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Democratic key escrow scheme

Key Escrow

Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS,volume 1270)


Recently, key escrow schemes have been the topic of much debate and confusion. On the one hand, cryptography allows privacy of electronic communication for the honest citizens. On the other hand, it can be used by criminals to thwart law enforcement efforts. It seems that only by escrowing everyone's private key can we tackle this dilemma. In recent years, numerous key escrow schemes have been proposed. However, they all suffer from at least one common weakness: concentration of trust. Even if the private key is split among several trustees, it is still too concentrated and thus too dangerous. Another subtle yet equally important weakness is the contradiction to the spirit of democracy. In these schemes, individual's fundamental right of privacy is at the mercy of the governments and a handful of trustees. Every innocent and honest individual is required to hand over his private key to authorities (or their agents), even before he has started any electronic communication. This is not only insecure but also unfair and undemocratic.

In this paper, we propose a key escrow scheme which is not only secure but also fair and democratic.


  • Smart Card
  • Certification Authority
  • Secret Sharing Scheme
  • Legal Authority
  • Jacobi Symbol

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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  • DOI: 10.1007/BFb0027932
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© 1997 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg

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Man, C.W., Safavi-Naini, R. (1997). Democratic key escrow scheme. In: Varadharajan, V., Pieprzyk, J., Mu, Y. (eds) Information Security and Privacy. ACISP 1997. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 1270. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

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  • Publisher Name: Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-540-63232-0

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-540-69237-9

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