Public Key Infrastructure PKI
PKI or the public key infrastructure enables secure digital authentication and signing. The infrastructure also allows forwarding data by using an encrypting key pair: a public encryption key and a private decryption key. In Estonia, this technology is used in relation with electronic identity (ID card, mobile ID, digital ID).
The public key infrastructure used in Estonia is the national PKI. This means that the state undertakes to assure the existence and functioning of a public key infrastructure. A large part of the services related to the PKI is purchased from the private sector, e.g. the certification, the infrastructure for making enquiries about the validity of the certificate, the infrastructure for distributing the public key (LDAP service), the key creation environment (e.g. ID card chip).
The most substantial fields related to the field of PKI are organised by the state:
- The collection of applications necessary for using the PKI (the base software of ID card), which is handled by the Information System Authority (RIA).
- Legislation that determines the quality and trust requirements of the PKI services. This field is handled by the Department of State Information Systems of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications.
- Issuing means for secure electronic authentication and signing (ID card, etc.). This field is handled by the Police and Border Guard Board.
Competences of RIA
- Is responsible for the functioning, development and management of the ID card base software.
- Is responsible for the mutual capacity of international electronic identities or the cross-country functioning, development and management of software solutions.
- Participates in work groups and in the development of the state’s PKI.
- Assures the existence of the user interface service of the ID card base software (www.id.ee).
- Provides support for developers.
- Ensures the existence of a service platform necessary for the use of foreign e-identities (cross-country PKI).
RIA does not provide the following services:
- ID cards and certificates are issued by the Police and Border Guard Board.
- The technical issues and problems related to ID cards are handled by the Police and Border Guard Board.
- The Certification Centre offers the services of an ID card help centre in order to provide technical support for users in relation with the ID card base software (www.id.ee).