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   As previously noted here: SciAm, December, 1995:

   "Confidential Communication on the Internet." By Thomas
   Beth, director of the European Institute for System
   Security and professor of computer science at the
   university of Karlsruhe.

      Chain of certification in the author's scheme, SELANE,
      extends from local authorities who vouch for an
      individual's identity and probity up through regional,
      national and supranational authorities, each vouching
      for those below it. Digital signatures prevent
      tampering; anyone who recognizes one signature in the
      chain can be assured that a signed document is valid.

      SELANE is compatible with almost every commercial and
      academic network. It also provides a "smart" card that
      can carry out the necessary calculations securely for
      each user. And it addresses the conflicts of government
      and privacy interests when wire-tapping is needed.