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Certification Practice Statement

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Title: Certification Practice Statement  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Certificate policy, Public-key cryptography, Key management
Collection: Key Management, Public-Key Cryptography
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Certification Practice Statement

A Certification Practice Statement (CPS) is a document from a Certificate Authority or a member of a web of trust which describes their practice for issuing and managing public key certificates. [1]

Some elements of a CPS include documenting practices of:

  • issuance
  • publication
  • archiving
  • revocation
  • renewal

By detailing the practice of issuance, revocation and renewal, a CPS aids entities in judging the relative reliability of a given certificate authority. [2]


  • Certificate Authorities 1
  • Web of Trust (WoT) 2
  • Digital Signatures 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Certificate Authorities

In a Certificate Authority, the CPS should derive from the organization's Certificate Policy and may be referenced in issued certificates. [3]

Web of Trust (WoT)

Because individuals act as certifiers in a Web of Trust, individual CPS documents are sometimes used. For example in a PGP WoT, the CPS might state that the certifying entity checked two forms of legal government ID before signing the person's public key.

Digital Signatures

When verifying digital signatures, it's necessary to review the CPS so as to determine the meaning of the issuance of the certificate by the certifying entity.[4]


  1. ^
  2. ^ American Bar Association Digital Signature Guidelines 1996, ISBN 1-57073-250-7 (section 1.8.1)
  3. ^
  4. ^ American Bar Association Digital Signature Guidelines 1996, ISBN 1-57073-250-7

External links

  • Example of CPS from a CA:
  • Example of a CPS for a Web of Trust:
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