VTAC: A Trust Solution
Posted on September 25, 2009
The internet is not a safe place.
Melih Abdulhayoglu, CEO of Comodo Group, came up with an idea to make the internet a little bit safer. Why not offer a systems which can verify your identity, using strict criteria that would adapt and maintain its relevance? After all, when you fill out a form online, you're not just filling out a form--you're establishing your identity. On the other end, someone needs to establish the physical presence of the website owner, and confirm it with legal documents. Of course, it's going to cost some money!
Hence Abdulhayoglu's idea, which became the Extended Validation Certificate. There are currently only 16 companies which issue EV Certificates, and browsers like Safari support the use of EV Certificates by displaying a trusted green box in the address bar with the company name. EV Certificates are an evolution of proving trust in the online world: by displaying the green box each company is saying, "You can trust me, because Comodo (or one of the other 15 issuers) trusts me." The interesting thing about this is that the companies that are issuing the Trusted Certificate are nowhere near as trusted as some of the companies that use them. For example, Apple.com proudly displays their green badge, showing that VeriSign has verified them. But who verifies VeriSign? Why would anyone trust VeriSign over Apple?
The VeriSign company, the issuer of this "Trust", has a history of controversy, with their CEO resigning suddenly a while ago. The new interim CEO recently stated, "VeriSign remains committed to our strategy of focusing the company on its core businesses while continuing the divestiture of all non-core operations, which will proceed as planned." These are the not the words of anyone I would trust.
All this is a long way of getting at KmikeyM.com's new trust certificate protocol: The K5M Validation of Trusted Authenticity Certificate (VTAC). In order for a company to achieve a VTAC they must be verified by K5M. The exact steps of verification will vary, but once verified the company will have a trusted green box with their company name permanently displayed on the body of K. Mike Merrill. In this way, only those companies that K5M *TRULY* trusts will be granted a VTAC, as only those companies that K. Mike Merrill wants to personally vouch for and have permanently affixed to his body will be validated.
By applying pigment to the dermis, the VTAC becomes more secure than any virtual certificate currently being offered. It's not pixels on the screen, but a physical permanent marking that shows users a company is really who they say they are. It's simply not possible to fabricate or imitate.
The VTAC protocol will be tested by Panic Inc, a company K5M vouches for, for a processing fee of $800.00. Future verifications and the costs associated with issuing a VTAC will depend on the company or association requesting certification. Should a company take actions that violate the terms of the VTAC, the company will lose their certification and be listed as UNTRUSTWORTHY. They will no longer have the trusted green box. It will be replaced with a black box and re-certification will not be allowed under any circumstances. Re-certification of those companies that remain in good standing will happen based on a schedule determined by the natural fading of the pigment.
More particulars can be discussed in the forums.