the inline PGP payload is in
*absolutely no way* integrated into the email message.  That had to wait
until the PGP/MIME RFCs -- that was when OpenPGP became an email protocol.

> Anyways then one question arises ... if it's design goal was only meaned for
> file encryption why then pub keys with email addresses, names and a WoT back
> then plus shortly later key servers and the stories about Alice, Bob, Eve and
> Mallory?

See above.  Email was used as a way to transfer files.  But there was
nothing special about using email to transfer files.  You could just as
easily replace the Alice, Bob, and Eve stories by saying "Alice is
delivering a 5.25-inch floppy to Bob, but is afraid Eve might get her
hands on it while Alice is distracted at the coffeeshop."

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