Re: [openpgp] Can the OpenPGP vs. S/MIME situation be fixed?

Derek Atkins <> Fri, 01 July 2016 15:10 UTC

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From: Derek Atkins <>
To: Hanno Böck <>
References: <20160701153304.332d2c95@pc1>
Date: Fri, 01 Jul 2016 11:10:29 -0400
In-Reply-To: <20160701153304.332d2c95@pc1> ("Hanno Böck"'s message of "Fri, 1 Jul 2016 15:33:04 +0200")
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Subject: Re: [openpgp] Can the OpenPGP vs. S/MIME situation be fixed?
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Hi Hanno,

Hanno Böck <> writes:

> So the question is: Instead of making RFC4880bis a "new OpenPGP
> standard", could it instead be a successor of both OpenPGP and S/MIME?
> Maybe it needs a new name, maybe not. There seems to be an smime working
> group and there is still some activity, although the last RFC was
> published in 2009. Things would obivously have to be coordinated so
> that there is wide acceptance of the new standard.

Unfortunately from a process standpoint that is not an option.  That's
not to say that we cannot write such a draft/document, but it cannot be

> Technically it would probably mean to create a compatibility layer to
> be able to use both X.509 certificates and PGP keys to encrypt. But
> that shouldn't be too hard, as the keys itself are just numbers, the
> major difference is just the storage format.
> Maybe this is a crazy idea, but maybe this could also be a chance to
> fix one of the biggest mistakes in email encryption.

       Derek Atkins                 617-623-3745   
       Computer and Internet Security Consultant