Re: Proposal: Prefer secure origins for powerful new web platform features

On Fri, Aug 22, 2014 at 7:03 AM, John Kemp <> wrote:

> Is that the "" that the user read about in that company's
> advertisement of their URL? Or is it's
> super-safe-encrypted portal, breaking the SSL connection and presenting the
> user's browser with a "click OK to keep doing what you wanted to do, but oh
> by the way you are violating this security policy, or CANCEL because of some
> cryptic security problem that will stop you doing what you wanted to do"?
> I'm sorry, but conflating "you are communicating via an encrypted transport"
> is just not the same thing as being able to say with any kind of authority
> that you are communicating with the "" you trust to do the right
> thing.

If you're saying that TLS is fundamentally broken because people can
click through the HTTPS error interstitial pages, then maybe you could
help us come up with a secure usability solution. You're right to want
to look at it as a ceremony and not merely as a protocol
(, but at the same time I don't
think it's fair to condemn the whole effort. Especially since we do
have methods of coping with bad actors like captive portal operators.

We have HSTS and HPKP as ways server operators can stymie captive
portals and provide strong authentication even in the presence of
attackers and confused users. And Certificate Transparency can greatly
strengthen the weakest parts of the web PKI.

But a stricter policy of never allowing people to click through *any*
interstitials (making them terminal pages instead of interstitial) —
which you seem to want? — is likely to meet with very strong

Hopefully we all agree that TLS/web PKI is a bare minimum, and that
we'd all like to see something even stronger. But having any TLS at
all is most certainly a step forward on the path to that safer world.

Received on Friday, 22 August 2014 17:54:49 UTC