Thawte, a leading global SSL certificate authority, announced today that the Thawte Personal E-mail Certificates* and WoT (Web of Trust)** are being discontinued.
What it basically means, is that many users enjoying Thawte's free email certificates at this point, will be left in the dark after November 16th, 2009.
Users of Thawte E-mail certificates have received an email explaining the occasion:
Despite our strong desire to continue providing the Thawte Personal E-mail Certificate and Web of Trust services, the ever-expanding standards and technology requirements will outpace our ability to maintain these services at the high level of quality we require.
To express its gratitude to all affected members of the Thawte community, Thawte is issuing $100 off the purchase price of their SSL and/or code signing certificates. In addition to this offer, Thawte has introduced a special arrangement with VeriSign regarding replacing Thawte Personal E-mail Certificate: VeriSign's exclusive offer for a FREE 1-year replacement personal email certificate - a $19.95 value. This offer will be open for 2 months after the service is discontinued and will no longer be available after January 16, 2010.
All users who have received an appropriate email from Thawte are eligible for the offers.
* E-mail certificates allow encrypting emails and signing them in order to indicate sender's authenticity.
** Web of Trust (WoT) was a Certification system that allowed your identity to be validated for use in your Personal Certificate. Only the affiliated network of notaries were empowered to authenticate your identity in person.