Current issues in the rollout of a National Authentication Framework

Early in the development of national authentication policy, and the struggle with PKI, this presentation to the 1998 Information Industry Outlook Conference provided an optimistic and innovative vision, involving communities of interest and digital credentials instead of a focus on personal identity.

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“The concept of “community” has become important in the Internet and in electronic business. Membership of communities can be controlled by local CAs under PKI.

“Consider those bodies which today control registration of certain practising professionals. For instance, a law society and a medical registration board might both establish OCAs in order to issue digital certificates to their members 1. If the processes for issuing those certificates are integrated with present registration practices, then the certificates could represent electronic credentials. Thus, an electronic prescription digitally signed by a doctor could be trusted by a pharmacist, if the doctor’s certificate came from the recognised registration board. And likewise a title search digitally signed by a lawyer could be trusted by a home buyer, if the lawyer’s certificate came from a recognised law society. The relying parties in these respective transactions may care little for the actual identities of the signatories; rather, the relying parties need to trust their credentials.”

Note Oct 2012: this old link appears to have finally died

The Wayback Machine records the paper here: