I got my notification titled "Thawte Personal E-mail Certificates and Web of Trust are being discontinued " with the following rational for the event, "Over the past several years, security compliance requirements have become more restrictive, while the technology infrastructure necessary to meet these requirements has expanded greatly. 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. As a result, Thawte Personal E-Mail Certificates and the Web of Trust will be discontinued on November 16, 2009 and will no longer be available after that date.
Deciding to conclude these services was a difficult decision for us to bear, specifically because of the relationships that we've built with Notaries, such as yourself."
I guess I am not surprised that this is happening but it is still a bit of a bummer. I've been a Thawte notary for a lot of years (almost 10?) and it has been a great way to have a low cost validated and signed e-mail x.509 certificate for free mail services. I guess with most enterprises finally allowing this within their infrastructure the need isn't as great. I still say the majority of e-mail I send and receive is NOT signed but old habits die hard, e-mail is still more like sending postcards to each other than any sort of private correspondence from a security level.
I guess I will have to find a new resource for x.509 certs, I'll post up what I end up using.