Appendix B. Identity-Based Key Management

In Java 1.1, the primary tool that was used for key management was javakey, which is based heavily on the Identity and IdentityScope classes. The keytool utility that comes with 1.2[43] is a better way to implement key management, and the KeyStore class on which keytool is based is definitely more flexible than the classes on which javakey is based. In addition, the javakey database uses some classes and interfaces that have been deprecated in 1.2—primarily the interface.

Nonetheless, for developers who are still using 1.1, a key management system based upon the Identity and IdentityScope classes is the only possible solution. In this appendix, we’ll show how these classes can be used for key management. All of the techniques we’ll discuss in this appendix have a complementary technique in key management with the KeyStore class. In addition, the Identity and IdentityScope classes have been deprecated in 1.2, so you should really move to the keystore implementation as soon as possible.


You probably noticed in Chapter 10 that none of the key classes had any notion of whom the key belonged to. Keys are really just an arbitrary-appearing series of bytes. The set of classes we’ll examine now deal with the notion of identity: the entity to which a key belongs. An identity can represent an individual or a corporation (or anything else that can possess a public or a private key).

The Identity Class

First ...

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