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Hardcover | Out of Print | ISBN: 9780262024914 | 340 pp. | 6 x 9 in | August 2000
Paperback | $36.00 X | £26.95 | ISBN: 9780262526302 | 340 pp. | 6 x 9 in | August 2000

Rethinking Public Key Infrastructures and Digital Certificates

Building in Privacy

Overview

As paper-based communication and transaction mechanisms are replaced by automated ones, traditional forms of security such as photographs and handwritten signatures are becoming outdated. Most security experts believe that digital certificates offer the best technology for safeguarding electronic communications. They are already widely used for authenticating and encrypting email and software, and eventually will be built into any device or piece of software that must be able to communicate securely. There is a serious problem, however, with this unavoidable trend: unless drastic measures are taken, everyone will be forced to communicate via what will be the most pervasive electronic surveillance tool ever built. There will also be abundant opportunity for misuse of digital certificates by hackers, unscrupulous employees, government agencies, financial institutions, insurance companies, and so on.In this book Stefan Brands proposes cryptographic building blocks for the design of digital certificates that preserve privacy without sacrificing security. Such certificates function in much the same way as cinema tickets or subway tokens: anyone can establish their validity and the data they specify, but no more than that. Furthermore, different actions by the same person cannot be linked. Certificate holders have control over what information is disclosed, and to whom. Subsets of the proposed cryptographic building blocks can be used in combination, allowing a cookbook approach to the design of public key infrastructures. Potential applications include electronic cash, electronic postage, digital rights management, pseudonyms for online chat rooms, health care information storage, electronic voting, and even electronic gambling.

Endorsements

“If privacy is the immovable object of your desire, then you had best attend to the irrestible force of the approaching identity culture, and I can think of no better preparation than to read Stefan Brands' book, particularly if you would enter debate able to clearly differentiate that which is possible from that which is mere wishful thinking.”
Daniel E. Geer Jr., Sc.D., Chief Technology Officer, Stake, Inc.
“In his new book, Rethinking Public Key Infrastructures and Digital Certificates, Stefan Brands pioneers an innovative new way to introduce privacy into two of today's hottest technologies -- public key infrastructures and smartcards. Brands' book goes well beyond just making the case for privacy by providing the essential algorithms and protocols needed to introduce a new standard of privacy in technology. This is a must read for anyone involved in introducing PKI or smartcards into their organization.”
Ann Cavoukian, Ph.D., Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario
“Brands's breakthrough techniques show how electronic commerce and other information systems can be designed to provide security without sacrificing privacy. This work is a 'must read' for anyone concerned with security or privacy in the information infrastructure.”
Hal Abelson, Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, MIT