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06 September 2006

Drinking with the Phrench

And "On the concept of signing PGP keys"
mitch at the lesbian ouzerie

For a few days a friend of Saad came over to Athens for work. Jerome (aka mitch) didn't have time for anything but work, but yesterday he managed to sneak out for a few hours. We went to the Ouzerie "Lesvos", which is run by people from the island of Lesbos, where they are said to be making the best Ouzo. Naturally we drank a few (small) bottles of Ouzo and ate some small plates of fish, meat balls, cheese, and salad. The food there is simple but good. A nice evening after all, we chatted with Jerome about work, countries, prices, OpenBSD, the student movement and employment laws in France, ... and we did some PGP key signing...

Right before he left (had to get up early for work tomorrow), we exchanged fingerprints for our PGP keys and had a good look at each others ID cards. (In the process we discovered that Jerome is from the Cognac region in France, but he drinks Ouzo nonetheless :-). When I came home I signed his public key that I have gotten before. The idea to use PGP encryption for mail and other things is uncommon enough, but even some people who use PGP are not common to checking fingerprints and signing keys. In some circles it is even considered signing PGP keys is "so linux kids". Well, it may be, but I think it's still a useful thing. I'm sitting here in the opposite corner of Europe from some of the people I communicate with. Encrypting mails is fine, but a digital signature also offers a trace of identity to things. PGP has this concept of the "web of trust", which just means that I can draw a line from me, to mitch (who came to visit in person), to some friend of both of us who I might not have met in person - and have a bit more of a certainty that there are people behind the keys out there.

All in all checking fingerprints and ID's was a business of 5 minutes, maybe count in another 5 minutes for actually signing the keys and sending the public keys back. Those 10 minutes result in a "pretty good" assumption that a mail from mitch or a direct friend is really from them and has not been tampered with. Worth it to me, especially when I get to drink Ouzo too, while signing.

Posted by betabug at 09:49 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
ch athens
Life in Athens (Greece) for a foreigner from the other side of the mountains. And with an interest in digital life and the feeling of change in a big city. Multilingual English - German - Greek.
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