W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-wsc-wg@w3.org > April 2008

RE: Odd/bad sentence in 5.4.1

From: Dan Schutzer <dan.schutzer@fstc.org>
Date: Fri, 4 Apr 2008 10:43:45 -0400
To: "'Thomas Roessler'" <tlr@w3.org>, "'Stephen Farrell'" <stephen.farrell@cs.tcd.ie>
Cc: "'W3 Work Group'" <public-wsc-wg@w3.org>
Message-ID: <016301c89662$4be10a60$6400a8c0@dschutzer>

Wait, if a certificate does not say revoked, and the system checks for
whether it is still has a valid expiration date, then we do know if it is
expired. Doesn't a certificate have on it the expiration date? Can't that be
checked? So if the certificate is not on a CRL and has an expired date can't
a program deduce it is expired?


-----Original Message-----
From: public-wsc-wg-request@w3.org [mailto:public-wsc-wg-request@w3.org] On
Behalf Of Thomas Roessler
Sent: Friday, April 04, 2008 10:12 AM
To: Stephen Farrell
Cc: 'W3 Work Group'
Subject: Re: Odd/bad sentence in 5.4.1

On 2008-04-04 12:20:22 +0100, Stephen Farrell wrote:

>> Actually, you can't tell the difference.  If a certificate has is
>> beyond its validity period, the CA takes no responsibility to make
>> status information available; the certificate may even have been
>> removed from the CRL.

> There's a corner case - if it was revoked the CA should include
> that information on a few CRLs after the expiry.

Yes.  But we can't guarantee that the user agent actually saw one of

>> The basic idea of relaxed path validation is actually in the
>> "Otherwise..." phrase of the same paragraph:

>>   Otherwise, the fact that a certificate is outside its validity
>>   period SHOULD be communicated using error signalling of class
>>   warning (6.4.3 Warning/Caution Messages ).

>> Maybe that should actually say "at most warning" or "just
>> notification" or something like that.

> Or even less. I preferred the earlier text where we defined
> relaxed validation and said not to bother people with any
> warnings about time. Honestly - why should a web UA care about
> cert expiry really? Its mainly a hang-over from the original
> intent of X.509 (user login to the directory) that turned into
> a business model for CAs. [Note - I do think a UA should care
> about expiry/not-yet-valid for AACs and the like, since the
> "augmented" aspect does involve timeliness, but not for
> vanilla certs, and certainly not SSCs.]

I'll look into reviving Relaxed Path Validation and linking to it
from the error part.  Stay tuned.


>> The text that Stephen spotted is the flip side: *If* there are
>> validity checks, then please do them thoroughly and treat
>> expiration as the hard error.  If you don't do the validity
>> checks, then don't bother with expiry checks.

> If a certificate is expired, or not yet valid, a sensible UA
> won't bother asking about revocation (modulo the corner-case)
> because there's no guarantee of an answer. So no status check
> need be performed for that certificate.

> With the current text, if the UA ever checked status for any
> cert, then its supposed to consider all not-yet-valid and expired
> certs to be revoked.

> So, even if we stick with the current intent, wordsmithing will be
> needed. (But let's thrash on the intent first.)

So, to get the intent clear: If UA would do validation check during
the certificate's validity period, then it must consider an invalid
certificate as a hard error.  Does that make sense in your view?  Or
are you suggesting a different approach?

Thomas Roessler, W3C  <tlr@w3.org>
Received on Friday, 4 April 2008 14:44:35 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Tuesday, 6 January 2015 21:14:21 UTC