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Re: Certification Authorities in history.

On Sun, 8 Oct 1995, Bill Stewart wrote:

> 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 :-)

But their principal reason for disliking it was "Taxation without 
representation."  Today, you get to vote on those who decide on taxes, 
unlike the colonists ....