[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.

Greg.

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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