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Second USENIX Workshop on Electronic Commerce

Token-Mediated Certification and Electronic Commerce

Daniel E. Geer, Jr., Sc.D., Donald T. Davis
Open Market, Inc.


Public key technology presumes the availability of certificates and certifying authorities (CAs) living within a shallow hierarchy rooted at a few (n<<100) public CAs. We propose an alternative that lessens the day-to-day dependence on centralized CAs while deepening the certificate tree. We do this by suggesting that smartcards provide CA functions, thus re-framing some payment problems as simpler authorization problems.

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Last changed: 15 April 2002 aw
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