ASCII Armor

NeedleFactory's Avatar

NeedleFactory

26 Feb, 2015 02:44 AM

First time user, MacBook Pro, installed beta with no problems and can encrypt files... but I prefer to continue using GMail rather than Apple's Mail. It seems to me that there ought to be a method to convert a .gpg file to a .txt file by wrapping it in ASCII Armor (and likewise, to wrap the contents of a pair of files (.gpg and corresponding .gpg.sig). The resulting file could then be pasted into any mail program.

Pondering all this, I'm wondering why the GPG "services" can't also be provided as stand-along Mac applications (which would make preference handling easier).

  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by Steve on 26 Feb, 2015 05:30 PM

    Steve's Avatar

    Hi NeedleFactory,

    a few thoughts on this. I'm not quite sure what you mean by prefering gmail over mail.app, but assume you prefere googles webmail solution over the OS X mail client.

    You can setup all your mail addresses in mail.app which is a great benefit. I'm a total mail client nerd, so I'd always prefere a mail client over any webmail based solution. Clients have much more power, control and functionality. So maybe you just need to get used to how things work in Mail.app. Maybe it might be worth giving it a try for two or three weeks and see if it might still fit your needs after all.

    Next: txt files vs. attachments: GPGMail defaults to the only standard there is for sending OpenPGP Mails, which is PGP/MIME. The format you are referring to, is called PGP/Inline and is an undocumented non-standard format, which leads to several problems, which is why we default to PGP/MIME.

    Nevertheless you can switch GPGMail to use OpenPGP/Inline. While this is not encouraged, we've added that option.
    Find out how to do that here.

    There's no difference in security level, yet you have to be aware, that while PGP/MIME also encrypts all attachments, OpenPGP/Inline does not!

    Also, you're limited to text only. Any formatting will be ignored.

    If you want to read more about the deficites of Inline/PGP you may want to read this note of Daniel Kahn Gillmore called Inline PGP signatures considered harmful. This is the GnuPG FAQ entry covering this question.

    Coming back to your question: if you can use Mail.app with GPGMail doing all the encryption / decryption work in an integrated way, I don't see, why GPGServices is a preferable route. Nontheless it is an option but much less comfortable than Mail.app with GPGMail.

    GPGServices can not be provided as an app, since it indeed is a system service (which is also why it does not appear in your programs folder.

    But we do understand your request and actually agree. There are plans to change this situation but this is somewhat further down the road.

    All the best,
    steve

  2. Steve closed this discussion on 02 Jun, 2015 12:17 PM.

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