Call for LinkedIn to Add PGP & S/MIME Certs to Profile Schema

There seems to be an interesting trend going around on Twitter the past few days … that might actually makes sense. In case don’t take part in this social network, the general idea is for LinkedIn to add a component for PGP and/or S/MIME certificates to their profile schema.

“Retweet if you think @LinkedIn should add PGP and S/MIME certificates to the profile schema.”

With all the recent NSA spying concerns one of the most basic tips for those concerned with privacy or conducting sensitive business translations is to use client-side encryption. With email the defacto standards are PGP (or open source alternative) and S/MIME however the problem with both these schemes is public key distribution. The most trustworthy method involves users exchanging keys in meatspace but obviously this technique has scalability problems. There are always the old-school PGP keyservers like the MIT PGP Public Key Server but attackers could easily spoof entries and users risk exposing their email addresses to spammers. If you have a website you can post it there but this option isn’t convenient for everyone.

That’s where this suggestion for LinkedIn comes into play … they already has a bit of trust established between contacts so why not just publish it there? One option is to add your PGP key to your Summary. Better yet have LinkedIn components specifically designed for your PGP or S/MIME certificates and allow your Connections to sign it, establishing a PGP-like web-of-trust model. Perhaps email clients could even be configured to automatically pull updated certificates from your Connections on LinkedIn. Facebook, Twitter, or any of the other social networks could jump in as well however LinkedIn looks uniquely positioned for business users concerned with sensitive email discussions.

Let’s continue to let LinkedIn know about this idea and see where they could take it. RT or post the following to help spread the word (note extra hashtag easier tracking).

Retweet if you think @LinkedIn should add PGP and S/MIME certs to the profile schema. #linkedincerts


Today’s post pic is from See ya!

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