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Definition of Certificate Authority

A Certificate Authority is a trusted third party, which certifies Public Key's to truly belong to their claimed owners. It is a key part of any Public Key Infrastructure, since it allows users to Trust that a given Public Key is the one they wish to use, either to send a private message to its owner or to verify the signature on a message sent by that owner.

Popular Certification Authorities, whose Public Key's are built into most World-Wide Web browsers, include:

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