Firms partner to offer government a standard PKI

Public Technology Inc. (PTI) and Digital Signature Trust Co. (DST) have partnered to provide city, county and state governments with a standard public-key infrastructure (PKI), a vital component to conducting business via the Internet, the companies announced this week at the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) annual conference in Portland, Ore.

DST will provide certification authority and repository services for governments by issuing digital certificates "branded" by PTI, a nonprofit research and development organization sponsored by ICMA, the National League of Cities and the National Association of Counties. DST is a leading provider of trusted PKI solutions.

With PKI, digital certificates are issued to authenticate the identity of the originator of e-mail messages or electronic commerce documents. The digital certificate also is used to verify that a transaction actually took place -- what is known as nonrepudiation -- which is key to making Internet-based transactions legally binding.

The PTI/DST partnership establishes a single, interoperable platform through which state and local governments could do business over the Internet. The PKI solution is available now and is being marketed to state and local governments, a PTI spokesperson said.

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