Kev Quirk

Keybase, Zoom and Me

08 May 2020

So if you hadn't heard, Zoom have acquired Keybase. This has sparked a lot of consternation within the open source community and a lot of people have decided to delete their Keybase accounts.

I think most can agree that after the acquisition, there's no more reason to trust the platform and thus to use it. What happens to our keys now is anyone's guess.

Yarmo Mackenbach

My Use Of Keybase

I use Keybase for a number of things. I use it as a way to verify my online identities, I also use it as a place to host my my PGP keys so that people can easily email me encrypted messages.

We also use Keybase Teams as a means for collaboration across the Fosstodon team.

So I would class myself as a fairly heavy Keybase user.

Will I Delete Keybase?

Well, I could delete Keybase relatively easily. The keys I have stored on Keybase are different to the keys I use elsewhere. Therefore it's no problem to delete them. It wouldn't be a problem to generate a new key pair and publish my public key on this website.

I can also use this site as a means to verify my online identities, simply posting links to my various online profiles and domains.

Keybase Teams would be more difficult, but still straightforward. It would be trivial for the Fosstodon team to move to another platform like Mattermost.

But I'm not deleting Keybase.

At the moment, I don't know what Keybase and Zoom are going to be doing. Zoom have had their problems, but I think that's more indicative of their incredibly quick rise, rather than the potential that they're inherently bad.

It's only been a day since Keybase made the announcement, so it's impossible to say what the future will hold.

Yes, Zoom could ruin Keybase. Yes, they could make the Keybase team focus only on the Zoom codebase. But they could also be mutually beneficial to one another.

There's nothing on my Keybase profile that is sensitive or private (except my private key, but like I said, that's not a big deal). So if it does all go south with Zoom, I'll delete my account then.

Doing it right now, so soon after the announcement, feels like I would be cutting my nose off to spite my face.

So in short, I'm going to wait and see.

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