2000 Assurer Barrier Broken

It’s taken 2 years, 2 months, and 6 days but finally we have reached 2000 assurers. This passing really belongs to everyone that’s ever assured anyone, or taken time off work to attend a conference, or just met up with others for coffee.

I was reading a blog the other day which the author describes meeting up with others to assure them, and comes out and says how it’s a great way to meet others with similar hobbies in security related fields. Speaking from personal experience, I’ve always liked getting out and networking with others and have mused about in-direct non-tangible benefits in the past before. However I’ve never thought it worthy of writing it down, and letting others know the side effects to assuring people and how you can actually end up with some really good friends out of it in the very physical area you lived but would never have known they were there otherwise, all drawn in by a common goal. I truly believe with each passing day that more people know about CAcert, and to that end I hope things keep getting bigger and better.

When I started with the first incarnation of CAcert almost 3 years ago, I had no idea things would be where they ended up. My original intentions behind CAcert was to provide better security for wireless networks (something that still is in a mess for the most part), but the community wireless guys didn’t end up running with it, and I guess what surprised me most out of all this, is in the fact that we issue more client certificates then server certificates.

As I mentioned in a previous posting, I met up with Mark Shuttleworth the other day, he’s been involved in a number of high profile things in the past, such as being the founder of Thawte and kicking off the Thawte web of trust, to being shot into space on a Russian space craft. He expressed slight disappointment the other day in the fact that the Thawte web of trust not going anywhere beyond where it is at present, and that slightly shocked me in that here was a man that setup a commercial company for the purposes of making a profit, yet on the other hand had a great sense of community, which is also obvious through his company’s sponsorship and heavy involvement with the Ubuntu Linux distribution. Also worth mentioning about Mark is the fact that unlike other free/open software projects, we weren’t simply dismissed, and also unlike many others he actually had a valid grasp of the reality surrounding CAs, rather then simply having the notion that they must be a commercialised operation to provide the service. Specifically on this last point someone has sent me a very interesting post I’ll throw up later today.

All up even though we’re still hassling mozilla for inclusion and most people rated inclusion into MS products as unobtainable, me being the eternal optimist, think we as a collective can do all this and more, and by the ever increasing number of users and assurers only serves to make me think I’m right. Simply put the more users and assurers that we have the greater the chance this will occur, and as I mentioned before 2005 is the year of the Assurer! By helping us to obtain greater numbers everyone is helping themselves indirectly as a result (we can’t be brushed aside forever with ever increasing numbers!), so get out there and start hassling your relatives, neighbours, co-workers and everyone else in sight into signing up and getting even just a client certificate to protect their own emails!

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