W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-webpayments@w3.org > June 2014

Re: Proof of Concept: Identity Credentials Login

From: Timothy Holborn <timothy.holborn@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 13 Jun 2014 19:39:47 +1000
Message-Id: <D31EF504-29B1-4C80-AB71-98E91697B26F@gmail.com>
Cc: ☮ elf Pavlik ☮ <perpetual-tripper@wwelves.org>, Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>, Web Payments CG <public-webpayments@w3.org>
To: Dave Lampton <dave.lampton@gmail.com>
You've hit on numerous topics I've had quite some interest in overtime...

Sounds like what your trying to achieve, actually relates to privacy & simple user experience / ease of use.

The web-payments standards provides a language or syntax around how different "elements" involved throughout the "chain" can interact in a standardised fashion.   Many of the ingredients to what your talking about, are part or in-scope for web-payments (IMO); other areas are not.

If your solely hosting a service at home: what happens if your at a cafe, and your kid has turned off the power accidentally, or the repo man decides they'll take it - till you pay your bills.  I'm just making up user-stories, but of course, these situations and business cases can be extremely complicated.

I think ipv6 subnet pools are being issued to existing ipv4 subnet owners.  I queried Vint Cerf about using ipv6 addresses in a similar way, his exact words were "IPv6 is a topological identifier and should NOT be used as a logical one."...  (And I was really thankful for his response...)

I'll follow-up more tomorrow, but continue to encourage you to get involved, and influence how these standards work in the interests of the people.  

The suggestion that fqdn's should be owned by all email address holders - or as similarly described - I think, has great purpose and is well-worth pushing forward. Not in scope for webpayments specific however....

More broadly; some work will fall into scope with web-payments, some will not.  Some with w3c, some not.  Don't throw the baby out with the bath water... ;) 

Perhaps, re; use-cases or user stories around "digital cash".  A swot analysis...  Might help us (or me at least) figure out, or validate the requirement and a possible approach...

What characteristic are you trying to protect by eliminating identity (of the payee? I assume??)

POC examples on GitHub (or similar) really very important for this area of work.  The more people get into community works, the better...

Imho, nothing on the web is anonymous.  Therefore, you actually mean identity displacement.  Systems are already in place to ensure something is anonymous, save a court-order, it seems this is not enough for some of your use cases??  Or is it a problem relating directly to the "cost" of a transaction?    

Like a pebble in water, it's impossible for an action not to leave traces or ripples...  Therefore, to me, the answer is about accountability more than trying to find a better, darker, more secret place.  I don't particularly like the golden rule - he who has the gold rules...  I like the concept of an egalitarian meritocracy....  Which absolutely means, success depends upon accessibility to the rule of law; over and above, "the golden rule"...  

Give the people identity - support, without improper barriers, what is best described in the texts of 'human rights' conventions - democracy will thrive.

But, that's just my opinion...

And 50 years is too long.  In fact, given the growth and capabilities of entities around the world, I'm surprised so many people are giving their time away freely to define something today, over the next few years, that should have really existed for some time already...  

Says something about priorities I guess...

Nite.

Timh.

Sent from my iPad

> On 13 Jun 2014, at 7:00 pm, Dave Lampton <dave.lampton@gmail.com> wrote:
> 
> hi Tim,
> yes, I may need to depart from this group soon as I agree my goals extend beyond just Web, and while I'm not sure if it will end up as a protocol, it might just be a "service specification" for every "wallet" endpoint - would likely belong with IETF.
> I'm calling it 'cash' only because two entities will be able to conduct a transaction without a middle-man, nobody ever taking a piece of the action. these transactions occur in real time and are as final as handing someone a paper bill
> I won't be printing any paper receipts, but details are always available - just point your browser at your wallet's FQDN.
> I'll want to specify the software stack at the endpoints, which may be spec'ed all the way to bare metal
> rather than having many use cases that resemble "making an operating system with better GUI",
> I'll have a small handful of use cases that more resemble the simplicity of flushing a toilet. :)
> well, identity displacement seems adequate, but I doubt my system will even include any concept of Identity
> I'm not really concerned with anonymity at the time of the transaction, but instead simply concerned
> with ensuring that "money has no memory"
> "I must always be able to track my spending, but my spending should never be able to track me"
> Adrian was right that the scope and goals of my project are broader than just Web
> I'll probably need to revisit the creation process for a new protocol under the IETF (check back with me in 50 years! ;-)
> There is a crypto-currency called ZeroCash (which is based on BitCoin) and is really quite close to reaching all of my intended requirements, however, my intent to be capable of transacting with a nation's real currency as issued by their central bank.
> I fully understand the issues involved in managing your own FQDN but we don't have the same goals. I won't be developing a lightweight payment system, but instead, more like your own fully-capable business checking account (but without the bank, and hosted at home, perhaps) by an individual who actually *needs* all of that extra functionality and is capable of managing his registrar and his DNS. In any case, IPv6 is around the corner and every man woman and child on the planet will have <some_huge_number> of IP addresses at their disposal. I imagine that managing one's registrar and configuring one's DNS for each wallet endpoint will be about as complex as buying yourself a wallet. also, trivial & common enough that having them managed and/or virtually hosted for you will be so common that the expenses will likely be tiny fees, or you can set one up on your smart phone. etc. not only will more & more "average citizens" be able to do these things, but there will also be plenty of cheap hosted/managed solutions available.
> 
> Dave Lampton
>  @dave_lampton
> www.linkedin.com/in/davelampton/
> 
> 
> Dave Lampton
>  @dave_lampton
>  DaveLampton
>  +DaveLampton
> www.linkedin.com/in/davelampton/
> 
> 
> 
> 
>> On Thu, Jun 12, 2014 at 11:12 PM, Tim Holborn <timothy.holborn@gmail.com> wrote:
>> I can, and will write a volume or two about this area (identity, privacy, anonymity, etc.): however, figure it’s not something for the list, and in any case; it’ll need some editing…
>> 
>> When the terms ‘digital cash’ and ‘anonymity’ is concerned; are you talking about entirely anonymous? or identity displacement? 
>> 
>> Perhaps as an exercise; consider the instances where your identity as a purchaser, or payee becomes ‘anonymous’ (meaning, cannot be proved); vs. those where identity remains intact throughout the lifecycle of what #upaid4  or #uvoted4 
>> 
>> Could be retaining a readable receipt (i.e. not thermal receipt printing) from a retailer.  Could be something that forms the world of online content, could be an email with a proposal put into a powerpoint or business plan format. Many use-cases…. 
>> 
>> Another good activity; is looking at the manifest forms of social-policy decisions made; that could benefit if you a. had data relating to your economic footprint, and b. were entitled to actively share elements of that data, in a structured format; as to support research.
>> 
>> Whilst I absolutely believe enormously beneficial to encouraging users with an Email Address - to migrate towards owning and operating their own domain - it’s not specifically within the ‘domain’ of web-payments.  Perhaps it’s something that could be formally supported by the group; should an appropriate group become recognisable, in how to push that form of promotional activity (Not for profit styled) to web-users.  I also think part of that function, requires improvements to traditional domain-management tools.
>> 
>> A bit like making an operating system with better GUI. 
>> 
>>> On 12 Jun 2014, at 11:30 am, Dave Lampton <dave.lampton@gmail.com> wrote:
>>> 
>>> Hi all, I am still relatively new to this group and trying to catch up with the work that has been done thus far on Web Payments, and I'll be the first to acknowledge that I may have still missed some important details (but I don't believe so). Likewise, I don't want to conflate the conversation too much with my own ideas for implementing "digital cash" transactions, so you can take my comments with a grain of salt, at least for now. :-)
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> To me, the proposed system already just feels overly complex for the tasks at hand - lots of moving parts, several steps involved. I'm all for using existing open standards, but it seems like we may be limiting ourselves (or rather, complicating the problem, I think) instead of simply inventing only what's really needed.
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> TL;DR - I'm with Melvin Carvalho and his comments made yesterday re: his fundamental dissatisfaction with 3rd party identity solutions (even just the concept of a 3rd party doing this for me is troublesome). I'm largely unsatisfied with the various identity systems already competing - they are not particularly fun or easy to work with, and the one you need today is usually that one you've never needed to look at before today.
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> Additionally, I still feel uneasy about using email addresses at all in any sort of next-gen payment system, but especially if the real goal is to ultimately just attach to browsers/devices anyway. This "shim" already sounds like something we would prefer to throw away, so then, let's just leap-frog it altogether.
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> Furthermore, I agree with a few others that URI's are wholly inadequate in the role of endpoints because more than one can be live on the same host and therefore they invite people to potentially host multiple people's money (and the transactions thereof) on a single host or device, which just seems like the quick road to widespread corruption. Using the browsers as secure endpoints seems like an even worse idea, regardless of who suggested it all the way back in 1990. ;-)  Browsers are too transient or inconstant for my taste, and again, multiple instances can be running simultaneously on a host. If used properly they could work fine, I suppose, but they are also a piece of software which means they are also game-able, open for abuse, emulation, fraud.
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> And while I'm complaining about everything, I'll even point out that our de facto API these days, a RESTful interface, is also overkill for the very few types of messages we actually need to pass around. I find that the problems can be solved with a small set of JSON-LD (or BSON-LD?) messages (representing individual sets of currency units and the transactions intended to be applied to them) which can be passed around over secure Web sockets (wss:// protocol over port 443).
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> So... in my mind, it seems our digital "wallets" or "accounts", or whatever we call the things that send and receive transactions and are the "physical" homes for our digital money, should each only be assigned to one and only one *fully qualified domain name* such as "usd1.davelampton.com" for example. An FQDN is simply an assigned hostname controlled by the domain owner, who can point it at any host or device on his or her domain subnet, by using DNSSEC, specifically (i.e.we would probably need to insist on the adoption of Secure DNS, since standard DNS has known security flaws). A new type of resource record would need to be used, perhaps a "CTX" record for "currency transaction exchanger"?? Anyone controlling a FQDN controls the (necessarily homogeneous) currency units (money) held in the one CTX residing there, period. No password needs to be known or saved by the stupid humans. (No passwords using "123456"!) Thus far, I'm yet to be really convinced any separate IdP is even required once endpoints are secured by a unique hostname (FQDN)... more discussion on that later(*).
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> Someone asked: 
>>> > How will the request to this identity provider location/URL be authenticated?
>>> So my answer to this is simply to use ZoneSigner, a DNSSEC tool used to secure the reverse delegations.
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> When an end user creates an account with the clearing house (or central bank, or whoever is clearing transactions on that currency), a new unique keypair is generated and assigned - private keys saved and public keys shared only by those two parties. One unique keypair per CTX account - and only one CTX account per FQDN.
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> In general, the Peer-Assisted Key Derivation Function (PAKDF) as suggested by Evan Schwartz is a great solution for turning a weak password (the kind humans can remember) into a strong signed key. If a unique keypair is generated by the clearing house / central bank for that currency and then assigned to the corresponding account/wallet nobody else will ever know or manage any server or account/wallet passwords other than for server/endpoint administration, perhaps. We can thus begin and end with strong keys and not bother with the human incapacity for remembering important things. I don't think it's even necessary for anyone to know a password other than possibly for the Web-based administration interface to manage the hosted transaction services.
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> Now, in my own proposed (work-in-progress) solution, something akin to your "Telehash" service would be hosted by the clearing house / central bank of the corresponding currency itself and is responsible for auth/auth of incoming requests for services, the immediate transaction approval or disapproval, the immediate processing of each of those transactions, and the updating of the public distributed database which keeps tabs on each outstanding piece of currency (after already publicly invalidating the previous FQDN's ownership hash for that unit of currency prior to generating and publicly sharing the newly signed ownership hash. Anyone can test any piece of currency in the marketplace at any time, but only the current owner will get a matched signature, because their FQDN was used to generate the current hash value stored with the currency's serial number in the publicly distributed database.
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> (*) A bit more discussion: an FQDN is literally as close as we get to something physical on the Internet because it IS physical and relatively static. By attaching software objects to FQDN's we achieve a "physicality" presently missing in the digital realm. This physicality implies true uniqueness at all times - just like real cash. A digital entity (in this case, some unit of digital cash) can move in the digital universe only when a transaction is approved and executed, and may only exist in one place at a time (namely, its current, pre-approved home). This is what is required for money to only belong to one individual (account) at a time, only after issued a new UUID and after previous incarnations have been publicly invalidated already and marked for removal at some convenient time. Perhaps Dave Longley's last comment alludes to this but I would emphasize that no separate IdP is required - one's clearing house or central bank for the currency being held in a particular wallet effectively becomes the IdP. Each wallet can only hold currency issued or managed by the clearing house / central bank that issued that money (accounts themselves acting here as the user's identity service provider). I think this concept of physicality can (and should) be expanded to lots of other "nouns" that we would like to have live in only ONE place at a time in our digital universe (the whole Net or perhaps just a local subnet). As long as each one is *uniquely* attached to a FQDN (or another software object that is already attached to a FQDN, potentially ad infinitum...) and each previous instance (in some other physical location) has been publicly invalidated before the newly created instance arrives in its present destination, then we can trust its uniqueness.
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> OK, I'm probably rambling now... while I could go on and on, I've probably already ruffled more feathers than perhaps I should in one day.
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> Cheers. ;-)
>>> 
>>>  
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> Dave Lampton
>>>  @dave_lampton
>>>  DaveLampton
>>>  +DaveLampton
>>> www.linkedin.com/in/davelampton/
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>>> On Wed, Jun 11, 2014 at 3:03 PM, ☮ elf Pavlik ☮ <perpetual-tripper@wwelves.org> wrote:
>>>> On 06/10/2014 06:25 AM, Manu Sporny wrote:
>>>> > TL;DR: There is now an open source demo of credential-based login
>>>> > for the Web. We think it’s better than Persona, WebID+TLS, and
>>>> > OpenID Connect. If we can build enough support for Identity
>>>> > Credentials over the next year, we’d like to standardize it via
>>>> > the W3C.
>>>> Congratulations!
>>>> 
>>>> I find it very impressing especially since you got running pushed to a
>>>> public repo - kudos++
>>>> 
>>>> First question coming to my mind:
>>>> 
>>>> "The way that both Mozilla Persona and OpenID do it is fairly similar.
>>>> OpenID assumes that your email address maps to your identity provider."
>>>> 
>>>> In my case, and I believe nowadays quite many other people, I control
>>>> domain which I use for email address. With simple DNS configuration I
>>>> use different 'providers' for my email server and my web server (here
>>>> myself).
>>>> In this situation I find using webfinger[1] (also used by OpenID
>>>> Connect), more attractive then hiding from myself via
>>>> http://login-hub.com - even if His Holiness @Pontifex with His Holiness
>>>> @DalaiLama would run it very carefully together ;)
>>>> 
>>>> I still need to take some time and wrap my head around your design but
>>>> maybe you could easily evaluate complexity of including webfinger based
>>>> flow as an alternative option for those who may prefer such setup?
>>>> 
>>>> Once again - GREAT WORK!!!
>>>> 
>>>> [1] http://webfinger.net
> 

Received on Friday, 13 June 2014 09:40:28 UTC

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