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Digital Signature Services

Date:      Mon, 14 Oct 2002 08:38:31 -0400
From:      Karl Best <>
To:        members <>, tc-announce <>
Subject:   OASIS TC Call For Participation: Digital Signature Services

A new OASIS technical committee is being formed. The OASIS Digital Signature Services Technical Committee (DSS TC) has been proposed by the following members of OASIS: Robert Zuccherato, Entrust Inc.; Brian Phelps, Datum; Bill Burr, NIST; Jeremy Epstein, webMethods; and Don Adams, TIBCO.

The proposal for a new TC meets the requirements of the OASIS TC Process (see, and is appended to this message. The proposal, which includes a statement of purpose, list of deliverables, and proposed schedule, will constitute the TC's charter. The TC Process allows these items to be clarified (revised) by the TC members; such clarifications (revisions), as well as submissions of technology for consideration by the TC and the beginning of technical discussions, may occur no sooner than the TC's first meeting.

To become a member of this new TC you must 1) be an employee of an OASIS member organization or an Individual member of OASIS; 2) notify the TC chair, Robert Zuccherato ( of your intent to participate at least 15 days prior to the first meeting; and 3) attend the first meeting on 2 December. You should also subscribe to the TC's mail list. Note that membership in OASIS TCs is by individual, and not by organization. You must be eligible for participation at the time you time you notify the chair.

The private mail list is for committee discussions. TC members as well as any other interested OASIS members should subscribe to the list by going to the mail list web page at, or by sending a message to with the word "subscribe" as the body of the message. (Note that subscribing to the mail list does not make you a member of the TC; to become a member you must contact the TC chair and attend the first meeting as described in the preceeding paragraph.)

A public comment list will be available for the public to make comments on the work of this TC; the public may subscribe to this list by going to the mail list web page at, or by sending a message to with the word "subscribe" as the body of the message.

The archives of both of these mail lists are visible to the public at

Karl F. Best
OASIS - Director, Technical Operations
+1 978.667.5115 x206

Proposal for Digital Signature Services TC

Name of the TC

OASIS Digital Signature Services Technical Committee (DSS)

Statement of Purpose

The Digital Signature Services Technical Committee has as its mandate the development of techniques to support the processing of digital signatures. This mandate includes defining an interface for requesting that a web service produce and/or verify a digital signature on a given piece of data and techniques for proving that a signature was created within its private key validity period.

The TC will develop a protocol for a digital signature creation web service. Providing digital signatures via such a web service facilitates policy-based control of the provision of the signatures.

The TC will also develop a protocol for a centralized digital signature verification web service that can verify signatures in relation to a given policy set.

Finally, the TC will develop an XML-based protocol to produce cryptographic time stamps that can be used for determing whether or not a signature was created within the associated public key's validity period or before revocation. This is required as part of the signature verification algorithm.

More generally there is a need for XML-based techniques for proving that data existed at a particular point in time. While this more general problem is not, strictly speaking, within the scope of the TC, the ability of the proposed solutions to solve this problem will be considered, as much as possible, while remaining consistent with the scope of the TC.

Relationship to Existing Activities:

Many efforts related to digital signatures and related technologies are underway throughout the industry. The following work may be relevant to this Digital Signature Services TC:

- OASIS Access Control TC (XACML)
- OASIS Rights Language TC (XrML)
- OASIS Security Services TC (SAML)
- OASIS Web Services Security TC (WSSTC)
- W3C XML Signature
- W3C XML Key Management

Technical Committee Deliverables

The new TC will have the following deliverables:

  1. an XML-based protocol providing a method or methods of proving that a private key was used during its validity period
  2. a SOAP binding for the protocol elements in #1
  3. a WS-Security profile for the elements in #1
  4. an interface for a centralized digital signature creation web service
  5. an interface for a centralized digital signature verification web service

Language in Which the TC will Conduct Business



Date and Time of the First Meeting

The first meeting will be held by tele-conference on Monday, December 2, 2002. The meeting will start at 1:00 pm Eastern time.

Meeting Schedule for the First Year

The Digital Signature Services TC will meet via bi-weekly conference call, on a schedule determined by the TC members. The phone call sponsors will be determined at the initial meeting. Face-to-face meetings will be held as required.


Names, Affiliation, and Electronic Mail Addresses of members who support the formation of this TC and are committed to the Meeting Schedule and Purpose:

Robert Zuccherato, Entrust Inc.,
Brian Phelps, Datum,
Bill Burr, NIST,
Jeremy Epstein, webMethods,
Don Adams, TIBCO,


The Digital Signature Services TC Chair will be Robert Zuccherato, Entrust Inc.

Meeting Sponsors

Robert Zuccherato, Entrust Inc., will sponsor the first meeting. Sponsorship of subsequent TC meetings, whether in person or conference calls, will be determined by the TC membership.

Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive. See: (1) the 2002-10-16 news item "OASIS Members Propose Digital Signature Services Technical Committee."; (2) "XML Digital Signature (Signed XML - IETF/W3C)."

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