Why it arises
Information technologies revolution, together with the development of communications infraestructure, are changing substantially the relationships between individuals and organizations, inside Spain and abroad as well. These new communications means open a big choice of opportunities for the citinzens and the companies and allow the marketing of products and services in an agile and economical way.
In Spain, several Administrations are betting strongly on Internet as a communication channel, builiding websites with public interest information. This projects are having a great acceptancy among the citizens, who are demanding an increase on net usage.
What it is about
The most ambitious initiative, build up by the administration,is project CERES (CERtificación Española ), led by Fábrica Nacional de Moneda y Timbre, that mainly, is the deployment of a Public Key Infraestructure that allows the authentication and warrants the confidentiality of communications between citizens, companies and other organizations and public administrations through open netwoks.
The main goal of CERES is the securization of electronic communications with the administration, being a "transparent" third party that will warrant citizens and administrations identity as well as confidentiality and integrity of messages.
For the achieval of this, CERES uses cryptographycal techniques based on what is known as public key cryptography, with two main features:
user identity, and electronic signing capabilities, are, on the highest security scenario, stored on an smartcard, that can´t be accessed except by its owner when it introduces its personal identification number. In the case whe no smartxcard is used, the cryptographical profile is stored on a file, that is accessed via a PIN as well.
The system is completely transparent to the user, that is, there is no need of cryptographical knowledge to sign or verify a signature, ot r to encrypt or decrypt a message.