Re: What will incentivize deployment of explicit proxies?

This thread makes me wonder if, rather than focusing on introducing a new kind of proxy to address the “enterprise/school/prison” (ESP) use case, we* should instead focus on fixing how trust roots are configured and managed in browsers / OSs. 

I say that because the requirement is already being met in the market; ESPs are able to inspect and modify traffic as it goes by on the wire by configuring a new trust root. It’s just that there are some nasty side effects brought about by that solution.

We may be able to mitigate the bad effects of the current solution — e.g., by allowing the user to understand when their browser is using a trust root that was added later (AIUI some versions of Chrome already do this visually?), by giving the user more fine-grained control over what new certificates can be used for (to address the BYOD user), etc. 

If we can do that, we avoid the potential for new security choices in front of non-enterprise end users, ones that Will is justifiably nervous about (since anything that would allow a MITM warning to be clicked through is a VERY attractive attack vector).

The one thing that wouldn’t be addressed by this approach is the potential for a “semi-trusted” proxy that can see inside encryption and yet promises e2e integrity. So, to me it seems like we should be focusing on the use cases that lead us there (rather than on that particular solution, yet).

The one that’s been clearly identified is shared caching; is there another?


* for some value of “we". Not every problem needs to be hit with an HTTP-shaped hammer.

On 7 Dec 2013, at 7:26 am, Werner Baumann <> wrote:

> Am Tue, 3 Dec 2013 10:53:26 -0800
> schrieb William Chan (陈智昌) <>:
>> <pushback>
>> I can probably expect to be tarred and feathered by my security team
>> if I tell them we need to put up a UI asking the end user to make a
>> decision about security :)
>> </pushback>
> Yes, that's the problem with your security team. Talking about security
> for the end user, but the one party that has no saying is the end user.
> Talking as an end user: It is me, and only me, who decides whom to
> trust in which respect and to what extend. It is not your security team.
> Sure, there are users who don't care. And there are lot of users who
> can't make informed decisions, because all the necessary information is
> hidden from them, many times by UI-experts who work based on the dogma
> that users are stupid.
> Werner

Mark Nottingham

Received on Monday, 9 December 2013 02:33:49 UTC