Yes, the term "non-repudiation" has been badly misused in
old PKIX WG drafts (in spite of warnings by myself and
others) and some crypto works of reference -- usually
by well-intentioned but otherwise misguided people trying
to add "value" to digital certificates.

However, IMO non-repudiation refers to a useful and
essential cryptographic primitive. It does not mean the
affirmation of a truth (which is authentication). It means
the denial of a falsity -- such as:

(1) the ability to prevent the effective denial of an act (in
other words, denying the act becomes a falsity); or

(2) the ability to prevent the denial of the origin or delivery
of transactions.

Note that, except for a boolean system, the affirmation of
a truth is not the same as the denial of a falsity. Hence, the
usefulness of "non-repudiation" as a primitive. Take away
"non-repudiation" and you end up with a lesser "language"
with which to describe security processes.

Ed Gerck

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