W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-webid@w3.org > October 2012

TLS-CCA. Was: Browser UI & privacy - a discussion with Ben Laurie

From: Anders Rundgren <anders.rundgren@telia.com>
Date: Fri, 05 Oct 2012 17:36:53 +0200
Message-ID: <506EFE95.80903@telia.com>
To: Henry Story <henry.story@bblfish.net>
CC: Carvalho Melvin <melvincarvalho@gmail.com>, Halpin Harry <hhalpin@w3.org>, Hannes Tschofenig <hannes.tschofenig@gmx.net>, public-identity@w3.org, Ben Laurie <benl@google.com>, "public-webid@w3.org" <public-webid@w3.org>
On 2012-10-05 16:55, Henry Story wrote:

TLS-CCA (TLS Client Certificate Authentication)
Favorite hate-object of mine :-)

> On 5 Oct 2012, at 16:33, Anders Rundgren <anders.rundgren@telia.com> wrote:
> 
>> On 2012-10-05 16:02, Melvin Carvalho wrote:
>>>
>>> I do agree that BrowserID has a first class UI and WebID has a second class one.
>>
>> Me too.  However, that's not an inherent feature of WebID, it is the "feature"
>> you get when "security experts" try to design IT-systems for "people" :-)
> 
> There are a few elements that make up the UI of certificate selection 
> as far as WebID goes:
> 
>  1. Certificate selection
>    + Chrome, IE, Opera, Safari all have good UIs
>    + Firefox has a bad one
>    You can compare for yourself here:
>      http://www.w3.org/wiki/Foaf%2Bssl/Clients/CertSelection

Since WebID doesn't presume a specific issuer you will get a potentially
huge list of certificates that are not meant to be used as WebID.
Why is that?  Because the lame filter-thing in TLS CCA isn't adapted
for the real world.

In addition, all resources these days are selected by icons so why
doesn't PKI come with that?  IETF created an RFC for that but it was so
bad that not even Microsoft who sponsored the work ever implemented it.


>  2. Certificate creation
>    Using Keygen they are all pretty good now
>    (except for the silly message to save your certs some browsers display)

No product management has ever bothered about PKI key provisioning which
is why everybody in their right mind do not use the stuff created by
MSFT, GOOG, or APPL.

This is though yesterdays news; MSFT have had this information for a decade
but since this requirement doesn't come from the US (US banks and government
agencies haven't yet "invented" consumer-PKI), it is silently ignored.

TLS and web-sessions still suck.  Logout anybody?

Fixable?  Nope, TLS is owned by people who's interest is security, not usability.
Any comments that it might be less than optional is taken as "blasphemy" and
we all know how fun that is...

As a consequence the wast majority of consumer-PKIs have moved on and created
more or less "novel" approaches for PKI authentication.

[When vendors actually care for what they do like when Google did their Wallet,
 you see what is possible]

BR
AR

>  
>  3. Transparency.
> 
>     All browsers suck at this level, and not just for certificates. It should be
>  a UI principle - supported it seems by EU law, as Dr Ian Walden remarked on the 
> public webid list [1] - that the browser show you what identity level you have
> on each site. BrowserID won't make it any better, unless they change the UI,
> in which case the same change can be brought in favor of client certificates.



>  What Anders is fruestrated about is the UI for using certificates if you
> don't use it as WebID suggests. Then of course things are a lot more frusttrating.
> 
>    I explain all three levels of the UI in the video on http://webid.info/
> which shows screencasts that you can duplicate and verify.
> 
> 	Henry
> 
> 
> [1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-webid/2012Oct/0021.html
> 
> 
>>
>> Anders
>>
>>
>>>
>>> However, as I've stated WebID is the *only* identity system that uses a URI to define a user, so is architecturally scalable.  BrowserID does *not* use URIs.
>>>
>>> I dont use WebID for the UI, I use it because every other identity system has turned into walled gardens, and I dislike lockin.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>     I highly doubt bringing up philosophy will actually help here unless you can clarify what you mean re privacy, anonymity, multiple identities. There was some work by the IETF in this direction that seemed going in the right directions:
>>>
>>>
>>> Philosophy may be a distraction here.  We'd like to communicate the core key facts.  And that is we want to deliver interoperable solutions. 
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>    https://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-hansen-privacy-terminology-03
>>>
>>>    I also think this discussion should be confined to its proper mailing list.  For example, if it simply becomes FOAF+SSL folks championing the wonders of RDF, then perhaps the discussion should remove other mailing lists than WebID. If its a philosophical discussion, then I'd keep it on philoweb. Or an identity discussion that's not dogmatic, keep on public-identity. This is basic etiquette.
>>>
>>>
>>> Personally I am agnostic to the serialization.  It could be RDF, salmon, XML or JSON.  I dont even care if auth is done via PKI or not.  In this case it's simply associating a public key with a user in a machine readable way.  The serialization is unimportant.
>>>
>>> The common problem that identity is trying to solve, is to authenticate a user in a way that does not create a walled garden.  And that requires:
>>>
>>> - Identifying a user in a standards compliant and scalable way
>>> - Making your auth system interoperable with others
>>>
>>> This is what we are trying to promote.  WebID is committed to be an interoperable scalable identity solution.  I think people would be happy to promote any other system that will commit to interop.  Isnt that the common goal?
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>       cheers,
>>>           harry
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>    On 10/04/2012 09:24 PM, Henry Story wrote:
>>>>    [resent as the image was too big and so stripped from the mailing
>>>>     list, making one part of the text incomprehensible ]
>>>>
>>>>    On 4 Oct 2012, at 17:10, Hannes Tschofenig <hannes.tschofenig@gmx.net <mailto:hannes.tschofenig@gmx.net>> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>>    Hi Melvin,
>>>>>
>>>>>    On Oct 4, 2012, at 4:49 PM, Melvin Carvalho wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>>    I think the aim is to have an identity system that is universal.  The web is predicated on the principle that an identifier in one system (eg a browser) will be portable to any other system (eg a search engine) and vice versa.  The same principle applied to identity would allow things to scale globally.  This has, for example, the benefit of allowing users to take their data, or reputation footprint when them across the web.  I think there is a focus on WebID because it is the only identity system to date (although yadis/openid 1.0 came close) that easily allows this.  I think many would be happy to use another system if it was global like WebID, rather than another limited context silo.
>>>>>
>>>>>    I think there is a lot of confusion about the difference between identifier and identity. You also seem to confuse them. 
>>>>>
>>>>>    Here is the difference:
>>>>>
>>>>>      $ Identifier:   A data object that represents a specific identity of
>>>>>         a protocol entity or individual.  See [RFC4949].
>>>>>
>>>>>    Example: a NAI is an identifier
>>>>>
>>>>>      $ Identity:   Any subset of an individual's attributes that
>>>>>         identifies the individual within a given context.  Individuals
>>>>>         usually have multiple identities for use in different contexts.
>>>>>
>>>>>    Example: the stuff you have at your Facebook account
>>>>
>>>>    This is a well know distinction in philosopohy. You can refer to things in two ways:
>>>>     - with names ( identifiers ) 
>>>>     - with existential variables ( anonymous names if you want ), and attaching a description to that
>>>>       thing that identifies it uniquely among all other things
>>>>
>>>>    So for example Bertrand Russell considered that "The Present King of France" in "The Present King of France is Bald" was
>>>>    not acting like a proper name, but as an existential variable with a definite description. That is in 
>>>>    mathematical logic he translated that phrase to:
>>>>
>>>>       ∃x[PKoF(x) & ∀y[PKoF(y) → y=x] & B(x)]
>>>>
>>>>    See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Definite_description
>>>>    Harry Halpin goes into this in this Philosophy of the Web Thesis
>>>>      http://journal.webscience.org/324/
>>>>    http://www.ibiblio.org/hhalpin/homepage/thesis/
>>>>
>>>>    So yes we know this, and understand this very well. The Semantic Web is an outgrowth of 
>>>>    Fregean logic, tied to the Web through URIs, and with some of the best logicians 
>>>>    in the world  having worked on its design. This is our bread and butter.
>>>>
>>>>    In fact in WebID we are using this to our advantage. What we do is we use 
>>>>    a URI - a universal identifier - to identify a person, in such a way that it is
>>>>    tied to a definite description as "the agent ID that knows the private key of public
>>>>    key Key".
>>>>
>>>>    [ image available at:
>>>>      http://www.w3.org/wiki/images/4/49/X509-Sense-and-Reference.jpg ]
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>    The text in the document named "http://bblfish.net/" says:
>>>>
>>>>    <#hjs> foaf:name "Henry Story";
>>>>                cert:key [ a cert:RsaPublicKey; cert:modulus ... ; cert:exponent ... ]
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>    So in the above the Identifier is "http://bblfish.net/#hjs" which referes to <http://bblfish.net/#hjs> 
>>>>    (me) which you can recognise as the knower of the private key
>>>>    published on the http://bblfish.net/ web page (in RDFa, in this case)
>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>    To illustrate the impact for protocols let me try to explain this with OpenID Connect.
>>>>>
>>>>>    OpenID Connect currently uses SWD (Simple Web Discovery) to use a number of identifiers to discover the identity provider, see http://openid.net/specs/openid-connect-discovery-1_0.html
>>>>>
>>>>>    The identifier will also have a role when the resource owner authenticates to the identity provider. The identifier may also be shared with the relying party for authorization decisions.
>>>>>
>>>>>    Then, there is the question of how you extract attributes from the identity provider and to make them available to the relying party. 
>>>>
>>>>    In WebID that is easy for public info: you use HTTP GET.
>>>>    Otherwise you put protected info into protected resources, link to them from the WebID profile, 
>>>>    and apply WebID recursively to the people requesting information about that resource. Ie: you
>>>>    protect the resources containing information that needs protecting.
>>>>
>>>>    This makes it possible to describe people and their relations extremely richly,
>>>>    and it allows one to be very fine grained in who one allows access to information.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>>    There, very few standards exist (this is the step that follows OAuth). The reason for the lack of standards is not that it isn't possible to standardize these protocols but there are just too many applications. A social network is different from a system that uploads data from a smart meter. Facebook, for example, uses their social graph and other services use their own proprietary "APIs" as well.
>>>>
>>>>    Yes, I know people keep saying its impossible, and then we have trouble showing them - 
>>>>    since the impossible cannot be seen.
>>>>
>>>>    Btw in WebID we use
>>>>
>>>>    The one well know api: HTTP.
>>>>    A semantic/logic model: RDF and mappings from syntax to that model - which
>>>>    is based on Relations which I think Bertrand Russel showed to be pretty much all you needed.
>>>>
>>>>    Then it is a question of working together and developing vocabularies that metastabilise.
>>>>    (More on that in a future video). 
>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>    This is the identity issue.
>>>>>
>>>>>    You are mixing all these topics together. This makes it quite difficult to figure out what currently deployed systems do not provide.
>>>>>
>>>>>    Ciao
>>>>>    Hannes
>>>>>
>>>>
>>>>    Social Web Architect
>>>>    http://bblfish.net/
>>>>
>>>
>>>
>>
> 
> Social Web Architect
> http://bblfish.net/
> 
Received on Friday, 5 October 2012 15:37:36 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Tuesday, 6 January 2015 20:54:37 UTC