GTE Corp. said it has formed an alliance with Keywitness Canada Inc. of Toronto to provide digital certification services to Canadian consumers and businesses.

Keywitness, which issues digital certificates and serves the role of certificate authority in ways similar to GTE's Cybertrust program in the United States, is licensing the GTE technology for Canadian use.

Formed in 1995, Keywitness is the first Canadian Internet-based certificate authority, or CA. Its operation would comply with likely requirements that CAs be Canadian-owned for national security reasons.

The certificate program would be "tailorable and scalable for practically any application, from consumer certificates for electronic shopping to large-scale certificate management systems for corporate intranets," said Keywitness president Michael Dubrueil.

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