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NIST involvement in PKI

Below is a notice that came to me by a rather circuitous route. Would
people from the mentioned companies care to comment on how they see the
NIST involvement complementing or otherwise affecting the work that's
ongoing here?


Bill Buffam
Unisys, Malvern PA

 Partners to Agree on PKI Basics

   NIST is joining with several companies to take steps toward
   developing the elements of a public key infrastructure. This will
   make it possible to send and receive digitally signed documents
   among organizations and individuals who may never have met. NIST
   has established cooperative research and development agreements
   with AT&T Government Markets; BBN Corp.; Certicom Corp.; Cylink
   Corp.; DynCorp Information & Engineering Technology Inc.;
   Information Resource Engineering Inc.; Motorola; Northern Telecom
   Ltd. (Nortel); SPYRUS Inc. and VeriSign Inc. The partnerships aim
   to develop a minimum interoperability specification sort of a least
   common denominator for the technical pieces of a PKI to be publicly
   available for organizations to use in building PKI components. By
   working with NIST, the companies are helping to ensure that future
   PKI components will be able to communicate with each other, much as
   today's fax machines can receive transmissions from each other
   regardless of brand name or manufacturer. A PKI is necessary to
   enable large-scale use of digital signatures and other forms of
   public key cryptography by both government and private-sector
   Media Contact: Anne Enright Shepherd, (301) 975-4858