Responsible behaviour

The latest xkcd (work safe) cracked me up this morning when I saw it in my feed reader (edited so that it will fit into my blog – horizontally it’s too long otherwise).

Responsible Behaviour

N.B. For non-geeks, signing a public key of someone you don’t know is probably worse than sleeping with them, as everyone can tell that you did it 😉

6 thoughts on “Responsible behaviour

  1. I read it just before I came to this in google reader and was just loving it myself also. A sign of how sad I am..

    I think you also are leaving out the point that signing a public key is based on extending a ‘web of trust’ and its absolutely crucial that you verify that the person is who they say they are. 😉

  2. A public key is a way of encrypting a message so that only the person who ‘owns’ the public key can read it. For example, if you encrypted an email with my public key before sending it to me, anyone who intercepted it (including you) would just see a load of random characters. I would be the only person able to decrypt it and read the original messages – though if it was from you it might still be random characters. 😉

    If you sign someone’s public key, it means you have verified who that person is, so you shouldn’t just do it for anyone. It’s a bit like counter-signing someone’s passport application, except that you can get your key signed by lots of people to build up a ‘web of trust’.

    The alternative answer I have been given on IRC is “matt’s mum”, but that probably doesn’t make sense to anyone who isn’t in #manlug.

  3. I think that makes sence – I can now understand the cartoon!! And as for the dig at me Paul – that is acctually illegal under the disability discrimination act!! I’m disapointed in you!! 😉

  4. I’m not employing you or providing a business service, nor am I a government department, so I have no obligations with regards to the DDA relating to this website. 😛

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