WWW6: the Digital Signature initiative


philip a. desautels, DSig project manager, gave a brief overview of the status of the Digital Signature initiative launched by the W3C in 1996.

Digital Signatures provide a means to identify the author of a document and to ensure its integrity. this is particularly important for two types of documents:

  1. documents which contain commitments, such as price lists
  2. active documents, such as ActiveX controls or Java scripts

currently there are several initiatives from various venders under development, including Microsoft and Netscape. the W3C tries to coordinate these initiatives so eventually there should be one way to deploy digital signatures, possibly based on other standards, such as PICS (Platform for Internet Content Selection) and PEP (Protocol Extension Protocol). see also PEP and PICS in my WWW5 trip report.

an overview of the initiative and work performed so far is available on the Web


to the WWW6 trip report main document


w3c_dsig.html / 09-may-1997 (ra) / reto ambühler