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Last update: 2007-12-08


support for CAcert

CAcert, Inc., is a non-profit community-oriented Certificate Authority that provides a general service to the community by issuing, where possible, free X.509(v3) certificates for personal and/or server-side use. CAcert services the Open Source digital certificate security needs of users across six continents Certificates issued by the nonprofit CA form the foundation for many server-side (web) and personal (email) security implementations.

The organization enjoys international media attention for its policy of providing for free the very same types of certificates often sold by closed-source, commercial CAs (such as industry leaders Thawte and Verisign) for hundreds, sometimes thousands, of dollars.


While practical applications for the PGP/GPG infrastructure decline and the use of X.509 solutions increase in popularity, CAcert fills the gap between untrusted, self-signed (so-called "home-brew") certificates and their prohibitively expensive (commercial or governmental) counterparts. By enforcing the same stringent requirements for identity verification as other CAs, integrating this level of sophistication with the well-established community "web" trust model, and enabling its users to enhance their own trust status by seeking Assurance from qualified members of the trust community, CAcert has built a system that uses Open Source principles in the management and development of human, as well as software, elements.

CAcert offers certificates for secure sockets layer, encrypted/authenticated email communications, wireless authentication, code signing, electronic document certification, client-server authentication, and more. Future products/services under consideration include an open, X-509-based alternative to Microsoft's proprietary "Passport" single log-in product, as well as various methodologies for integrating certificates with commodity token/smart-card products.


Both developers and board members alike are resolved to tackling any and all obstacles that stand in the way of CAcert's stated goals. Current efforts include: the development of quality, user-friendly software to service a wide variety of user needs, concerns, and skill levels; the creation of standardized, public policies governing the use and support of certificates within the open source community; enhancing the existing Assurer base so that it can scale properly world-wide; continuing existing efforts to work with developers for purposes of gaining inclusion within certain products (e.g. Mozilla); and, increasing CAcert's user base and total number of certificates in circulation to provide additional leverage with future developers/OEMs.

Project CAcert

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