[GTALUG] Big banks and telcos backing digital identity supercluster bid | IT World Canada News

James Knott james.knott at rogers.com
Fri Sep 22 14:40:44 EDT 2017

I wonder if they'll provide X.509 certificates for individuals.  While
many people use them (and some use PGP/GPG) the big issue for so many is
convenience.  In companies that use a directory server, it's a simple
matter to get the certificates for anyone else in the company, making it
real easy to send encrypted email.  Otherwise, you have to arrange for
certs on your own and then send a signed message, so that the other
person can send you an encrypted email.  Of course, many people haven't
even heard of email encryption.  A few years ago, CIBC was offering
X.509 certificates for customers, but I believe they could only be used
for banking business, such as applying for loans etc.  I don't know if
they're still doing it.

What we need for encrypted email to really take off is a server where
you can automatically find anyone's public certificate, when you send an
email, just as can be done with directory servers.

BTW, my first experience with this was at IBM, 20 years ago, when the
Lotus Notes servers supplied the certificates to anyone sending email. 
Previously, I had experimented with PGP, as others at the OS/2 users
group had, but never really used it for much.


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