At 12:42 PM 6/11/03 -0600, Anne & Lynn Wheeler wrote:
>At 10:56 AM 6/11/2003 -0400, Sunder wrote:
>>In either case, we wouldn't need to worry about paying Verisign or anyone
>>else if we had properly secured DNS.  Then you could trust those pop-up
>>self-signed SSL cert warnings.
>
>actually, if you had a properly secured DNS .... then you could trust DNS 
>to distribute public keys bound to a domain name in the same way they 
>distribute ip-addresses bound to a domain name.

The DNS is like the Yellow Pages phonebook.  A secure DNS would prevent
evil postmen from editing your copy of the Yellow Pages before he drops it
off at your house. 

But *anyone* can buy an entry in the Yellow Pages.  And you can't
sue the Yellow Pages because of an advert there --even a signed (unedited)
one.

Adding PKeys to Yellow Pages merely lets you get scammed *confidentially*.

Verisign doesn't help ---they don't check anything in meatspace.  They're
not liable.  You can't sue them.  "Kosher meat certified by that 
vegetarian catholic up the street"

You need a Better Business Bureau's cert,  where the BBB is financially
liable.  
(This implies it checks in *meatspace* and probably implies competition too.)



Another metaphor: you can't sue the DMV if someone defrauds you using
a fake-ID.  

You can't sue the DMV even if its a valid ID.  You can't
get your money back if the valid ID points to someone who is no longer
bound to that name & location.

And getting scammed by whispering doesn't help either.



On the other hand, if reputation is all that matters, you can conduct
business without a fixed IP, DNS record, or Verisign, by transacting on a 
public bulletin board (skywriting), using only signatures to maintain the
rep (and provide confidentiality when exchanging credit card info).
There's a bootstrap
problem of building reps, and getting others to believe them, but Pkeys
let you maintain all the *identity* you need.






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