[cryptography] How much does it cost to start a root CA ?

Greg Rose ggr at seer-grog.net
Fri Jan 4 15:59:39 EST 2013

You could ask the folks at CAcert... I imagine Ian Grigg will also chime in. Certification costs a lot, and as you have observed, the incumbents try very hard to keep you out. Despite some reasonable sources of funding, CAcert still didn't succeed.


On 2013 Jan 4, at 11:41 , John Case wrote:

> Let's assume hardware is zero ... it's a really variable cost, so I assume (correct me if I'm wrong) that it is a trivial cost compared to legal and audit costs, etc.
> So what does it cost to start a root CA, get properly audited (as I see the root CAs are) and get yourself included into, say, firefox or chrome ?
> A followup question would be:
> Is inclusion of a root CA in the major browsers a "shall issue" process ? hat is, you meet the criteria and you get in ?  Or is it a subjective, political process ?
> Finally, it seems to me that since there re so few root CAs (~30 ?) and the service provided is such an arbitrary, misunderstood one, that existing CAs would be actively trying to prevent new entrants ... and establish themsevles as toll collectors with a pseudo monopoly ... what evidence (if any) do we have that they are pursuing such an ecosystem ?
> Thank you.
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