Re: Thunderbird and end-to-end email encryption – should this be a priority?

Ronan Jouchet ronan at
Tue Aug 25 17:58:48 UTC 2015

On 2015-25-08 15:57, Gervase Markham wrote:
>> The loss of functionality in encryption (such
>> as online search of your webmail, or loss of email content if
>> certificates are lost) will give an unacceptable user experience to the
>> vast majority of users” was the sense of the majority.
> I think that TB should store mail locally unencrypted, to avoid data
> loss if credentials are lost, and to allow local searching. In other
> words, the threat model of someone compromising your computer should be
> out of scope for Thunderbird - that should be mitigated with full disk
> encryption, etc.
Yes. To this point, adding one question: which one of these two
imperfect alternatives improves the most the current situation?

  * Users (that's at least me, several friends, and apparently someone
    answering on the blog post
    wanting encryption but dropping the ball altogether because the lack
    of searchability is too much of an hassle.
  * Users benefiting en masse from end-to end encryption and, yes, being
    vulnerable at the endpoint *if* they were not educated to use
    full-disk encryption.

I don't have numbers of the percentage of Tb users deterred by Enigmail
due to this serious usability regression, but I know I'd re-enable
Enigmail in a heartbeat if my email stayed searchable.


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