Re: [openpgp] German BSI, PQC for OpenPGP in Thunderbird,

Kai Engert <> Thu, 24 June 2021 16:05 UTC

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To: Daniel Kahn Gillmor <>,
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From: Kai Engert <>
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Date: Thu, 24 Jun 2021 18:04:53 +0200
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Subject: Re: [openpgp] German BSI, PQC for OpenPGP in Thunderbird,
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On 24.06.21 17:40, Daniel Kahn Gillmor wrote:
> ... I'm a little surprised
> to see the BSI simultaneously proposing standardization of PQ schemes in
> OpenPGP *and* advocating for implementation of a specific scheme.  I'd
> expect the standardization to involve selecting which PQ scheme(s) seem
> reasonable for the context, rather than pre-determining the scheme for
> use. ...

The call mentions that the NIST standardization isn't done, so 
apparently they intend to follow the NIST recommendations.

They also say, the project's cryptographic design should consider 
crypto-agility and hybrid solutions. They describe a hybrid solution as 
a conbination of a PQ method with a classic asymmetric method.

Maybe this means they're asking for a solution that implements the 
specific CRYSTALS-* method, but in addition be prepared for alternative 
algorithms as well?

I found that in section 1.3 of document 02
(Vergabeunterlagen/02 - P480 - Leistungsbeschreibung - Offenes Verfahren 

Maybe it would be necessary for applications to ask for clarification. 
(As noted in the other posts to the Thunderbird planning list, all 
questions need to be asked in German via the BSI project site. And in 
order to ask questions, it seems necessary to register as an interested 
party for the project.