RealUser technology can overcome password problemsRegistering IDentities on the Internet


Thawte Web of TrustImplementation deadline in the UK for the Electronic Signatures Directive is 19th July 2001. The Government Website at includes a definition of the requirement for Electronic Signatures and the Public Key Infrastructure (PKI). The need for a Trust Service Provider can be satisfied by Thawte Consulting of South Africa who are a global provider of digital certificate solutions. Thawte don't just provide 'no cost' personal digital certificates, but also operate a unique Personal Certification System. The Thawte 'Web of Trust' is a network of Notaries who can validate identities at face to face meetings. The procedure is as follows:

  • Enroll as a new user at the Thawte Website with a personal ID number:
  • Appropriate ID numbers can be from passport, social security, driver licence or Inland Revenue ID.
  • Full name, date of birth, home address and contact details.
  • Employer's name, address and company size (if employed).
  • Contact up to five notaries from the Web of Trust Directory and arrange face to face meetings:
    • Make photocopies of at least two original identity documents, including one with a photo.
    • Bring photocopies and original identity documents to the meeting with each Notary.
    • Become eligible for Notary Status by being authenticated by additional notaries.

Thawte's privacy statement is published at

The UK's Passport Service is at

An Overview of the Internet Domain Name Registration System

Every page of information on the Internet has its own unique address or Uniform Resource Locator (URL) as it is known. Central to each URL is an Internet Protocol (IP) address. A Domain Name (DN), a name listed in a registration database and controlled by a registrant, can be setup to resolve to an IP address. To achieve this, a DN must have identified servers that are authoritative (DNS).

  • All domain names have a suffix that identifies the registery in which they are listed. It is the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) that governs the process.
  • Generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs), .com, .net, .org and .edu, were administered by Network Solutions Inc in the USA until September 1999 when ICANN took control. A list of currently authorised Registrars is available. The gTLDs, .uk, .de, .nl, etc, are administered in the Country of origin. In the UK this is Nominet Ltd.
  • Second Level Domains (SLDs) add further definition;,, etc.

Choosing a Domain Name

A private limited company can easily register their title as it appears in the Companies House database with a suffix.

  • Most people will want a short but memorable 'name', making it easier for visitors to remember. Because of this, speculators have registered many 'names' in the hope that they will command a resale value. However, a memorable 'name' on its own may not be enough to ensure a high ranking in the search engines. Since much can be done to the content of a web page to improve its chance of being 'found', the choice of domain 'name' may not prove to be critical.

Avoiding Trade Mark and Copyright Infringement

The onus is on the registant to ensure that the chosen 'name' does not infringe anyone else's rights.

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