W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-webappsec@w3.org > March 2015

Re: [UPGRADE] Consider plan B for reduced complexity?

From: Peter Eckersley <pde@eff.org>
Date: Mon, 16 Mar 2015 13:11:55 -0700
To: Mike West <mkwst@google.com>
Cc: Daniel Kahn Gillmor <dkg@fifthhorseman.net>, "public-webappsec@w3.org" <public-webappsec@w3.org>, Eric Mill <eric@konklone.com>
Message-ID: <20150316201155.GB881@eff.org>
On Mon, Mar 16, 2015 at 11:26:09AM +0100, Mike West wrote:

> 1. The things in the upgrade spec happen by default when a page is
> delivered over HTTPS.
> 2. Separately, the HSTS2 header allows sites to lock upgradable folks into
> TLS.
> Is that accurate?

Yes.  There's a unnecessary complexity if the proposals are merged
naively, because there'd be two new headers (upgrade-insecure and
HSTS2).  Unless the transition from upgrade-insecure to
upgrade-insecure-by-default was swift, well-informed websites would want
to send the CSP header for a long time, even though it was the default
behaviour of most clients.

> I'm focused on the opt-in mechanism for the moment, because I think that's
> something we can ship quickly. I think a minimum-viable implementation
> could go out in Chrome 43, we can get some author feedback to see if it
> solves their problems in the ways we expect, and work on solving the
> concerns that remain.
> Does that sound like a reasonable approach from the EFF's perspective?

You have a better sense of what's doable quickly in Chrome than I do :).
*If* upgrade-insecure can ship quickly, and upgrade-insecure-by-default
cannot, even as a cohorted / experimental feature, then let's follow
your plan, supplemented by either an improved #209 or some concretised
version of #212 (whose full impact in terms of possible extra bytes from
Location: headers, extra roundtrips, and additional cookie and page
content exposure I don't fully understand yet).

If there's a way that we could start upgrade-insecure-by-default as a
cohorted experiment that becomes universal in a release or two, I think
we should consider that path, since it fixes more sites and makes
everything simpler for developers.

Peter Eckersley                            pde@eff.org
Technology Projects Director      Tel  +1 415 436 9333 x131
Electronic Frontier Foundation    Fax  +1 415 436 9993
Received on Monday, 16 March 2015 20:12:26 UTC

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