Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis (Master's)


Department of Computer Science

First Advisor

Sean Smith


Shibboleth is a federated administrated system that supports inter-institutional authentication and authorization for sharing of resources. SPKI/SDSI is a public key infrastructure whose creation was motivated by the perception that X.509 is too complex and flawed. This thesis addresses the problem of how users that are part of a Public Key Infrastructure in a distributed computing system can effectively specify, create, and disseminate their Attribute Release Policies for Shibboleth using SPKI/SDSI. This thesis explores existing privacy mechanims, as well as distributed trust management and policy based systems. My work describes the prototype for a Trust Management Framework called SPADE (SPKI/SDSI for Attribute Release Policies in a Distributed Environment) that I have designed, developed and implemented. The principal result of this research has been the demonstration that SPKI/SDSI is a viable approach for trust management and privacy policy specification, especially for minimalistic policies in a distributed environment.


Originally posted in the Dartmouth College Computer Science Technical Report Series, number TR2003-453.