REFEREE: Trust Management for Web Applications

Yang-Hua Chu, Joan Feigenbaum, Brian LaMacchia, Paul Resnick and Martin Strauss


Digital signatures provide a mechanism for guaranteeing integrity and authenticity of Web content but not more general notions of security or trust. Web-aware applications must permit users to state clearly their own security policies and, of course, must provide the cryptographic tools for manipulating digital signatures. This paper describes the REFEREE trust management system for Web applications; REFEREE provides both a general policy-evaluation mechanism for Web clients and servers and a language for specifying trust policies. REFEREE places all trust decisions under explicit policy control; in the REFEREE model, every action, including evaluation of compliance with policy, happens under the control of some policy. That is, REFEREE is a system for writing policies about policies, as well as policies about cryptographic keys, PICS label bureaus, certification authorities, trust delegation, or anything else.

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Brian A. LaMacchia
This page last updated: 18 Aug 2008