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A CA is also responsible for revoking certificates when they are no longer considered valid; that is, the bond between the user?s identity and the use of the private key associated with the public key that is established in the certificate is no longer valid. The most common mechanism for distributing certificate revocation information is a certificate revocation list (CRL).
A registration authority (RA) is an authority equipped with software responsible for verifying that certificate requestors identify themselves according to the policies defined by the issuing organization. The RA software authorizes the CA to issue a certificate and also securely passes the certificate request to the CA.
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