Re: [TLS] EU cards

Peter Gutmann <pgut001@cs.auckland.ac.nz> Fri, 29 July 2011 06:26 UTC

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From: Peter Gutmann <pgut001@cs.auckland.ac.nz>
To: tls@ietf.org, uri@ll.mit.edu
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Date: Fri, 29 Jul 2011 18:26:38 +1200
Subject: Re: [TLS] EU cards
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"Blumenthal, Uri - 0668 - MITLL" <uri@ll.mit.edu>; writes:

>In US a lot (literally millions) of government email and Web access is secured 
>by what you call "government cards".

Ah yes, the common access card.  Let me tell you about the CAC.  A couple of 
years back, a bunch of us were in a taxi line at a hotel.  I was wearing a 
shirt that said something about PKI.  Someone behind us in the queue (who 
turned out in later conversation to be a mid-ranking US military person) asked 
what the shirt meant.  When we explained it (briefly), his response was "Oh, 
you mean like the CAC?  Man, that stuff SUCKS!".

As a member of our party later put it, "when random strangers stop you in taxi 
queues to tell you how much the technology sucks, you know there's a serious
problem".

This is why, in a previous message, I specifically asked for reports of 
European banking authentication from independent third parties and end users, 
not the people involved in deploying it.  As Anders points out, these are 
status projects, if you ask the people involved in the deployment then you 
always get the same response, "we have millions of them deployed, it's a great 
success".  You have to ask the end users to get a real picture of what's going 
on.

Peter.