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Re: Weakening the rigid heirarchical trust model

1997-12-29 21:57:08
Phillip H. Griffin wrote:

From nothing more than a personal freedom perspective, I really
warm to the idea of everyone, everywhere, whether they're just
plain humans, or licensed, audited and certified entities, being
allowed to create and distribute their own certs, to anyone,
anywhere, that's willing to trust them. It just seems to me like
a more open posture for a standard to take.

As a political position it is certainly as legitimate for you as the
anarchist, or libertarian, or socialist, or democratic, or republican
positions are for them. But as the basis for a global internet trust system
viable for trusted e-mail and related interactions including commercial
interaction via e-mail among arms-length parties, consider the analogous
consequences if everyone could print their own money or their own checks, or
other trust documents. 

This isn't about openness or freedom. It is about arms-length trust when the
parties are pretty much all at the ends of wires and there are massive
economies of scale/effort in having trusted, audited,
certification-operation-standards-meeting CAs and only those CAs in at least
this ietf standard. It's a technical, not a values issue. Not to put too fine
a point on it, I think it can make the difference between a successful system,
and one that will die slowly of its own internal contradictions.

I think it very important that this sub-topic not be clouded with ideological
issues. I think, instead, it's about (as much as feasible) reliable,
dependable, count-on-able systems for global trust.