On Mar 16, 2008, at 7:52 PM, Ben Laurie wrote:

Dirk-Willem van Gulik wrote:
So I'd argue that while x509, its CA's and its CRL's are a serious pain to deal** with, and seem add little value if you assume avery diligent and experienced operational team -- they do provide a useful 'procedural' framework and workflow-guide which is in itself very valuable, relatively robust and are a little bit organisationally "inherently fail-safe". The latter as you are forced to think about expiry of the assertions, what to do when a CRL is too old and so on.

I think there's a large gulf between the use case where the relying party and the CA are the same entity, and where they do not even have a contractual arrangement.

I think you are hitting a key point here. In a way - a CA (or some sub- CA) is less of an authority and more of a, ideally, somewhat consistent organizational realm.

CAs within a corporate environment may well be a good idea in some cases, indeed. As you know, we've been pushing on this idea at the Apache Software Foundation for some time now, hindered only by our laziness :-)

And at the same time we need to learn to, or be weaned away from, the hardened shell perimeter ideas, that of a single super reliable root - and start to see a CA as something like one of the Kerberos KDC's we trust, just a NIS+ server we like, etc.


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