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Re: Formal objections to Encrypted Media Extensions

From: Harry Halpin <hhalpin@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 7 Sep 2016 00:37:28 +0200
To: Paul Cotton <Paul.Cotton@microsoft.com>, "'public-html-media@w3.org'" <public-html-media@w3.org>
Message-ID: <dfa0f20e-5726-999f-03d8-358718314893@w3.org>
Paul,

My change requested is a "substantive change", as it would effect
conformance. The change is within charter, but adds more user protection
given the controversy. However, has the EME Working Group officially
considered this as a possibility?

I did not see much official discussion on either github, the mailing
list, or the telecon.  I do not think that it is unreasonable and would
allay (I hope) the large number of concerns that this can be met via
this simple technical change that involves *no legal or policy questions
be resolved*. I believe this earlier problem was the main reason the EFF
covenant and Wendy's objection were overriden.

Mark Watson did not seem to think the proposal was unreasonable, but
that it was a in principle difference over whether the UA or a user
should be able to judge the security of a controversial feature. Given
that users have this choice with regards Geolocation and other powerful
features and given some of the UAs also have a business model in getting
as many people to adopt DRM as possible (thus their work on EME at W3C),
I think giving users the choice of opting-in to EME and DRM is common
sense. I do strongly believe the web should take the interest of rights
of users first. See the Priority of Constituencies document:
https://www.w3.org/TR/html-design-principles/#priority-of-constituencies. 
It is possible some users won't turn it on, in order to respects their
rights we MUST allow them that choice given the level of legal
uncertainty and security issues that EME raises.

David Singer thought there was not clear evidence that DRM and EME could
cause 'user harm'. First, it does not appear the Working Group has
thought through the possibility that clearKey, despite being
ineffective, may be covered by the DMCA (I do not see an open github
issue on this rather important matter). Second, the security research
community believes this feature in browsers can cause 'user harm':
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2016/06/call-security-community-w3cs-drm-must-be-investigated.

While I respect David's desire to know more about the details of user
harm, the many signatories of this web-page have produced ample work in
this regard (as referenced from Wikipedia) and I'm sure some would be
happy to discuss in more detail. It does set a precedent that in terms
of user security and privacy that this Working Group is overriding the
concerns not just of W3C's legal counsel, Wendy Seltzer, but also
notable security researchers such as Bruce Schneier and Ron Rivest.

Thus, I would like the Working Group and the Chair to reconsider closing
this issue. I'm happy to come to the next telecon to discuss if I am
given a spot on the agenda. If not, I hope the Director takes this
objection, which does require any legal discussions unlike Wendy or the
EFF proposals, but is *purely technical*, into account and rules in its
favour.

  cheers,
     harry




On 09/06/2016 08:26 PM, Paul Cotton wrote:
>
> The HME WG has recently received several Formal Objections to EME
> progressing to Proposed Recommendation.   
>
>  
>
> These recent formal objections are listed below:
>
>  
>
> a) ISSUE-288: "EME is not intended to be an interface to technical
> protection measures"
>
> https://github.com/w3c/encrypted-media/issues/288
>
> Author: Wendy Seltzer
>
>  
>
> b) ISSUE-304: Turn off EME by default and activate only with express
> permission from user
>
> https://github.com/w3c/encrypted-media/issues/304
>
> Author: Harry Halpin
>
>  
>
> c) ISSUE-305: Formal objection to Encrypted Media Extensions advancing
> to Proposed Recommendation
>
> https://github.com/w3c/encrypted-media/issues/305
>
> Author:  Ruben Rodriguez
>
>  
>
> Since these formal objections:
>
> a)      cannot be satisfied without making “substantive changes” [1]
> to the EME specification or halting work on the specification
> entirely, and/or
>
> b)     are identical to previous formal objections that the Director
> has chosen not to sustain, and/or
>
> c)      there is no consensus within the HME WG for the required
> changes especially this late in the EME specification development,
>
> in my role as HME WG Chair I am ruling that these issues should be
> closed with no action for EME V1.
>
>  
>
> Each of these Formal Objections will be added to the summary page of
> formal objections [1] and will be presented to the Director when he
> reviews a request to progress EME to Proposed Recommendation status.
>
>  
>
> FTR I responded with background earlier on the topic of EME formal
> objections in:
>
> https://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html-media/2016Aug/0081.html
>
> https://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html-media/2016Aug/0078.html
>
>  
>
> /paulc
>
> HME WG Chair
>
>  
>
> [1] http://www.w3.org/2015/Process-20150901/#substantive-change
> <http://www.w3.org/2015/Process-20150901/#substantive-change>
>
> [2] https://dev.w3.org/html5/status/formal-objection-status.html
> <https://dev.w3.org/html5/status/formal-objection-status.html>
>
>  
>
> Paul Cotton, Microsoft Canada
>
> 17 Eleanor Drive, Ottawa, Ontario K2E 6A3
>
> Tel: (425) 705-9596 Fax: (425) 936-7329
>
>  
>
Received on Tuesday, 6 September 2016 22:37:34 UTC

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