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Thawte WOT Notary
Serving Southern Indiana



Eric Hammersley <insert impressive list of technology to blog about here>

Some of you may have noticed the Thawte Web of Trust Notary badge in my side panel.  Thawte, a leading ( and affordable) provider of SSL and Code signing certificates, has a program where you can obtain a FREE e-mail certificate in your own name and certified by Thawte.  It’s no joke or gimmick.  The certificate is as good as one you might pay for from Verisign or another competitor.  They provide this by using a “web” of certified, trusted individuals to assert a persons identity.  Individuals in this web have varying levels of points they can assert with in order to guarantee someone's identity.  No one person can solely verify someone's identity but a combination of 2 or more can do so.

This is VERY similar to the original PGP style key signing technique where someone would sign your public key as trusted if they could assert your identity.  The flaw with it was that there was no set “checks and balances”.  As such people just signed keys with no real regard to who or what they were asserting. 

WOT notaries for Thawte are required to check more than one piece identification at least one of which must be a photo ID.  This identification is accompanied by a document provided by Thawte and signed by the person requesting identification.  This is all done in person, face to face with the individual.  The WOT notary then asserts anywhere from 10 to 35 points towards your identity.  You must accumulate 50 assurance points in order to become trusted and gain an e-mail certificate in your own name.  If you gain 100 assurance points you too become a WOT notary and start at 10 points per assurance.  Through experience you can gain up to 35 points to use in assurances towards other peoples identity.  Although I choose not to Thawte even allows you to collect a fee for your services.

Another way to assert your identity and gain an immediate 35 WOT notary points is through the “Trusted 3rd Party” program.  This program allows you to assert your own identity by obtaining legal statements from Lawyers, Bank Mangers, CPA’s, etc.  I received my own certification 3 years ago by the 3rd party method and it is not as hard as it sounds.  Check the Thawte WOT site for more specific details on the 3rd party program.  I completed it in 3 hours in a small Indiana town.

Thawte reserves the right to audit the notaries records at any time and withholds the right to hold the notary liable is he or she cannot properly provide the required paperwork used in asserting someone's identity.  While I haven’t heard of them doing this I do like the fact that they at least attempt to sound serious.  I believe it is a good program but don’t take my word for it.  Head over to the Thawte WOT site and see for yourself.  You can search for the nearest notary to your location or sign up for the 3rd party program and become your local notary.

For those of you that are local I provide this service at each and every SCI-NUG users group meeting.  Please contact me prior to the meeting so we can prepare the proper paperwork.  If you are not familiar with the South Central .NET Users Group (SCI-NUG) and are local to the central Indiana (Bloomington) area please visit our site and come out to a meeting held every 3rd Thursday.  We hope to see you there.

Posted on Monday, July 25, 2005 11:03 PM Internet | Back to top


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