How does the Volksverschlüsselung software work?

The software first generates cryptographic keys on the user's device; these keys are then used to encrypt and sign e-mails and data. Once the user has entered their registration key or been successfully identified by means of the DTAG Telekom login (corresponds to the login process say at the Customer Center) or an electronic ID card, digital certificates for encryption, authentication and signature are generated at the Volksverschlüsselung trust center.

Once the certificates have been received, the software automatically searches for e-mail programs, browsers and other applications on the user's device that can use cryptography. The keys and certificates are then automatically incorporated into the existing application programs so the certificates can be used.

Following this one-time step, e-mails can be encrypted and signed easily in programs such as MS Outlook and Thunderbird.