W3C Advances XML-based Digital Signature Spec
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The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Thursday advanced a major recommendation in the realm of Web services: XML Signature Syntax and Processing.
The recommendation represents a cross-industry agreement on an XML-based language for digital signatures, and is the foundation upon which other W3C efforts, like XML Encryption for securing XML documents, and XML Key Management, will be built.
"XML Signature is a critical foundation on top of which we will be able to build more secure Web services," said Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the World Wide Web and director of the W3C. "By offering basic data integrity and authentication tools, XML Signature provides new power for applications that enable trusted transactions of all sorts."
Digital signatures allow others to confirm the identity of the signer of information and the fidelity of that information.
The second part becomes increasingly important as more commercial applications are used to send XML documents through a series of intermediaries, whether for invoices, orders or applications. In this way, those intermediaries are able to sign sections of the document without invalidating other portions of it.