Discourse Keybase Proof

(Rafael dos Santos Silva) #1

We can implement the Keybase proof protocol, so people can add a proof of identity in the Discourse instances they participate.


(Sam Saffron) #2

I really like the idea of spearheading an implementation here, I know it is a rather advanced feature that only a handful of people will use, but it is good to support this kind of protocol and should be easy to implement.

I am placing #pr-welcome on this, @codinghorror would you like this slotted on 2.4 or 2.5 or just play it by ear?

Note… I would like to first see a plugin implementing the protocol prior to pulling into core.

(Jeff Atwood) #3

I think #pr-welcome is good to start with, I support this, but it’s not like paying customers are asking for it or anything…


I suppose it could be implemented as a plugin, for starters.

(Alex Gessner) #5

keybase employee here. we actually just started on a gem for implementing the proof protocol. once done, it should be pretty easy to make a discourse plugin from it.

(Alex Gessner) #6

OK! Keybase gem for adding the open proof protocol to rails is here: GitHub - keybase/prove_keybase: ruby on rails gemified plugin for implementing our open proof protocol

I poked a bit at the Discourse plugin system (very cool by the way), and I think someone who is familiar with it should have no trouble converting this gem. I’m available for any questions or help, and if you ping me (I’m on keybase @xgess) I can help get this turned on for a test or staging environment of yours with some fake accounts on our side.

(Neal McBurnett) #7

I note that there have been lots of conversations in this forum over at least the last 4 years showing a strong desire for encrypted communications in Discourse. And they usually end up noting that it is a really hard problem, especially when encrypted group chats are considered, and that integrating with Keybase is a recommended alternative for a variety of reasons.

So I would advise those who really do want convenient, robust, encrypted communications to support this integration work, which is far easier than the work already in process, and does provide group chats and much more, all reliably tied to users based on their Discourse persona.

Here are a few references, starting with a wise quote from co-founder Sam Saffronsamco-founder about flaws with any web-based solution like Discourse:

Note that Keybase solves this by having native clients for many platforms.

Next up, on the current Discourse Encrypt project

Sam, would there be any way to extend this functionality to a category/threads (and allow by groups?)

Absolutely not, this is not in scope and not planned even 3 iterations out.

Next, the RFC for Discourse Encrypt which notes that they also don’t plan to properly address the multiple device or loss-of-key issues that Keybase is designed to get right:

the UI clearly explains that if she forgets this secret she will NEVER have access to her encrypted messages anymore

So again, please note that Keybase is now easy to integrate with, and that it solves problems that other solutions aren’t even planning to address.


Keybase integration into Discourse would be like Christmas for us.

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