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Electronic travel documents in Iceland will soon be authenticated using a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) by the German firm secunet. After the contract award from the Registers Iceland in May 2017, the system will be used from later this year for inspecting and issuing identity documents.
Border controls at airports can be carried out more efficiently using electronic identity documents, the firm says. Certificate-based authentication solutions are used as a means of reliably checking the authenticity of documents, and for preventing manipulation and unauthorised access. A Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) is required to generate and manage certificates. Iceland will work with the secunet eID PKI Suite to provide this type of border control. The system is also used to issue electronic passports.
The contract covers delivery and configuration of the secunet eID PKI Suite and supply of Hardware Security Modules, as well as installation and configuration of the entire system. System service and maintenance for the next few years are also included.
The project will begin with the supply of core components for the national PKI, consisting of Country Signing Certification Authority (CSCA), Country Verifying Certification Authority (CVCA) and Document Verifying Certification Authority (DVCA).
To allow inspection of travel documents from different countries, a National Public Key Directory (N-PKD) will then be set up for the management and provision of basic information needed to verify the authenticity of electronic travel documents. The N-PKD forms the national counterpart to the Public Key Directory (PKD) of the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation), which provides information needed for global interoperability between electronic passports. A Single Point of Contact (SPOC) will be provided in the course of the project, as a communication interface for the exchange of certificates on an international level.
Together, these elements create a high-performance background system for issuing, managing and checking official documents. There is also an option to expand the system by adding components, such as a PKI for eID and eSign functions for the planned national identity card.
secunet also offers other tools for border control. For example, secunet eGates – automated border control systems which reduce entry and exit times – are in use at Keflavik Airport in Iceland, pictured. The product range also includes secunet biomiddle, a biometric middleware, as well as client solutions for inspection of electronic identity documents at border control. secunet border control systems and the eID PKI Suite are in use in Germany and beyond, including Latvia, Norway, Austria, Switzerland, and Czech Republic.