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National ID as Identity Authentication answer for EC?



Evidently these idiots haven't heard of digital bearer certificates...

Cheers,
Bob Hettinga

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Date:         Thu, 25 Sep 1997 05:22:13 -0500
Reply-To: Digital Signature discussion <[email protected]>
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From: Rick Hornbeck <[email protected]>
Subject:      National ID as Identity Authentication answer for EC?
To: [email protected]

An interesting article by Thomas P. Vartanian appeared in the September 24
issue of the American Banker discussing the increasing need for identity
authentication in electronic commerce and the use of National ID
Verification Standards (NIVS) as a possible solution.

Although the article avoids proposing specific ultimate sources of identity
it does mention that "the adoption of these standards might facilitate the
development of a national market for certificate authority
errors-and-omissions insurance. It might also facilitate the creation and
operation of what one observer has called 'cybernotaries.'

Without uniformity in the authentication process, the efficiencies of
certificates and the effectiveness of electronic commerce will be undercut."

Following is a brief excerpt. Complete article available at:
http://www.jya.com/national-id.htm

====================


                             24 September 1997
                        Source: The American Banker

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Comment/ The Case for National ID Verification Standards

By Thomas P. Vartanian
Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson

Financial fraud depends heavily on perpetrators' ability to hide their
identities or assume those of others. Because the Internet is a medium for
anonymous communication, it has been and will continue to be a breeding
ground for innovation in electronic fraud.

Proponents of electronic commerce seek to limit this risk through the use
of digital certificates and similar methods of electronic authentication
and verification. This raises a complex question for the trusted third
parties, many of which may be banks, that certify the issuance and use of
public keys in the digital signature arena: What does it mean to certify
that a specific public key represents X in a world where the identification
of X is an imprecise science?

Authentication must be the starting point in any electronic network
transaction. Lacking the customary modes of physical identification, the
parties to a faceless transaction in cyberspace need proof from a third
party that each party is who he or she purports to be.

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-----------------
Robert Hettinga ([email protected]), Philodox
e$, 44 Farquhar Street, Boston, MA 02131 USA
"... however it may deserve respect for its usefulness and antiquity,
[predicting the end of the world] has not been found agreeable to
experience." -- Edward Gibbon, 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire'
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