A Key Signing Party is an opportunity for the LoCo team to get together for some face time while discussing cryptography and its uses. No experience or prior knowledge is assumed, all comers welcome. Bring a few dollars to contribute toward pizza, if that's your thing.
Date: October 6, 2007
Time: 6:00 PM
Location: East Side Technical School
Since probably most of us have never been to one before, I wanted to go over what to expect, how to prepare, what to bring, etc. The most important thing to bring is yourself, even if you can't bring a computer. In fact, bringing a computer is almost counter-productive.
To prepare, generate a GPG key for yourself. If you have access to a linux box, this is essentially a matter of "gpg --gen-key". Once you have your key, you will want to write down on a piece of paper the "Key ID" and the "Key Fingerprint." The fingerprint looks like the long series of hex digits in my signature. You should ideally also bring a photo ID.
At the party, you'll recieve a paper table. At the top, you'll write your key ID and your key fingerprint. While eating your pizza and socializing, you'll go around and add other people's names, key ids, and fingerprints to your table. You should check their ID, too. Don't write down their info unless you are sure you of their identity (that is, after all, the whole point of the exercise).
At some point during the night, there will be some talks given about the basics of public key cryptography (how it works and what it is good for), as well as practical tips on using crypto. If you get stuck and can't get a key generated before the party, this part should give you enough info to be able to generate your own key.
Note! You should not at any time during the party use someone's else's computer. And you probably shouldn't let anyone use your computer, either. If we all trusted each other, we wouldn't need cryptography Wait to do the actual signing after the event.
Here's a few links of suggested reading: