Managing Subkeys for Professional and Personal UIDs

Robert J. Hansen rjh at
Sun May 4 14:43:14 CEST 2014

> So why not just follow the standard practice of the trusted secretary
> signing the document himself and annotating it was signed for and on
> behalf of his boss?

Because the law says the document must bear the President's signature,
not that of a functionary acting on the President's direction.

> If the "autopen" signature looks just like the real deal then, unless
> the document is annotated to indicate it is machine-generated by
> <name>, you have described something that sounds to me like an act of
> deception.

Deception?  In politics?  Surely you jest.  That could /never/ happen...

> I cannot think of a situation where it would be appropriate to have a
> machine fake somebody's signature, rather than have somebody else sign
> on their behalf.

This original thread started off with Daniel Kahn Gillmor saying there
were no use cases for a third party holding signing keys.

Well, there *are* use cases, as evidenced by the President's signing of
the Affordable Care Act.

And every time someone says "well, he really shouldn't," I don't know
how to read that except as an admission of "yes, there is a use case,
but no, I don't like it."  In which case you're in full agreement with
me and you're just in denial about it.  Yes, there is a use case, and
no, I don't like it, either... but that doesn't change the fact there's
a use case!

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