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Certification Authorities in history.

Timothy C. May (or somebody like him, or Tim the Enchanted) wrote:
>> The talk of certification authorities is OK, so long as the practice is
>> _completely_  and "strongly" voluntary (*).

It occurred to me that the authors of the US Constitution had 
direct experience with the equivalent of mandatory certification hierarchies
for legally acceptable digital signatures.

They called it "The Stamp Act".  

If you wanted to make a legal document, such as a contract or will, 
it needed to be on paper with a tax stamp on it; I forget if this was
a watermark or a stick-on stamp, but you could only get it from the authorities.

They didn't like it.  There was also a few-percent sales tax on tea around
that time.  They didn't like that either :-)

<i> WHAT </i> is your name?
<i> WHAT </i> is your certificate number?
#                                       Thanks;  Bill
# Bill Stewart, Freelance Information Architect, [email protected]
# Phone +1-510-247-0664 Pager/Voicemail 1-408-787-1281