Scheme to Provide Private Certification Authorities with Information Registered in the Commercial Register
The purpose of this scheme is to establish a system to realize highly reliable operations of private certification authorities by electronically providing private certification authorities with information registered in the commercial register which covers all companies and whose reliability is ensured by law.
Confirmation of the identity of a subscriber needed in the operations of certification authorities is conducted in a manner determined by each certification authority when subscribers request certification authorities to issue certificates. But it is actually impossible for certification authorities to know the changes in power of representation or in the name of a subscriber unless the subscriber reports such changes. Consequently, for example, when a certificate is issued which shows "B, as the Representative Director of Company A" if Director B resigns, the certificate is not revoked unless B reports the fact. As such, the fact of resignation will not be reflected in the contents of certification provided by the certification authority.
So it seems useful to establish a system to provide private certification authorities with information registered in the commercial register so that private certification authorities can know the fact of resignation instantly after the fact is registered in the commercial register (that is, immediately as the fact can be used to set up against third parties). Reliability of certification authorities will be enhanced if certification authorities can revoke certificates when they confirm the change of a fact listed in a certificate based upon information registered in the commercial register. Thus, the security of electronic commerce will be enhanced.
(b) Details of the System
The details of the system to provide private certification authorities with information registered in the commercial register are as follows.
- A Private certification authority intending to be provided with information registered in the commercial register shall apply to the "Certification Center (tentative name)" to utilize the system and will begin to receive services from the Certification Center. The "Certification Center" is a center that provides private certification authorities with a list of company numbers of companies whose records in the commercial register have been altered in a certain period of time (hereinafter referred to as "the Commercial Registration Alteration Company Number List"). The operations of the Certification Center could be entirely entrusted to a specific third party.
- A registrar of the commercial registry shall register the alteration of the contents of the commercial register in the electronic commercial register (registration file) upon a proper application.
- A registrar shall notify the company numbers of companies whose records in the commercial register have been altered in 2 on an on-line basis.
- The Certification Center shall regularly prepare the Commercial Registration Alteration Company Number List based on notifications made by the commercial register and send the List to private certification authorities on an on-line basis. The List could contain such information as altered items of the commercial register as well as the company number.
- A private certification authority checks the List to confirm whether the List contains any company numbers of companies to whom that certification authority issued electronic certificates.
- If the certification authority finds the company numbers of its subscribers in the List, it shall obtain updated commercial registration information using the on-line registered information publishing system and so on. The on-line registered information publishing system is now prepared to start its operations in fiscal 1999.
- A private certification authority takes measures such as revocation of certificates, after finding the fact of alteration in 5 and confirming the details of the alteration in 6.