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

James A. Donald jamesd at echeque.com
Sun Jan 6 02:19:15 EST 2013


On 2013-01-05 9:31 AM, Ryan Sleevi wrote:
> On Fri, January 4, 2013 3:06 pm, James A. Donald wrote:
>>   On 2013-01-05 8:05 AM, Ryan Sleevi wrote
>>> Can you explain how, exactly, incumbents leverage any power to keep new
>>> entrants out?
>>   Such behavior is necessarily a deviation from official truth, from the
>>   way certification is supposed to work, thus the only way to observe such
>>   behavior would be if emails leaked, as in the climategate files where we
>>   saw how peer review actually worked..
>>
>>   Analogously, regulators, financial audits and ratings agencies were
>>   supposed to ensure that banks only invested in safe stuff.  When the
>>   proverbial hit the fan, it became apparent that regulators, financial
>>   audits and ratings agencies in practice ensured that banks only invested
>>   in politically correct stuff, but no one can explain how, exactly, this
>>   happened - well it is pretty obvious how it happened, and one can make a
>>   pretty good guess how it happened, but there is no direct official
>>   evidence as to how it happened.
> While I appreciate a good bit of paranoia and tin-foil hat wagging as much
> as the next person, I think your analogy breaks down pretty critically.
>
> In the case you referenced, it was the role of auditors and regulators to
> keep people out / keep people honest, and they failed, and so more people
> / dishonest people got in.

Regulators such as Jon Corzine?

They did not "fail".  In the US most of the money that was pissed away 
in the great financial crisis was not pissed away on financial 
engineering, splitting derivatives, and enriching bankers, but on 
rewarding targeted voting blocks and specific get-out-the-vote 
organizations - from which may infer what went on behind the scenes, 
plus some small amount of what went on behind the scenes has been 
revealed, leading to the suspicion that behind the scenes, it was all 
like that.


>   However, the speculation about CA collusion
> requires the CAs to be working hard to keep new entrants out - the exact
> *opposite* behaviour.

Long established bankers, such as Angelo Mozillo, heading long 
established banks, made dud loans and bribed government employees to 
take the loans off his hands at face value,   Who were these new 
entrants of which you speak?  Jon Corzine?

Similarly, long established CAs, such as verisign, presumably bribe 
existing browser teams.





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