Future OpenPGP Support in Thunderbird

Patrick Brunschwig patrick at enigmail.net
Sun Oct 13 08:21:35 CEST 2019

BruderB wrote on 12.10.2019 10:43:
> Hej all,
> Am 12.10.19 um 08:23 schrieb Robert J. Hansen:
>> they're going to insist on running their own keyring internal to
>> Thunderbird which isn't shared with anything else.  (I imagine
>> *importing* from a GnuPG keyring will be supported, but *sharing* a
>> keyring is right out.)
> _They_ can insist on whatever they want. If they close their shop
> towards external built keys (for example with xca), they hopefully won't
> find much acceptance.....

The vast majority of users of Enigmail (somewhere around 98%) don't use
external built keys. The vast majority of users also don't use GnuPG for
anything else than email. These users don't care where their key is
stored, nor which software under the hood is used for the crypto. All
they care is that encryption works smoothly.

I'm sorry, but everything written here is pure speculation. We are still
in the phase of considering our options. Depending on the chosen
approach, we may just as well end up with something completely different
than what you'd imagine.

The most important aspects from our side are the following: The chosen
solution must run smoothly for the ~20M users of Thunderbird without
causing a large amount of support/setup issues. We want to have
something that satisfies as many users of Enigmail as possible. We
certainly don't want to have people run away from Thunderbird because of


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