Key Pairs Fun with GPG Encryption

Thunderbird Without Enigmail

I have been helping somebody with encryption and decryption using PGP. Sometimes I fail to understand why they can’t get the notion of a public and private key pair. This person has a fingerprint and ID of a key and was able to add the key but was asking me what the email address could possibly be. If it is not contained within the key pair then there’s no way to get it, apart from asking the person who made it.

The morning has not been totally wasted by going through this exercise of encryption. I have found out that I don’t like Thunderbird and the new way it does encryption. It was much better when it used to the plug-in Enigmail. The new way works, but you have fewer options and get less information about how the encryption is taking place. With Enigmail it was possible to specify the keys you were using to encrypt, decrypt or to sign. This doesn’t seem to be the case with the new Thunderbird encryption using GPG.

I prefer using the application Spark for my email. I will keep Thunderbird on the system but I’m going to use Spark as my go to email client. It’s nicer to use and has a better interface. Now I have the application KeySmith I can use a script/macro set of actions to encrypt and decrypt any text I have copied and pasted into BBEdit. It isn’t as convenient as using Thunderbird, but I’m not sending that many encrypted emails.

I have suggested to this person who I have been helping with encryption that he might use end-to-end encryption messaging services instead. I have recommended Session and Signal. These are much easier to use than to use GPG or PGP encryption. I also recommended he looked at Paranoia Text Encryption which is great too and is used with a password.