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Fwd: A proposal

From: Mike Belshe <mike@belshe.com>
Date: Tue, 19 Nov 2013 09:00:22 -0800
Message-ID: <CABaLYCvXH9MxgW_T61x5_isBdJd7t1FpA2UM1_=M+a6A+-Gc9g@mail.gmail.com>
To: httpbis mailing list <ietf-http-wg@w3.org>
On Tue, Nov 19, 2013 at 6:38 AM, Michael Sweet <msweet@apple.com> wrote:

> Mike,
> On Nov 19, 2013, at 5:28 AM, Mike Belshe <mike@belshe.com> wrote:
> ...
> I am not sure what the next 10 years will bring.  But I am certain it will
> bring many incidents where we'll be able to look back and say, "hmmm... if
> we had put TLS in HTTP by default, that might not have happened."
> People don't die because we did put in TLS.  They only die if we don't.
> I know you are trying to be dramatic here, but I don't think "think of the
> children" arguments have any place here.
> We can say we have an ethical obligation to support greater
> confidentiality/third-party privacy in HTTP (whatever version is used).  We
> can even say that TLS is one tool for the job that can make it harder for
> third parties to casually collect information about a person that is
> accessing a particular web site, and increased usage of https:// for web
> sites that store and/or provide Personally Identifying Information (PII)
> and/or other sensitive information is both recommended and useful.
> But to dramatically state that adding TLS will prevent deaths is both
> technically inaccurate (TLS is only one piece of a much bigger set of
> changes that are needed, and technology is only one tool used by oppressive
> regimes)

You mention the answer to this question later - that we just keep raising
the bar on security, not solving it.  And TLS would be a key step in
raising the bar.  It also happens to be the only one this group controls -
we don't have scope over dns, email, and other areas that would need work
too.  Does that mean we have to do nothing?

People do die because of unencrypted HTTP.  I'm not sure how many
governments have to get caught before you'll agree with this fact.  From
from Iran to China to the US, this is widespread.

> and does not convince me in the least - in fact, if I was a paranoid
> person it would have the opposite effect - why are you so focused on TLS,
> what have you to gain, etc.

You're welcome to investigate me, I have nothing to gain.  I'm not a proxy
writer like most of the anti-TLS people, and have zero investments or ties
or obligations to TLS vendors.

> I think it is important to recognize that we *cannot* secure the Internet,
> we can only make it harder for "the bad guys" to figure out what "the good
> guys" are doing.  But in doing so we also need to balance security against
> what "the good guys" need to know to protect other "good guys" from "the
> bad guys" (malware filtering, etc.)

You're alluding to something here; but I'm not sure what it is.  TLS does
not prevent the good guys from doing anything.  Maybe you think the NSA is
the good guys?  :-)

> Finally, I think it is a mistake to tie improved
> security/confidentiality/privacy to HTTP/2. It will take a while for ISPs,
> web sites, browsers, and proxy vendors to properly support HTTP/2, and
> everything we have talked about WRT TLS and HTTP/2 (minus maybe
> TLS-encrypted message bodies) applies equally to HTTP/1.x.  Clearly there
> are recommendations that we can make today (best practices, deployment
> strategies, etc.) to provide a "safer" web browsing experience.
Well, it took 15 years to change HTTP/1.1.  It'll likely be 15 years before
we change HTTP/2.  So if you say "not now", then the question becomes when?
 Because the next likely opportunity is 2025-2030.  Recommendations are
weak; and having an unsecured mode leads to broken security UIs for which
we've all seen the research that shows it doesn't work.  When do we want to
get serious about fixing this?

We can design for the past - where it was harder to get TLS going and where
middleware proxies served a small role.  Or we can design for the future,
where it will continue to get easier and easier to rollout TLS.  And with a
little prodding from this group, we can take the tooling to a new level.
 And we can fix the biggest issues in  TLS!  But the first step is for us
to want it now.

I'm designing for the future. Its not a comprehensive plan, its just the
first small step.


>  _________________________________________________________
> Michael Sweet, Senior Printing System Engineer, PWG Chair
Received on Tuesday, 19 November 2013 17:00:51 UTC

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