W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-xml-sig-ws@w3.org > April 1999

Re: what does a signature mean ? (standard vocabulary)

From: Alan Kotok <kotok@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 19 Apr 1999 14:58:22 -0400
Message-Id: <4.1.19990419145120.00af54b0@localhost>
To: Martin Lee <m.lee@andtech.co.uk>
Cc: "'XML-sig group'" <w3c-xml-sig-ws@w3.org>

I am personally convinced of the need for adding explicit semantics to
signatures.  I am less convinced of the wisdom of trying to define a
standardized vocabulary of these meanings.  I rather favor the more
generalized approach of including an "assertion" block in the signature
block, coded in RDF.  It would then be possible for various interest groups
to define their own sets of values with explanations in whatever legalese
they want.

Your list below is interesting and helful, but I can think of a dozen
others I could add.  And I'm not a big fan of "central registries" where we
get to argue what is on the list and what is not.


At 11:46 AM 4/19/99 , Martin Lee wrote:
>I missed the subtlety, others will misunderstand too unless its made
>clear in the specification.
>Singing a document, or part of a document means different things to
>different people, from I've seen it, to I believe this to be true, to I
>commit myself to this transaction.
>I propose that a set of standard vocabulary be suggested, to be included
>as an attribute to the digital signature.
>The default being (jn the absence of any other assertion):
>The keyholder has 'touched' or 'received' the signed data.
>Then in ascending order of commitment:
>The keyholder has read the signed data.
>The keyholder has read and agrees with the signed data.
>The keyholder believes the signed data to be correct.
>The keyholder believes the signed data to be correct and to be legally bound 
>by it.
>The first three should cover creating audit trails of who has received/seen 
>a document.
>The forth expresses what I wish to say in signing metadata describing 
>The fifth I hope to come close to what the e-commerce people need to assert 
>in thier
>What do people think?
>Martin Lee
>AND Data Ltd.

Alan Kotok, Associate Chairman                          mailto:kotok@w3.org
World Wide Web Consortium                                 http://www.w3.org
MIT Laboratory for Computer Science,  545 Technology Square,  Room NE43-409
Cambridge, MA 02139, USA     Voice: +1-617-258-5728    Fax: +1-617-258-5999
Received on Monday, 19 April 1999 14:58:31 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Tuesday, 6 January 2015 19:44:59 UTC