gnuPG : Java Glossary

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GnuPG
The GNU (Gnu’ Not Unix!) privacy guard. It is an open source clone of PGP (Pretty Good Privacy). It does not use PGP ’s patented IDEA algorithm. It is free. What is unclear is how interoperable it is with PGP. It seemed happy to import my old PGP public keys. Enigmail is an add-on GUI (Graphic User Interface) to Thunderbird email that makes GnuPG much simpler to use. GnuPG comes with a *.man files for the documentation. These are just text files you can view with any text editor.

Disseminating Your Public Keys

For people to send you encrypted mail, they first need your public key. They can get it several ways:

Normally you post your key on your website and tell people where they can download it. For example, you can download/see my PGP public key at http://mindprod.com/contact/Roedy Green pgp (0x6A4D31AA) pub.asc. You can sent me PGP-encrypted email with it via email Roedy Green pgp. Please don’t attempt PGP email with any other of my email addresses or with any of my old public PGP keys. The key looks like gibberish, but when you import it into your PGP keyring it contains my public key, name and email address hidden in there.

You would use Enigmail or gpg.exe to upload it to several public key severs. If goes well they will propagate it to all the other servers. You don’t have to upload it to all the public key servers. Enigmail/GnuPg in Thunderbird lets you upload your public keys to pgp.mit.edu, pool.sks-keyservers.net and ldap://certserver.pgp.com subkeys.pgp.net.

Make sure you post only your exported public key on website, not your private/secret key.

The key’s presence on one of these websites nothing about its validity. Anybody can register any name with any key. The first to register an email address stakes the claim. So, even if you don’t want to use PGP, register keys for all your email addresses just to stop someone else from committing an identity theft. Keyservers share uploaded keys, so you don’t have to upload to every single one.


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