[Enigmail] From Circumvention

Ian Mann ansus at neomailbox.ch
Tue Mar 3 19:30:57 CET 2015

"Enigmail saved my family's life."

That is a real enlightening statement. Living in Australia it's hard to imagine what it must be like for some folk in the countries where an email can get you arrested. Thanks for that insight. You folks do great work, glad you are enjoying the fellowship of the event.


On 04/03/15 01:44, Robert J. Hansen wrote:
> I'm attending Circumvention in Valencia, Spain right now.  Circumvention
> is a conference for people interested in using technology to circumvent
> oppression, mostly oppressive governments and corporations in the
> developing world.  A particular focus is on technology trainers --
> people who train others in how to effectively use security technologies.
>  Trainers are force multipliers; a good trainer can easily teach 50
> people a month how to use basic privacy and confidentiality tools.
> Multiply that over a year, and you quickly see that one trainer can help
> facilitate an entire cluster of electronic freedom.
> My impressions so far:
> - The Eniglove is thick, palpable, and real.  I literally have not
>   been able to buy my own beer.  If I was so inclined, I could get
>   stone drunk every night and *still* wind up turning down half the
>   offers of free beer.  I also get random bone-crushing hugs from
>   attractive women and the occasional activist has taken me apart
>   from the crowd to tell me, "Enigmail saved my family's life."
> - Everyone it seems has a different take on an Enigmail feature
>   they'd like to see included.  Some of them are just "no, we won't
>   do that" (such as pushing for Enigmail to get integrated wholesale
>   into Thunderbird), some are really easy, and others are worth
>   thinking about.
>   Really easy:
>   1.  The "Help" button beside "Convenient encryption settings" is
>       sometimes unresponsive.  I saw this bug with my own two eyes
>       (thanks, Dmitri!) and can confirm it.
>   2.  There's a huge outcry for a Farsi translation.  The bad news:
>       the people who most need it are unable/unwilling to contribute
>       to it (they need to keep a low profile).  The good news:
>       Localization Lab really wants to help us out with this.
>       See http://www.localizationlab.org/translation/ for an overview
>       of Localization Lab's efforts.  I've got a point of contact
>       there, so we should probably reach out and see what they can do
>       for us.
>   3.  The trainers say there's a slight visual difference in how
>       inline messages are composed versus how PGP/MIME messages are
>       composed.  Inline messages are briefly flashed in the compose
>       window in encrypted form before sending, while PGP/MIME
>       messages are not.  It would be good if there were only one
>       behavior, because it sometimes leads to people believing they
>       sent an email unencrypted because when they were in training
>       (using inline PGP) they saw it briefly in encrypted form, but
>       in the real world (using PGP/MIME) they didn't.  I think this
>       is minor, but ... people are serious about it.  One uniform
>       behavior, please.
>   4.  If you've disabled encryption and/or signing for a message (when
>       it would normally be present), Enigmail is too polite about it.
>       They'd like to see a red banner or somesuch, warning the user
>       "You have manually disabled encryption and/or signing for this
>       email".  The icons, although accurate, are too easy for newcomers
>       to overlook.
>   5.  It should default to encrypting drafts.
>   Worth thinking about:
>   6.  Add an "Easy Revocation Reminder" feature.  When revoking a key,
>       one major problem is convincing one's correspondents to check
>       the keyservers.  Clicking "Easy Revocation Reminder" (needs a
>       better name) would walk through your mail folders accumulating
>       the email addresses of everyone who has sent you encrypted email
>       or anyone you've sent signed email to.  Enigmail would then open
>       a new compose window, with all of these email addresses as bcc,
>       with pre-composed text about how "I have had a key compromise,"
>       blah blah blah.  Allow the user to edit the text how they like,
>       particularly listing a new key to use, and hit "Send" to notify
>       all recipients.
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