Crypto News and Our Annual PGP/GnuPG Key-Signing Party
Date and Time
Wednesday, September 18, 2019 from 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm
Bill Ricker - bill.n1vux gmail com
Bill asks, “Why all the PGP hate?” Then we hold our annual PGP keysigning party.
“Why all the PGP hate?”
- What's wrong with PGP?
- Better practices
- Alternatives to PGP (by use case)
A key signing party is a get-together of people who use the PGP encryption system with the purpose of allowing those people to sign each others keys. Key signing parties serve to extend the web of trust to a great degree. Key signing parties also serve as great opportunities to discuss the political and social issues surrounding strong cryptography, individual liberties, individual sovereignty, and even implementing encryption technologies or perhaps future work on free encryption software.
The basic workflow of signing someone's key is as follows:
- Verify that the person actually is who they claim to be;
- Have them verify their key ID and fingerprint;
- Sign their key;
- Send the signed key back to them
At the meeting, we go through the first two steps. Each person who preregistered their key will announce their presence and then read off their key ID and fingerprint, so everyone can verify that their copy of the list of keys is correct. Once we've run down the list, we line up, and each of us examines everyone else's photo IDs to verify that they are who they claim to be. After the meeting is over, each participant can then retrieve the keys that they've personally verified, sign those keys, and send the signed keys back to their respective owners.
In order to complete the keysigning in the allotted time, we follow a formal procedure as seen in V. Alex Brennen's “GnuPG Keysigning Party HOWTO”, attached below. It is strongly advised that if you have not been to a keysigning party before, you read this document. We're using the List-based method for this keysigning party, and the keyserver at subkeys.pgp.net.
It is essential that, before the meeting, you register on the signup form listed in the attachments. You should bring at least one picture ID with you. You must also bring your own printout of the report on that page, so you can check off the names/keys of the people you have personally verified.
The list will be printed on Wednesday afternoon, the day of the meeting; be sure to register your key for the keysigning before that. The official cutoff time is 3:00 pm.