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Re: ACTION-278 Hiding metadata for security reasons

From: Tyler Close <tyler.close@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 10 Feb 2010 09:19:58 -0800
Message-ID: <5691356f1002100919g3b14f358u381bc7e56c61b421@mail.gmail.com>
To: noah_mendelsohn@us.ibm.com
Cc: ashok.malhotra@oracle.com, Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>, "Mark S. Miller" <erights@google.com>, Jonathan Rees <jar@creativecommons.org>, John Kemp <john@jkemp.net>, Larry Masinter <masinter@adobe.com>, Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>, "www-tag@w3.org" <www-tag@w3.org>, www-tag-request@w3.org
On Wed, Feb 10, 2010 at 8:42 AM,  <noah_mendelsohn@us.ibm.com> wrote:
> Tyler Close wrote:
>
>> The bit that covers this point is:
>>
>> >   A user-agent
>> > MUST NOT disclose representations or URIs, unless either explicitly
>> > instructed to do so by the user or as legitimately directed to by
>> > presented content. Since the user may wish to keep this information
>> > confidential, the user-agent must not assume it can be revealed to
>> > third-parties.
>
> I'm perhaps getting lost in this long thread, but where does that MUST NOT
> text come from?   Is it in a normative specification such as an RFC, or is
> it a proposal for a rule that might be promulgated?  A Google search on
> the text turned up nothing but your email.

That email provides a first draft of text for two new sections to
replace the existing section at:

http://www.w3.org/2001/tag/doc/metaDataInURI-31#hideforsecurity

I provided this text in response to a request on this list by both Dan
Connolly and Jonathan Rees.

--Tyler

>
> Thank you.
>
> Noah
>
> --------------------------------------
> Noah Mendelsohn
> IBM Corporation
> One Rogers Street
> Cambridge, MA 02142
> 1-617-693-4036
> --------------------------------------
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> Tyler Close <tyler.close@gmail.com>
> Sent by: www-tag-request@w3.org
> 02/09/2010 04:21 PM
>
>        To:     Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
>        cc:     Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>, John Kemp
> <john@jkemp.net>, ashok.malhotra@oracle.com, Larry Masinter
> <masinter@adobe.com>, Jonathan Rees <jar@creativecommons.org>,
> "www-tag@w3.org" <www-tag@w3.org>, "Mark S. Miller" <erights@google.com>,
> (bcc: Noah Mendelsohn/Cambridge/IBM)
>        Subject:        Re: ACTION-278 Hiding metadata for security
> reasons
>
>
> On Tue, Feb 9, 2010 at 11:47 AM, Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org> wrote:
>> On Mon, 2010-02-08 at 18:10 -0800, Tyler Close wrote:
>>> On Mon, Feb 8, 2010 at 5:29 PM, Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org> wrote:
>>> >
>>> > On 2010-02 -08, at 07:41, John Kemp wrote:
>>> >
>>> > Yes, I believe that to be true too - apart from the case where a URI
> may end
>>> > up being transmitted to another site "automatically" by means of the
> Referer
>>> > HTTP header.
>>> >
>>> >
>>> > Generalizing, you could argue that client software is written so as
> to store
>>> > and remember and spread URIs, unlike passwords. So passwords are
> stored
>>> > hidden away in some way, but browsing history and bookmarks are not.
>>>
>>> That seems like an enormous logical leap to take based only on the
>>> Referer header.
>>
>> Surely you'd agree there are more information paths than the
>> Referer header. I think Noah pointed out phishing detection
>> services (though my understanding of those is that it's
>> not that the browser sends URIs to the service, but rather
>> the service sends lists of URIs to the browser, with
>> periodic updates).
>>
>> You can easily copy and paste the URI of any page you're
>> looking at into email etc.
>>
>> Then there are delicious bookmarklets etc.
>>
>> Hmm... these are deliberate actions by the user; somewhere
>> else in the thread you discounted those, didn't you?
>> I'll have to look again. I suspect Tim didn't consider that
>> part of your argument. I wonder if it shows up in your draft text
>> (of Mon, 8 Feb 2010 17:44:16 -0800). I'll have to look again...
>
> The bit that covers this point is:
>
>>   A user-agent
>> MUST NOT disclose representations or URIs, unless either explicitly
>> instructed to do so by the user or as legitimately directed to by
>> presented content. Since the user may wish to keep this information
>> confidential, the user-agent must not assume it can be revealed to
>> third-parties.
>
> Sharing at the direction of the user is great and should be
> encouraged. Automatically leaking data against the user's wishes is
> not so nice. The Referer header is the only standard place where data
> is automatically leaked even when it may be against the wishes of both
> the user and the presented content. Fortunately, the web-key pattern
> for using the URI fragment can plug this hole.
>
> Anti-phishing services have many different designs that have each gone
> through much evolution. AFAIK, the IE service has always stripped the
> query string. The Firefox version initially sent full URLs to a
> server, but then switched to sending blacklists to the client.
> Internal testing found the online check of the URL to be no more
> effective than the blacklisting technique. All of this is second-hand
> information.
>
> --Tyler
>
> --
> "Waterken News: Capability security on the Web"
> http://waterken.sourceforge.net/recent.html
>
>
>
>



-- 
"Waterken News: Capability security on the Web"
http://waterken.sourceforge.net/recent.html
Received on Wednesday, 10 February 2010 17:20:32 GMT

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