[Standards] OX (OpenPGP for XMPP): A new OpenPGP XEP

Florian Schmaus flo at geekplace.eu
Wed Jan 6 13:32:34 UTC 2016

Hello everyone,

Joachim and I met many interesting people at the GSoC Mentor Summit
2015. Amongst those where the developers of OpenKeychain, an OpenPGP
provider for Android: Dominik and Vincent. We soon got into a discussion
about the current state of OpenPGP in XMPP. For those of you unaware:
The existing OpenPGP extension protocol, XEP-0027, is seriously flawed
and should not be used nor implemented. But until now, there was no
successor. We decided to change that and started to sketch a blueprint
of a potential successor right at the summit.

After a few more weeks of hard work on a ProtoXEP, we are now pleased to
announce a first preview of our work. Some parts are still not finished,
but everything important is there and thus the ideal time has come to
ask for feedback and start the discussion on the XMPP Standards mailing

The current state of the XEP, which we gave the short name 'OX' (OpenPGP
for XMPP), can be found rendered at


while the source code is available at


We all know that one should never design a protocol without an
implementation. That is why we also reached out to Daniel, the lead
developer of Conversations, a popular open-source XMPP client for
Android, and asked him if he would be interested in an implementation of
the new OpenPGP XEP in Conversations. Needless to say that we kicked in
open doors. And so, Adithya, a former GSOC student of the OpenKeychain
project, volunteered to work on the implementation. Of course other XMPP
clients are also encouraged to implement it.

We plan to incorporate your feedback and finish the XEP for submission
to the XMPP council in the next few weeks.

- Florian

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