Although S/MIME has its uses, WebSigning (signing web forms),
is already a much more significant tool for many e-governments.
This is mostly due to the fact that interactive services are
considerably more flexible than static e-mail, but it also depends
on the ease of establishing confidentiality (https).

However, there is a fly in the soup.  There is no standard for WebSigning,
making this facility costly to deploy as well as non-interoperable.

Recently a number of leading pharmaceutical companies who have
formed a strong authentication consortium (SAFE), launched an internally
developed standard known as USSI (Universal SAFE Signing Interface).

But similar WebSigning "standards" have also been launched by:
- The Swedish government
- The Austrian government
- The Norwegian government
- The Danish government
- The Estonian government
- The Hongkong government
- The DoD
- Dozens of independent software vendors

Somewhat surprising, the people who seem to be the least aware of
these efforts to transform the ubiquitous Internet browser from being
a "Universal Thin Client", to become a "Universal PKI-enabled Thin Client"
are actually the browser vendors and W3C!


Anders Rundgren

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this message are solely the
author's and should not be attributed to his employer or their clients
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