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31 January 2012
New agreement for TERENA Certificate Service extends service and lifts restriction on financial transactions
TERENA Certificate Service may now be used to secure online financial transactions

TERENA has signed a new agreement to continue the TERENA Certificate Service (TCS) through Comodo CA Ltd for another year, through June 2013. The biggest change in the renewed agreement is that from 1 July 2012, the restriction that TCS certificates may not be used to secure online financial transactions will be lifted. This means TCS server certificates may be used for websites that handle credit card payments, for example.

Another change the new agreement has brought about is that Comodo’s DCV (Domain Control Validation) system will become a mandatory part of the certificate validation process. Comodo and the TCS practitioners are currently preparing this technical change and a final implementation date will be determined at a later time.

The TCS Portal Service, which offers a common implementation of the Confusa software used for issuing TCS personal certificates, will also be extended to 30 June 2013. TERENA has signed contracts with Tilburg University, which will continue to host the Portal, as well as with Austad IT, which will continue maintaining the Confusa software.

Finally, the TERENA Executive Committee has taken the opportunity to revise the tariffs that National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) pay to participate in the TERENA Certificate Service and the TCS Portal Service. The new tariff structure more fairly reflects the size of the countries, as larger countries have larger research and education communities and therefore, benefit more from TCS than smaller countries.

About the TERENA Certificate Service

Through the TERENA Certificate Service participating NRENs can obtain unlimited numbers of certificates for their research and education constituencies at a significantly reduced price. Five types of certificates are offered: server certificates (for authenticating servers and establishing secure sessions with end clients), e-science server certificates (for authenticating Grid hosts and services), personal certificates (for identifying individual users and securing email communications), e-science personal certificates (for identifying individual users accessing Grid services) and code-signing certificates (for authenticating software distributed over the Internet). Currently 26 NRENs are participating in the TERENA Certificate Service, while ten of them also participate in the TCS Portal Service which uses identity federations for the issuance of personal certificates.