Hot off the presses: Ben Edelman just posted a detailed writeup.

Why the big deal? AOL Netscape (nee Netscape) is assigning a trust rating based on certifications. Certifications are useless for trust ratings, because all they do is certify what they are supposed to certify–such as “is the traffic in a SSL browser session secure?”. They are not ways to actually determine the validity of a site in general.

In short, the new Netscape 8 apparently will assign a trust rating to sites like,,, and others.