9.518 archiving with digital signatures

Humanist (mccarty@phoenix.Princeton.EDU)
Mon, 5 Feb 1996 21:47:17 -0500 (EST)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 9, No. 518.
Center for Electronic Texts in the Humanities (Princeton/Rutgers)
Information at http://www.princeton.edu/~mccarty/humanist/

[1] From: Andrew Armour <armour@pncl.co.uk> (13)
Subject: Digital signatures for e-text archives

May I suggest the use of digital signatures for e-text archiving and
distribution? It is a simple and reliable solution to the problems of
authentication and version control that could sink the Net-based, anarchic
archiving system towards which we seem to be headed.

Signing files with PGP (freeware) is trivial, and it has the added benefit
of compression. My own e-texts compress to less than half their size, can be
authenticated & opened by anyone, but "forged" by no one. Moreover, each PGP
signature includes a date/time stamp. A minor drawback is that (unlike
pkzip) you must pack each file separately; perhaps the next version of PGP
will solve this problem.

I also plan to post the detached signature certificates of the most recent
versions of my e-texts on the Web.

Andrew Armour
Keio University