Certificates Un-cert-ainly

I’ve spent a lot of time recently asking people if they would be interested in extending the scope of the Terena Server Certificate Service within the UK. Currently, JANET are offering straight server certs and are now looking in to wilcard certs. The final part of the story is personal certs.

The standard answers i get from people within the UK are:

No demand!
Too complex!
Lack of control!
What if the issuer changes?

At #tnc2010 today we heard a great presentation from David Kelsey about the opportunities for using personal certs to properly integrate the grid space. I’ve also heard a lot of great things about the portal for offering personal certs via a federated login currently being presented. From a personal perspective, I’ve always thought that there are great opportunities for personal certs in the e-portfolio space.

So there are use cases. There is a well managed process for getting personal certs from the Comodo service via Terena SCS. There is a lovely bit of development to allow us to issue these certs via a federated login. So lots of people here are quite rightly asking us why we aren’t doing this.

So, UK, why not?