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ISTS Information Pamphlet



Institute for Security, Technology, and Society
Dartmouth College
6211 Sudikoff Laboratory
Hanover, NH 03755 USA
HomeProjects >

Public-Key Infrastructure Project (PKI)

Project Summary

Enabling the humans and organizations that use the real-world information infrastructure to easily make the right trust judgments about other entities in this system is an ongoing problem. Public-key cryptography is a critical building block here because it can enable verifiable assertions between parties who do not share secrets beforehand. However, the public-key infrastructure (PKI) that effectively solves these trust problems still eludes us. The existing technology provides pieces of solutions, but still leaves us with obstacles. This project aims to overcome these obstacles by focusing on how to fit the technology to human requirements, rather than imposing upon the humans the trust structures convenient for the technology. In the spirit of Dartmouth's computing traditions and the mission of the ISTS, this project aims to make PKI work in the real world; PKI is the glue that holds the IT together!

This project also supports (and ISTS is the interim host of) the Higher Education Bridge Certification Authority (HEBCA).  Originally sponsored by EDUCAUSE, HEBCA was developed at Dartmouth College to facilitate trusted electronic communications within and between all institutions of higher education within the US, as well as with federal and state governments. HEBCA is a founding member of the Four Bridges Forum (4BF), a partnership of the nation's leading federated identity trust hubs. More information about HEBCA can be found at

Last Updated: 3/14/13