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matter of semantics

At an ESnet meeting, a lawyer gave us a talk on legal issues having to do with 
things like digital signatures. He said that the term "non-repudiation" is a 
legal misnomer because you can always repudiate anything (legally). He said that 
the correct term is "non-deniability." I suggest that we change the terminology 
in the SPKI discussions.

The reason is that a verified digital signature is correct and therefore cannot 
be denied. But, it can be repudiated. For example "I was called away from my desk 
and the screen saver was not engaged and someone came in an user the running copy 
of Netscape to send E-mail that was signed by my digital signature. This was 
unauthorized and I repudiate it."

Jim Rome
Oak Ridge National Laboratory