Feeds

Of Infocard: Who keeps an eye on the guardians?

Why not PGP keysigning?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Nick Kew has raised an interesting point re: Mary Branscombe’s InfoCard piece.

It touches on “quis custodiet ipsos custodies” - who will keep an eye on the guardians? Do you have to have an unblemished reputation in order to manage identity and security? Probably not, in theory – but I bet you won’t get much buy-in from the general public (or, I hope, the press) if your past behaviour is dodgy.

So, some of the companies involved in dealing out identity/security have featured in anti-monopoly cases, have allegedly tricked people into changing their domain registration supplier by giving the impression they’re something they’re not and have failed in “due diligence” on identity generally (in one case, by giving a chancer a Bill Gates ID.

Also, the commercial concept of charging different rates for different “qualities” of identity (the cheapest needing little more than headed notepaper as “proof” of ID) seems to me to be a real gift for fraudsters – and Microsoft’s “do you want to trust all content from this provider” in IE seems fundamentally silly too (the only sensible answer is “sometimes”; not an option).

Personally, I see a need for “trusted third parties” in this space – regulated professionals similar to solicitors and “commissioners for oaths”, who can guarantee that a public key means what you think it does. But I have to admit that Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) trust seems to work well enough, although I’m not sure it will ever suit the technophobe masses.

Anyway, here’s what Nick says, and I obviously have some sympathy with it (although, in the context of the piece commented on, it raises issues rather outside the scope of what Mary was asked for: a developer’s heads-up on InfoCard technology):

“We have an established web-of-trust through PGP keysigning, that is (for end users) altogether preferable to certificate authorities. Why do initiatives like InfoCard not use this, at least as an option?

“Verisign's monopoly position seems to me altogether more damaging than Microsoft's, and I find it deeply depressing that they've been allowed to eliminate so much of the competition (e.g. buying Thawte - the other big name in the identity business) without regulatory scrutiny. And of course they are successor to Network Solutions, the worst monopoly nightmare I've ever had the misfortune to deal with in any 'net business.

“I have a great deal more trust in my colleagues whose PGP keys I've signed than I do in an industry dominated by companies with a very nasty track record.”

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
NSA SOURCE CODE LEAK: Information slurp tools to appear online
Now you can run your own intelligence agency
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Microsoft adds video offering to Office 365. Oh NOES, you'll need Adobe Flash
Lovely presentations... but not on your Flash-hating mobe
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
HTML5 vs native: Harry Coder and the mudblood mobile app princes
Developers just want their ideas to generate money
prev story

Whitepapers

Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Protecting against web application threats using SSL
SSL encryption can protect server‐to‐server communications, client devices, cloud resources, and other endpoints in order to help prevent the risk of data loss and losing customer trust.