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Mailcrypt is an Emacs Lisp package which provides a simple but powerful interface to cryptographic functions for mail and news.

This documentation describes Mailcrypt version 3.5.5. The documentation was last updated on August 29, 1998.

  • Introduction Read this first.
  • General Use Everyday cryptographic functions.
  • Remailer Support Interface to secure anonymous remailers.
  • Passphrase Cache Letting Mailcrypt remember your passphrase for a while.
  • Key Fetching Automatically retrieving public keys via finger or HTTP.
  • Miscellaneous Configuration Random tweakables.
  • Tips Hints and tricks.
  • Limitations Things Mailcrypt does not do.
  • References Pointers to relevant information.
  • Credits Whom to blame.
  • Index Keys, variables, and functions.

    --- The Detailed Node Listing --- Introduction

  • Prerequisites Complicated stuff you may have to do.
  • Installation Simple stuff you probably have to do.
  • Command Overview A brief summary of the most common commands.


  • Hooking into Rmail
  • Hooking into VM
  • Hooking into MH-E
  • Hooking into Gnus

    General Use

  • Encrypting Encrypting a message to one or more recipients.
  • Signing Clearsigning a message.
  • Inserting Keys Extracting a key from your public key ring and inserting it.
  • Decrypting Decrypting a message to you.
  • Verifying Verifying the signature on a clearsigned message.
  • Snarfing Keys Finding a key in the current message and adding it to your keyring.

    Remailer Support

  • Remailer Introduction A little about remailers in general.
  • Remailer Quick Start Getting started quickly.
  • Remailer Chains Creating custom chains of your very own.
  • Response Blocks A way to let people reply to your anonymous messages.
  • Pseudonyms Who do you want to be today?
  • Remailing Posts Posting to USENET anonymously or pseduonymously.
  • Mixmaster Support Remailers for the truly paranoid.
  • Remailer Security Caveats.
  • Verifiable Pseudonyms Giving expression to the voices in your head.
  • Remailer Tips Free advice.

    Key Fetching

  • Keyring Fetch Fetching from one or more other keyrings on the local system.
  • Finger Fetch Fetching a key through finger.
  • HTTP Fetch Fetching a key off of the Web.

    Miscellaneous Configuration

  • Alternate Keyring Specifying a different file to act like your public keyring.
  • Comment Field Burma Shave
  • Mode Line Changing that "MC-w" and "MC-r" stuff
  • Key Bindings Which keys cause which actions.
  • Nonstandard Paths Useful if your PGP installation is weird.


  • Online Resources Recreational reading with a purpose.
  • Key Servers Keepers of the Global Keyring.
  • Mailing List Staying informed while pumping the authors' egos.
  • Politics Anarcho-foobarism.
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