September 22, 2004

WebTrust: "It's about not causing popups..."

WebTrust is the organisation that sets auditing standards for certificate authorities. It's motto, "It's a matter of trust," is of course the marketing message they want you to absorb, and subject to skepticism. How deliciously ironic, then, that when you go to their site, click on Contact, you get redirected to another domain that uses the wrong certificate! is the immoral re-user of WebTrust's certificate. It's a presumption that the second domain belongs to the same organisation (the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, AICPA), but the information in whois doesn't really clear that up due to conflicts and bad names.

What have WebTrust discovered? That certificates are messy, and are thus costly. This little cert mess is going to cost them a few thousand to sort out, in admin time, sign-off, etc etc. Luckily, they know how to do this, because they're in the business of auditing CAs, but they might also stop to consider that this cost is being asked of millions of small businesses, and this might be why certificate use is so low.

Posted by iang at September 22, 2004 07:04 AM | TrackBack