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Subject: Slight return on the Gateway PKI

Currently most Telcom operators and Electricity companies crank out paper-invoices in fully automated processes.  Only the actual delivery of by snail-mail involves humans.
Now, lets assume that these parties would turn to e-invoices and PKI, how would you expect these invoices to be signed?  There are two variants:
  • Like the US Government (read: NIST) and the Germans suggest: Companies hires additional employees that equipped with smart cards, sign individual invoices.  Actually the Germans are ahead of the US since they now have a technical facility that lets a single user sign with a dozen smart cards.  This way they reduce the need for additional staff with some 90%
  • The invoicing companies simply modify their backend systems to automatically "sign" (instead of "print") on behalf of the organization using a $500/Y Gateway PKI certificate, issued by a major TTP.
I don't think that the commercial enterprises have any major problem of selecting method.  Since Gateway PKI also scales trust-wise at least 100 times better than enterprise-PKI, receivers will experience few problems with unknown trust anchors.
Anders Rundgren

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