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A Computational Framework for Certificate Policy Operations
Gabriel A. Weaver, Scott Rea, Sean W. Smith
Dartmouth TR2009-650

Abstract: The trustworthiness of any Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) rests upon the expectations for trust, and the degree to which those ex- pectations are met. Policies, whether implicit as in PGP and SDSI/SPKI or explicitly required as in X.509, document expectations for trust in a PKI. The widespread use of X.509 in the context of global e-Science infrastructures, financial institutions, and the U.S. Federal government demands efficient, transparent, and reproducible policy decisions. Since current manual processes fall short of these goals, we designed, built, and tested computational tools to process the citation schemes of X.509 certificate policies defined in RFC 2527 and RFC 3647. Our PKI Policy Repository, PolicyBuilder, and PolicyReporter improve the consistency of certificate policy operations as actually practiced in compliance au- dits, grid accreditation, and policy mapping for bridging PKIs. Anecdotal and experimental evaluation of our tools on real-world tasks establishes their actual utility and suggests how machine-actionable policy might empower individuals to make informed trust decisions in the future.


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   Gabriel A. Weaver, Scott Rea, and Sean W. Smith, "A Computational Framework for Certificate Policy Operations." Dartmouth Computer Science Technical Report TR2009-650, June 2009.

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