[standards-jig] XML Encryption

dirkx at covalent.net dirkx at covalent.net
Tue Mar 19 18:54:02 UTC 2002

On Tue, 19 Mar 2002, Iain Shigeoka wrote:

> On 3/18/02 2:39 PM, "David Waite" <mass at akuma.org> wrote:
> > dirkx at covalent.net wrote:
> >
> >> Trust is not absolute. In a lot of deployment worlds certain levels of
> >> trust are enough - and do not need a corperate CA to be part of the chain.
> >>
> >> What I am referring to is that if I get a signed message with a public key
> >> inside it from Mr X - and I do not really know him - over time as I
> >> communicate with him under that key - and perhaps using secondary hints
> >> such as DNS resolving right, his web site, his email - I get a practical
> >> enough trust relation. It is not perfect - it is good enough.
> >>
> > Right - and one of the issues becomes that this trust is not
> > application-specific, and this should really be handled by an external
> > tool. I've only messed with two tools which do this - one was called
> > 'PGP', and the other 'gnupg'.
> Of course, this gets us into a web of trust model (aka pgp).  From what I
> understand, it works great for small, security motivated groups, but quickly
> breaks down when dealing with large groups and strangers.  This makes me a
> where pgp failed...I don't know.

> Thoughts?

The trust model I was refering to is that of long term relations with
relatively few social partners. For this the trust model works well. The
other model - causal relation with a lot of partners which share some
common propertie (such as being employed by the same companie) is one more
adequately dealth with by a CA.

Secondly - PGP -also- introduces the concept of cross signing each other
certificate and relying on realtively trusted third party strangers. When
refering to that - your above statement makes a lot more sense. But I was
more refering to direct social links. To this I beleive that the statement
about PGP is not applicable.


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