[Enigmail] Integration with Namecoin identities

Daniel Kraft d at domob.eu
Wed Feb 19 08:27:08 CET 2014

Hi all!

As I understand it, the key ingredient into a secure encrypted messaging
system is a trusted exchange of public keys.  GPG and Enigmail solve
this at the moment using a WoT with key signatures and manual
fingerprint exchange and comparison.

I really believe that Namecoin [1] has the potential to improve this.
If you have not yet heard about it, Namecoin is a system based on
Bitcoins consensus technology that allows a secure, trusted and fully
decentralised key-value storage.  In particular, it can be used to
associate human-readable online identity names with things such as,
among others, GPG key fingerprints.  See also [2] and my own identity
shown at this page at [3].  It is cryptographically ensured that only
the owner of a given name is able to change the name's associated value.

  [1] http://namecoin.info/
  [2] https://nameid.org/
  [3] https://nameid.org/?name=domob

In other words, if someone stores their GPG key fingerprint with their
online identity, then they can tell others just their name instead of
the key fingerprint for a secure key exchange.  I. e., "domob" instead
of 0x04F7CF52 in my case -- which is much easier to remember for an
acquaintance of yours.

Namecoin identities are described a bit on [4], although the part about
GPG fingerprints is unfortunately not yet added to this page (but
there's a proposed spec for it already).

  [4] https://github.com/namecoin/wiki/wiki/Identity

I've already implemented a similar key exchange system for Bitmessage
addresses as well as a proof-of-concept fork of pidgin-otr that allows
Namecoin to be used to verify OTR chat partners.  I'm interested in
doing the same for GPG and believe that Enigmail (and not the GPG core)
would be the best place to add this feature.

What do you think about this idea?  Would you be open to accepting a
patch that implements (fully optional, of course!) Namecoin-based GPG
fingerprint verification?  If yes, I would love to discuss how to
integrate it best into the UI and work on it.

I'm really looking forward to comments on this idea!  Yours,

OpenPGP: 901C 5216 0537 1D2A F071  5A0E 4D94 6EED 04F7 CF52
Namecoin: id/domob -> https://nameid.org/?name=domob
Done:  Arc-Bar-Cav-Hea-Kni-Ran-Rog-Sam-Tou-Val-Wiz
To go: Mon-Pri

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