Re: Stashed session keys

Subject: Re: Stashed session keys

Date: Sun, 12 Nov 2017 11:51:11 +0800

To: Jameson Graef Rollins, Notmuch Mail


From: Daniel Kahn Gillmor

On Sat 2017-11-11 15:31:36 -0800, Jameson Graef Rollins wrote:
> I have reviewed and tested this series, and it seems solidly
> implemented and very well motivated.  I have been using it regularly
> for a couple weeks now and have found no issues with it's usage, and
> have noticed the considerable speed up when viewing encrypted threads
> (as much as x8 for show on a thread of just 8 encrypted messages).  I
> fully support it's integration unconditionally.

thanks for the review, the testing, and the reportback.  I'm glad to
hear that it's giving you the same sort of speedups that it gives me.

> Daniel likes to think of this in terms of being able to "delete"
> encrypted messages in the wild (via deletion of the original
> encryption key) whereas I like to think of it in terms of preserving
> access to received encrypted messages after key rotation.  Both
> benefits hold, though, obviously.

yes, these are different ways of looking at the same key management

> I think these policies cover all potential use cases that I can see.
> However, there will need to be further work on the UX to make things
> flow more smoothly.

Agreed.  The goal of this series is to provide the framework that can be
used to build smoother UX, but it doesn't get all the way to providing
the smoothest possible UX.  Such is the nature of toolkit development.

> I haven't decided what's the best way to do that yet, but something
> like the following happening automatically at inbox view might do the
> trick:
>   notmuch reindex --try-decrypt=true (tag:inbox AND tag:encrypted)

This seems like a reasonable way to ensure that your long-term, personal
secret keys only get accessed when you are interactively working with
your mail user agent.

You might be able to target the reindex even more narrowly by adding
something like "AND not property:index-decryption=success"

> Finally, I think it would be worthwhile to resolve the disparity between
> the usage of "decrypt" and "try-decrypt" in the CLI and config options.
> I'm not sure why we're using different terms in different contexts, even
> though the meanings are essentially the same.  A follow-up patch series
> changing "try-decrypt" -> "decrypt" would probably be in order.

If this series lands, i'd be happy to supply such an term-normalizing
series for subsequent consideration.

If people feel that this term normalization is the main blocker to
landing this series, i could try to rebase it with a different UI terms,
but rebasing the series for this change feels like busy-work to me (and
would be more effort than a simple normalization patch on top).  i'd
rather spend my limited notmuch hacking+reviewing time providing useful

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