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centralized key serversSeptember 11 2015 19:00:56

Most people are aware of keybase.io, a centralized method of sharing public keys. What most people are not aware of however, is the fact that using a centralized public key storage significantly increases the ease of mass surveillance. For this post I will leave aside the fact that keybase.io is a webservice, and thus impossible to completely verify.


Keybase.io provides people with the public key of others, trough a web API. If the spooks were to either man-in-the-middle this communication, or to compromise or run the servers of keybase.io. They could supply a spoofed public key right before it is used by the end-user. An unwitting user might not notice this.


Furthermore distributing your own keys from your own servers only gives them one opportunity, namely the moment the key is first displayed to your readers to compromise it. All further communications with you would also have to be man-in-the-middled, or you could easily find out that you were spied upon.


For this reason, you will not find my GPG key on keybase.io, you will, instead, find it below:

-----BEGIN PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK-----
Version: GnuPG v2

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=yXLS
-----END PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK-----