Computer Laboratory

Technical reports

Designing a reliable publishing framework

Jong-Hyeon Lee

April 2000, 129 pages

This technical report is based on a dissertation submitted January 2000 by the author for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy to the University of Cambridge, Wolfson College.


Due to the growth of the Internet and the widespread adoption of easy-to use web browsers, the web provides a new environment for conventional as well as new businesses. Publishing on the web is a fundamental and important means of supporting various activities on the Internet such as commercial transactions, personal home page publishing, medical information distribution, public key certification and academic scholarly publishing. Along with the dramatic growth of the web, the number of reported frauds is increasing sharply. Since the Internet was not originally designed for web publishing, it has some weaknesses that undermine its reliability.

How can we rely on web publishing? In order to resolve this question, we need to examine what makes people confident when reading conventional publications printed on paper, to investigate what attacks can erode confidence in web publishing, and to understand the nature of publishing in general.

In this dissertation, we examine security properties and policy models, and their applicability to publishing. We then investigate the nature of publishing so that we can extract its technical requirements. To help us understand the practical mechanisms which might satisfy these requirements, some applications of electronic publishing are discussed and some example mechanisms are presented.

We conclude that guaranteed integrity, verifiable authenticity and persistent availability of publications are required to make web publishing more reliable. Hence we design a framework that can support these properties. To analyse the framework, we define a security policy for web publishing that focuses on the guaranteed integrity and authenticity of web publications, and then describe some technical primitives that enable us to achieve our requirements. Finally, the Jikzi publishing system—an implementation of our framework—is presented with descriptions of its architecture and possible applications.

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BibTeX record

  author =	 {Lee, Jong-Hyeon},
  title = 	 {{Designing a reliable publishing framework}},
  year = 	 2000,
  month = 	 apr,
  url = 	 {},
  institution =  {University of Cambridge, Computer Laboratory},
  number = 	 {UCAM-CL-TR-489}