Much easier Email crypto, by fetching pubkey via HTTPS
How does it work?
As an email user, you just select the recipient(s) and can see that the email will be encrypted.
If you and your peers use email-providers offering this "web key service", it works by the first email. Otherwise encryption will start after you have exchanged some emails.
Technically your email client will automatically
- prepare for this by creating a crypto key for you and uploading it to your provider (or second best to public keyservers).
- sign all emails so others see that you are ready for crypto (unless you opt out)
- ask the mail provider of your recipients for their pubkeys.
An email-provider offering the "web key service" technically has to
- provide a pubkey for users via HTTPS
- allow each user's email client to automatically manage the pubkey that gets published by email.
Details / Discussion of the proposal
Pubkey Distribution Concept <- the (technical) details
- 2016-09-08 OpenPGP.conf presentation by Werner Koch: Abstract Slides.PDF
- 2016-09-08 OpenPGP.conf presentation by Bernhard Reiter, pages 21-24 Slides.ODP Slides.PDF
- 2016-09-09 OpenPGP-Schlüssel über HTTPS verteilen Golem news by Hanno Böck
- 2016-09-11 Spezifikation für die Verteilung von OpenPGP-Keys per HTTPS veröffentlicht Heise news by Johannes Merkert
- 2016-09-11 Anmerkungen zum Web Key Service gnupg-de@ by Werner Koch
- 2016-10-05 Draft 02 of the specs published (see details page linked above).
The elaborated proposal is a result of the EasyGpg2016 contract.
Current GnuPG (2.1)
- WKD lookup since v2.1.12
- WKS server and client tools since v2.1.14, see how to run them in GnuPG's blog from 2016-08-30 or the Web Key Service page. 1
Mail User Agents
- planned Kontact Mail/KMail support (part of EasyGpg2016)
- planned Thunderbird support (part of EasyGpg2016)
Mail Service Providers
- Posteo offers web key directory lookup and service. (Since 2016-12)
- (gnupg.org) Testing accounts by request for developers implementing WKS in Free Software MUAs.