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Security, Technology, Webcomics

SIGGRAPH Key Signing Party?

May 24th, 2007 by Jeff | Dump Core

As previously mentioned, I’m headed to SIGGRAPH in August. The pre-con report is now up on the GPF Shows & Cons site and, as usual, will become the core place for news and updates about my trip there. (I’ll probably end up mentioning the same stuff here as well, but that’s the official place to look.)

It occurred to me yesterday while I was writing up a News item for Monday that SIGGRAPH may–or may not–be a good place to hold a key signing party. For those unfamiliar with public-key cryptography, this is a gathering where PKC users can verify each other’s identities, prove you are who you say you are, and obtain signatures on your public key. This increases your perceived level of trust; the more signatures you have on your public key, the more people who say they have verified your identity and thus the more trustworthy your own signature becomes. This “web of trust” is the core to PKC; without it, anyone could create a key and say they’re somebody else and there wouldn’t be an easy way to prove otherwise.

I said it may be a good place for a key signing because there will be a lot of computer professionals there. It might not be a good place because most of those computer professionals are more involved with graphics than with cryptography (which is ironic because both require a great deal of mathematical knowledge). Thus, I’m not sure if I’ll be able to find anyone there willing to sign my keys or not. My public key has a pitiful few number of signatures, mostly because I haven’t been able to meet face-to-face with like-minded cryptography nuts to add any. I’ve searched and searched and have yet to come up with anything in this vein officially or unofficially attached to SIGGRAPH.

So here’s a two-pronged appeal. First, if anyone does know of an official or unofficial key signing event somehow attached to SIGGRAPH or that might be going on in the area during that week, please let me know the details so I can somehow get involved. If there isn’t one going on, I’d love to see one organized. I’d consider organizing it myself if it weren’t for the fact that I’m not from San Diego and I don’t have a clue about where would be the best place to hold such an event, let alone how to get the word out. I’ve put my entry up on BigLumber’s San Diego listing in hopes that someone might see it, and at least one San Diego resident has expressed interest. If someone else might take the initiative to get things started, I’d be more than willing to promote it on the GPF site.

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