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JTAN Certifying Authority

  Julia Thomas Associates operates an independent Certifying Authority that certifies individuals and web sites at JTAN. We sign GnuPG and PGP keys for our customers with our well known key. We issue standard x.509 certificates for web browsers and web servers, signed by our own JTAN root CA key. We also offer third party server certs signed by GeoTrust that offer 95% browser recognition -- now with True Site authentication!

Server Certs

A server certificate is what you want for your secure, SSL, web site https://www.yourname.com. A server cert allows traffic to and from your secure web site to be encrypted, and it also allows visitors to your secure site to be assured that they are in fact directly connected to your site and not to a "man in the middle". JTAN offers 128-bit SSL server certificates that are either signed directly by the JTAN independent certificate authority, or by the third party CA GeoTrust. Which you choose depends on your needs.

Choose an GeoTrust Server certificate
when you want the widest browser recognition without any browser warning or notice in most cases. GeoTrust 128-bit SSL certificates are automatically recognized by 95% of the browsers currently in operation. This high level of browser recognition must be weighed against the higher cost of these certificates, and the fact that an independent identity audit must be performed by GeoTrust before these certs can be issued.

Choose a JTAN Server certificate
when you want instant service and the lowest cost without sacrificing security. JTAN certs are very inexpensive. Because these certs are signed by JTAN, your visitors will be asked to accept the JTAN root CA key the first time they visit a JTAN certified site.

Although the JTAN certificate authority is independent, the certificates we mint and keys we sign are arguably no less secure than those minted by other authorities. In fact, an argument can be made that our certs are more closely tied to the site they are certifying, and therefore serve as better proof of a bona fide web site than any certificate issued by a third party CA.

Of course, the fact that we are independent also means we don't need to pay a vigorish to a "higher authority" like GeoTrust or Verisign, and that translates to significantly lower prices for you. We also can issue these certs quickly to you without an additional security investigation since we already have a trusted relationship with you, our valued customer.

Through the JTAN members page, you may order JTAN or GeoTrust based server certificates for use with your sites hosted at JTAN. Current pricing for JTAN and GeoTrust certs is available on the JTAN pricelist.

Client Certs

JTAN mints x.509 client certificates signed by the JTAN root CA key for use by our customers in browser based authentication and email encryption. JTAN honors client certs as proof that you are a JTAN customer. We encourage JTAN customers to use their cert to access the JTAN members page and to sign and encrypt their email with this cert.

Access the JTAN Members Area with your Client Certificate

Client certs are a strong alternative to passwords for web site access. Browser certificates are very important in creating a secure extranet. In these tough times, simple passwords are not enough. Companies that want to extend their networks in a secure manner need the advanced protection a personal browser certificate affords. They load automatically into your browser and are offered as proof of your identity directly from your browser to a server. For maximum security, they can be stored on your PC in encrypted form with a password only you know, preventing them from being stolen or used without permission.

Client certificates are available free of charge to JTAN customers through the JTAN members page. Be sure to get the JTAN root CA key along with your Client certificate. Client certs will expire periodically. If your cert should expire, simply download a fresh one from the Members page.

PGP and GnuPG Key Signing

If you are a JTAN customer in good standing, JTAN will sign your PGP or GnuPG key with our key free of charge, providing good evedence of your identity to other people that examine your key. Out signature ties your key into the global web of trust. For information about our key and signature, visit the PGP Resource Page. To obtain our signature on your key, visit the JTAN members page and follow the "Service: Sign Key" link.

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