Sequoia PGP is more than just a reimplementation of an existing tool. The team behind it is rethinking tooling for the broader PGP ecosystem. Their innovative ideas are making PGP easier to use. I can’t wait to see Sequoia PGP be more broadly adopted.
We are thrilled to release the first version of the Octopus, an alternate OpenPGP backend for Thunderbird built on top of Sequoia.
The Octopus is a drop-in replacement for RNP, the OpenPGP library shipped with Thunderbird 78. In addition to providing all of the RNP functionality that Thunderbird uses, the Octopus also includes a number of enhancements. These fall into several categories. The Octopus restores some functionality that was present in Enigmail, but removed or has not yet been reimplemented in Thunderbird’s OpenPGP integration. In particular, the Octopus uses GnuPG’s keystore, interacts with gpg-agent, integrates GnuPG’s web of trust information, and updates certificates in the background. The Octopus includes a number of security fixes and improvements. For instance, it fixes Thunderbird’s insecure message composition, and automatically encrypts in-memory secret key material at rest. The Octopus adds a few performance improvements, such as, parsing the keyring in the background and using multiple threads. And, the Octopus has better support for parsing less usual, but not necessarily esoteric, certificates and keys.