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Re: [Policy] ACTION-152: Merging NOKIA's input into the policy framework doc

From: Paddy Byers <paddy.byers@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 5 May 2010 14:59:43 +0100
Message-ID: <AANLkTinzMMKIwB1B_BJzIs2ngJkPy5fn3XHAwH0zbPYF@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Arribas, Laura, VF-Group" <Laura.Arribas@vodafone.com>
Cc: public-device-apis@w3.org, Frederick Hirsch <frederick.hirsch@nokia.com>

I'd like to introduce a proposal to merge NOKIA's submission into Policy
> Framework doc. Below I try to point out how would this changes impact
> the current document. It would be good to discuss it in today's call and
> see what editorial changes are required and if these changes are going
> to bring major improvements to the security framework.

I'm sorry but I won't be able to join the call today because of a conflict.

I think there's quite a bit of investigation needed to understand how your
suggestion would work. I agree with the idea that it would be useful to be
able to localise the definition of the two separate concerns of trust and
access (ie which subjects are grouped together, based on their identifying
attributes, and what access is permitted for each group). However, I think
that in doing that there is a likelihood that the functionality will change
quite significantly (ie the policies that can be expressed will be

A couple of issues that come to mind immediately:

- exclusivity of trust domains: is it the case that once the trust domain
for an application is determined, it belongs to that domain and no others?
With a BONDI policy, this isn't the case: a subject can matche the target
for a given child policy (ie belong to the "trust domain" associated with
that policy) but if none of the rules of that policy apply, then the
higher-level combining rules will then cause other sibling policies to be
relevant. So it is possible to define "trust domains" that apply with a
specific scope, and which overlap with other trust domains.

- subject attributes in rule conditions: in a BONDI policy, subject
attributes can be used to determine which rules apply at a rule-by-rule
level, instead of only at the level of the target on a policy. It isn't
clear whether or not the same policies can be described if the two aspects
are made completely separate.

So before thinking about changes to the document itself, I think we need to
think through what it would mean in terms of the logical model, and how well
the resulting model addresses the various use cases. The one I keep coming
back to is the ability for user decisions to be recorded themselves in the
policy language (eg permit this operation for this application, or permit
this operation for all applications from the same author, or deny this
operation irrespective of the trustworthiness of the application).

Thanks - Paddy
Received on Wednesday, 5 May 2010 14:00:19 UTC

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