Signet-ring: A framework for authenticating sources and lineages of digital objects
Verifying sources of information is vital in assessing the credibility of facts and data in our increasingly digital world; often, the verification of the sources is as necessary as the information they provide. To battle misinformation and disinformation through digital objects, it is salient to provide consumers the ability to verify whether or not information (or data) provided by such sources was altered prior to its use (e.g., publication). To address these concerns, we designed and implemented Signet-ring. Signet-ring registers and authenticates all participants in the origination and publication process, potentially including the sources, publishers, and applications. It manages the following critical workflows: (1) documentation and verification of the relationships between objects and sources (certification), (2) documentation and verification of the relationships between different related objects (lineage), and (3) authentication of sources to each other (handshake). Furthermore, Signet-ring supports the lifecycle management of source identities (using cryptographic keys) and relationships between objects and sources. This lifecycle management includes the revocation of source identity keys and previously accepted object-source relationships.