We want the OpenXAdES community to span across many different regions and countries. We hereby openly invite all CA-s, whether national/governmental or commercial, to join our initiative, and everyone else to take a look at the work we have done and help us further our cause and thus also increase your own competitiveness by transition to totally paperless legal communication. See below for more information.
A key player in the OpenXAdES project is AS Sertifitseerimiskeskus (SK), responsible for the original idea, main project coordination, quality assurance, web development and PR. SK is one of the main actors in the Estonian ID card project, functioning as CA, providing the certificates to the card and being responsible for all the card's electronic functions. SK handles card delivery to end users, maintains the 24/7 emergency helpdesk for end users, and coordinates the associated software development and knowledge dissemination. SK maintains a number of web sites associated with the ID Card development, including id.ee directed to end users, sk.ee as its corporate website, DigiDoc portal, and OpenXAdES.org that you are currently reading. SK is also the distributor of its custom OCSP Responder that provides for the server end of DigiDoc in Estonia.
SK has created the OpenXAdES project with contribution from its funding, development and quality assurance partners from Estonian public and private sector.
OpenXAdES software is stable, but it is work in progress (and probably remains so, as most software and standards). If you want to be part of our vision of global digital signatures and paperless document management, you can help the project in a number of ways.
A few words about the motivation behind creating this project. Unlike many other open source and free software projects, OpenXAdES is not just the initiative of a few hobbyists. Although it is certainly based a lot on personal enthusiasm and motivation, the main driver behind this project is the Estonian ID card and digital signature project.
Estonia started issuing its electronic ID cards in January 2002. The card is compulsory to have to all residents, contains two certificates and will eventually be distributed to a large majority of Estonia's 1.5-million population.
Legally binding digital signatures have been the subject of PKI discussions and developments probably already from the start of first PKI developments, but when we, the "Estonian ID people" started looking for readily available options for giving digital signatures in Spring 2002, we found none that would suit the purposes of the Estonian project. Either they were not compliant with Estonian and EU legislation, were closed-source or just too early in development.
So, we decided that the easiest and most cost-effective thing to do would be to create our own implementation. As the XAdES standard was published just in February 2002, we had a fresh advanced standard to work with. So, work started on DigiDoc, which is another name for OpenXAdES implementation and end user applications.
Feel free to read more about the Estonian ID card and digital signature project in the whitepaper.
If you want to contact the project team, use the project mailing lists or contacts of individual companies.