For years I've been using Thawte digital IDs to sign my email messages-- they're still free, even though Thawte is now part of VeriSign. Thawte's founder, Mark Shuttleworth, was the person who first got me interested in client certs, back when he was the maintainer of Sioux (an early Apache-SSL which Mark souped up with a built-in Python interpreter), and was setting himself up as a one-man global certificate authority. VeriSign's acquisition of Thawte produced a tidy sum, and next week Mark's going to spend a chunk of it on a ride into space.
It seems not everyone in Mark's homeland, South Africa, is rooting for Mark. For what it's worth, when I finally got to meet Mark in person -- on a panel at an Internet security conference a few months before the Thawte/VeriSign deal was struck -- he was the same thoughtful, passionate, and deeply competent person I knew from email. Nobody has worked harder, or done more, to make strong crypto and PKI infrastructure widespread and useful.
Have a great ride, Mark. Enjoy the view!
Former URL: http://weblog.infoworld.com/udell/2002/04/19.html#a200