Security and Authentication 

Security and user authentication is critical in such a distributed collaborative
environment. The users will typically have graded levels of authentication levels with
corresponding interaction and control capabilities. We intend to use digital signatures
and digitally signed applets, incorporated by a security handler at the server. Digitally
signed applets certify that the applet being downloaded is from a trusted source,
which is critical for web-based interaction interfaces. This service could be extended
with a comprehensive security/data encryption layer if necessary for mission-critical
applications. 


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