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Webs Of Trust - Nick [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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Webs Of Trust [Jan. 26th, 2004|06:30 pm]
[music |The Corrs - What Can I Do (Live Acoustic v]

In the last week, I've become part of two Web Of Trust systems. The first
of these is the Thawte (http://www.thawte.com/html/COMMUNITY/wot/)
Community Web Of Trust, and the second is the
(http://www.cacert.org)CACert.org Web Of Trust. Under both of these
schemes (one run by a big digital certificates and security firm, the
other by a community group), you can get a signed digital certificate.
Initially, it doesn't have your name, but once you become trusted it does.
Armed with such a certificate, you can sign and encrypt email (using
SMIME), and authenticate yourself to some websites.

To become trusted, you need to find a Notary / Assurer (Thawte /
CACert.org). You go to them, show them two pieces of national ID (one with
a photo), give them copies of it, sign a form, and they assign you trust
points. The more experienced the person, the more they can give. Once you
are well enough known to the system, you two can start acting as a Notary
for other people.

On Monday, OxLug ran a Thawte Notarisation event, with a number of
Notaries there. I managed to gain enough points to become a Notary, and so
also notarised a few other people there. The event went very well (about
20 people attended, and Oxford now has buckets of Notaries :), so all was
good there.

I then noticed that the CACert.org site was back (it'd had a few issues
and had been down a little in the autumn). I first found out about this
group last summer, when a few of the people behind it contacted me about
my (http://tirian.magd.ox.ac.uk/~nick/openssl-certs/)OpenSSL as a
CA documentation. I'd been meaning to sign up at the time, but couldn't
then see a way to get my identity assured through them.

Since I am now a Thawte Notary, I was able to use this to cross assure
myself into their scheme, and with a special one off assurance, I was in
with enough points to assure people.

So, I'm now a notary / assurer for both schemes. If people are interested
in getting into either of these schemes, give me a shout and I'll tell you
how we can sort it out next time we meet.