[Dshield] Replacement for PGP?

Peter Stendahl-Juvonen peter.stendahl-juvonen at welho.com
Thu Jul 25 15:06:55 GMT 2002

Could this be of any consideration?
Could this even theoretically be considered as an alternative? Does it
have too tight or loose bindings to companies capitalizing on
certificates, authentication, SLL, email encryption, etc. (Thawte was
bought by VeriSign in 1999. Please see below.)  
At least it is ease-of-use and free. (Hope "ease-of-use" doesn't flame.
At least FREE should not.)
Just a "thawte"-
Computers are useless, they can only give you answers. -Pablo Picasso
For your convenience-
At  <http://www.thawte.com/> http://www.thawte.com/ you can find
"Products >>>>> Free Programs" linking to
http://www.thawte.com/getinfo/programs/contents.html presenting 
Personal Certificate Program
You can use your Thawte Personal Certificate to digitally sign and
encrypt your email communications. Thawte Personal Certificates are
trusted out of the box by all major S/MIME-compliant secure mail
clients, such as Microsoft Outlook Express and Netscape Communicator
4.x. S/MIME has been adopted by most messaging vendors as the leading
mail and messaging security standard.
Web of Trust Program
The Web of Trust is a unique, community-driven certification system
based on face-to-face ID validation on a peer-to-peer basis. It's a
"bottom-up" CA, compared to traditional "top-down" CA systems. You can
be notarized, and then you in turn can act as a notary and certify the
identity of your friends!
At http://www.thawte.com/getinfo/programs/wot/about.html you have an
Overview of the Thawte Web of Trust
Thawte's Web of Trust and the PGP Web of Trust
You can read more about PGP and Thawte's support for PGP key signatures
here. However, our web of trust system is not linked to PGP's web of
trust. Our web of trust is maintained in our database (we track the
assurances made by web of trust notaries about other members) while the
PGP web of trust is maintained across a network of PGP keyservers. Even
if you are well connected in the PGP web of trust you will still have to
start from scratch in the Thawte web of trust.
At http://www.thawte.com/corporate/corporatep.html you can find 
THAWTE Corporate Profile
Start of Thawte
Thawte began life in mid 1995 when Mark Shuttleworth began advising
local South African businesses on the commercial applications of the
Internet. During 1996, Mark evolved Thawte into the first non-us based
Certification Authority.
Thawte was a typical internet start up. The garage at Mark's parent's
house was cleared out and Mark began verifying certificate requests from
there. Thawte sold their first digital certificate on 12 June 1996.
By December 1999, the Netcraft Secure Server Survey attributed 41% of
the global SSL certificate market to Thawte.
So Successful was Thawte that during December 1999, VeriSign made Mark
an offer for his company that he couldn't refuse - and so Thawte moved
into a new and exciting era!
Thawte and VeriSign
As a VeriSign company Thawte's focus remains unchanged. Thawte is still
dedicated to increasing sales through being good value for money,
providing world-class customer service and growing our international
Thawte Has the full backing of VeriSign and allowed autonomy in its
day-to-day business. To show it's confidence in the brand VeriSign has
kept a distinct Thawte brand and has made a large investment in the
Thawte people and technology. Integrating with VeriSign has been
challenging, educational and exciting. It has no doubt been successful.
FAQ about the acquisition of the company can be found at
http://www.thawte.com/corporate/vsfaq.html  (just one point excerpted
Frequently Asked Questions on the Thawte / VeriSign Relationship
Will Thawte still offer FREE personal certificates and will the Web of
Trust continue?
For those of you that enjoy Thawte Personal Freemail certificates,
please rest assured that you will still be able to obtain free personal
certificates. VeriSign has offered free personal certificates for over 4
years, and we intend to continue the program, as well as Thawte's
popular Web of Trust Program.
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