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Re: Certificates/Anonymity/Policy/True Names

On Mon, 21 Aug 1995, Bill Stewart wrote:

> can be substantial even if the suit is bogus.)  Under what conditions do
> you expect somebody to sue a CA?

CA certifies key saying that holder has corporate power to enter into 
deals upto $1million.  Keyholder commits fraud, arguably outside 
corparate powers.

CA certifies you are Jack Ripper based on phony id.  In fact you are Sam 
Spade.  CA sued for recovery of ensuing fraud.

CA certifies that a document is authentic and time-stamps it.  Lawyers 
did not do due dilligence, books were cooked, everyone who touches 
document gets sued.

In each of these cases, if the CA did exactly what it promises and no 
more, it (arguably) deserves a way to short-circuit the suit, thus 
keeping its costs down.

Since (in the absence of any rules given the newness of the technology) it
is very likely that a rich CA would get nuisance suits every time a deal
in which it particiapted went sour, the absence of rules will either 
raise costs CAs have to charge (e.g. to buy insurance) or will keep rich 
folk out of the industry (which isn't good either, since you want CAs to 
buy security and to last).  Thus the need for clear liability rules.

A. Michael Froomkin        | +1 (305) 284-4285; +1 (305) 284-6506 (fax)
Associate Professor of Law | [email protected]
U. Miami School of Law     | 
P.O. Box 248087            | It's hot here.  And humid.
Coral Gables, FL 33124 USA |
See http://www-swiss.ai.mit.edu/6095/articles/froomkin-metaphor/text.html
and http://www.law.cornell.edu/jol/froomkin.htm