1995-07-31 - Re: Public Key Confusion

Header Data

From: Derek Atkins <warlord@MIT.EDU>
To: jfmesq@ibm.net (James F. Marshall)
Message Hash: b1fcf606ff7b7d7fb75ec53666b30cbb4122314ec026485cebcf8821be6439b9
Message ID: <199507312354.TAA02802@toxicwaste.media.mit.edu>
Reply To: <199507312339.XAA100594@smtp-gw01.ny.us.ibm.net>
UTC Datetime: 1995-07-31 23:54:53 UTC
Raw Date: Mon, 31 Jul 95 16:54:53 PDT

Raw message

From: Derek Atkins <warlord@MIT.EDU>
Date: Mon, 31 Jul 95 16:54:53 PDT
To: jfmesq@ibm.net (James F. Marshall)
Subject: Re: Public Key Confusion
In-Reply-To: <199507312339.XAA100594@smtp-gw01.ny.us.ibm.net>
Message-ID: <199507312354.TAA02802@toxicwaste.media.mit.edu>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

When you want to sign a key, you should use "pgp -ks".  You should
never clearsign a public key -- it buys you absolutely nothing other
than saying that "I saw this key at some point, and this message
(which is a public key block) came from me".  

Have you signed your own key using "pgp -ks"?  Have you extracted your
key (using "pgp -kxa") since you signed it?  Or did you only extract
it before you signed it?  This would be the cause of the confusion.

If you sign a key, the signature gets attached to the key certificate.
However you do not need that signature in order to _use_ the key.  So,
people to whom you gave your key without a signature can still use
that key, it just doesn't have your signature on it.

As for the keyserver, it _ONLY_ accepts keys; if you clearsign your
key before you send it, then you are not sending a key, you are
sending a message that contains a key.  This is not the same thing.
That is why the keyserver rejected it.

> Should I just stop distributing the .asc version and only let people
> have the longer version extracted from my public keyring?  Is that the
> properly signed copy?

If you performed the pgp -ks, then you should re-perform the pgp -kxa
and distribute the newly extracted key.

I hope this answers all your questions.  All of this, and more, should
be explained in the PGP Documentation which is included with PGP.

Good Luck.