I'm not really intending to get involved in this whole debate, my own views are fully formed on the matter and I don't think I'm likely to be very effective expounding on them to others, either. Honestly, I'll even admit I haven't fully read the full thread. I kept finding myself just running my eyes over the text of your posts rather than reading them. A bit too rhetoric and palaver like. I'm aware that's not the most complimentary of remarks, but it isn't really intended that way. Perhaps if I were a citizen of the United Kingdom I'd find it more interesting, but as I'm not, I don't. Just a disclaimer, essentially, that I haven't read the full discussion and don't intend to contribute.
However, I was very interested to see the author of an article responding to a discussion here about the article. It's something that I'd like to see happen more often, possibly. To that end, I'll try to explain the whole thing about PGP. You need to understand that, on the internet, all unverified credentials are automatically suspect. If you claim to have a PhD in Electrical Engineering to add authenticity to your contribution to a debate about electronics on the internet, you've already lost the debate in the minds of most of the people reading it, whether you do or not. Likewise, asserting to be a real person rather than one of these relatively anonymous identities we use here, is also automatically suspect. Having a phone number we can call to ask for you is also not the best way of verifying your identity. Certainly, one person could do so. And if they were reasonably convinced that it wasn't some impostors home phone number and that the person answering it was really David Cahllice, then you'd have verified your identity to one person. But not to anyone else. And perhaps if, say, twenty well known people here on the XKCD fora were to do so, then someone like myself, for who calling that number would be an international call and more trouble than it's worth, could say, why yes, he probably is
David Challice. But that's obviously not an ideal solution.
A PGP Key is part of something called asymmetric cryptography. If you want the full technical run down, go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_key_cryptography
. But I'll try to summarize it here. It's a way of sending coded messages. You have two 'keys', a public key and a private key. You make one public and keep one secret, and you can guess which is which. Anything encoded with the public key can only be decoded with the private key. Anything encoded with the private key can only be decoded with the public key. The idea being your public key enables anyone to send a message that only you can read, and anything that can be decoded with your public key could only be from you. It is the latter of these two uses that is relevant to us. Basically, we want you to get a PGP key pair, publish your public key (There are somewhat complicated methods for trying to ensure a public key actually belongs to who it supposedly belongs to. I have limited practical experience public key cryptography so I'm not going to try to explain them. It basically boils down to doing the 'twenty people calling that number and posting on here they're satisfied you are who you say you are' in advance, instead of every time you post on a new forum), publish your public key in a way that presumably only David Challice could do (I have no idea who you are, but you seem to have some connection to the UKIP. Put it on their website, possibly?), then, at the end of your posts here on the XKCD fora, put a bit of text encoded with your private key, a 'digital signature'.
If you need any help on figuring out how to use PGP, etc, feel free to ask...someone else. I am officially at the limit of my knowledge of it's workings. But, might I suggest, as a start http://lmgtfy.com/?q=how+to+pgp