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New development in cryptography will allow Internet resource-sharing among institutions

On Wednesday, November 17, 1999, the Corporation for Research and Educational Networking (CREN) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) will announce a significant development in Internet technology service that supports secure resource-sharing among institutions. The two organizations are launching a new, top-level Certificate Authority Service offered to institutions of higher education and research by CREN, with MIT's technical support, to validate the digital certificates campuses use for secure transactions over the network.

Serving as a trusted third-party for institutions and resource providers, the certificate authority service will allow individuals at CREN subscriber institutions to share online information and electronic resources in a cryptographically secure environment. By digitally signing the certificates issued by campus authorities, the service will eliminate the need for each organization to establish secure relationships with every other institution on a case-by-case basis. This will facilitate relationships among institutions and support authenticated access to online information resources such as specialized databases and digital information resources. The service was developed at MIT, which served as one of three pilot institutions, along with Georgia Institute of Technology and Princeton University.

Presentations and a Q&A session on November 17th will feature Ira Fuchs, President and CEO of CREN, as well as Vice President for Computing and Information Technology at Princeton; Jeff Schiller, Network Manager, MIT's Information Systems; Judith Boettcher, Executive Director, CREN; Jim Bruce, Vice-President of Information Systems, MIT; Richard Guida, Federal Personal Key Infrastructure (PKI) initiative; Daniel Oberst, Princeton University; David Wasley, University of California System; and M.S. Vijay Kumar, Assistant Provost and Director of Academic Computing at MIT.

What: Launch of new top-level certificate authority service for institutions of higher education and research

When: 12:30 - 1:30 p.m. - November 17, 1999

Where: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Building E40, Room 302; 1 Amherst Street (near Wadsworth St.) Cambridge, MA 02139

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