PyCon LT 2022

Bringing digital signatures and PKI to the masses with Python
05-26, 14:00–14:30 (Europe/Vilnius), Python Room

The situation of the past two years has served as a catalyst for further digitalisation of all sorts of administrative processes all over the world. In virtually all of these processes, public-key infrastructure (PKI) plays an important role.

In this talk, you'll get a crash course on what the modern PKI landscape looks like, and on the role that Python can play in making digital signing workflows accessible to a wide range of users in a responsible manner.

Most developers are familiar with PKI in the form of SSL certificates, an important component in the system that makes HTTPS secure.
However, PKI is much more than that: for example, in a digital workflow, digital signatures backed by public-key cryptography are a useful tool to ensure that all parties stay accountable to one another.

Of course, the basic technologies behind PKI are by no means new; governments and companies have been working with them for decades now. But the landscape is changing, and many "ordinary people" find themselves having to use PKI in their daily lives more frequently---sometimes without being aware of it!

As companies rush to carve out their slice of this growing market, I think it's important to raise awareness in developer communities: demystifying PKI is a good thing for us and for our users.

I've written lots of code that interfaces with PKI, both in my own projects and on the job. I believe there's a lot of potential in the Python community to help provide tooling to further democratise PKI and digital signing. Hopefully this talk will contribute to that goal!

What topics define your talk the best?

python, open source, security

Matthias is a former research mathematician turned software engineer, with about a decade of Python experience. He is passionate about FOSS, and takes a particular interest in digital signature technology. His day job is in the digital documents industry, where he contributes very actively to the development of international standards related to PDF.