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Re: WebRTC Certificate Management - a plea to NOT use Web Crypto

From: Harry Halpin <hhalpin@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 06 Jan 2015 10:30:30 +0100
Message-ID: <54ABAB36.6080501@w3.org>
To: Ryan Sleevi <sleevi@google.com>, Justin Uberti <juberti@google.com>
CC: Eric Rescorla <ekr@rtfm.com>, Martin Thomson <martin.thomson@gmail.com>, "public-webcrypto@w3.org" <public-webcrypto@w3.org>, "public-webrtc@w3.org" <public-webrtc@w3.org>, Richard Barnes <rlb@ipv.sx>

On 01/06/2015 02:24 AM, Ryan Sleevi wrote:
> On Mon, Jan 5, 2015 at 4:42 PM, Justin Uberti <juberti@google.com> wrote:
>> We did talk about it, and my takeaway at the time was that the best path
>> forward would be for WebRTC to define its own key-generate function, and
>> return an object that was API-compatible with WebCrypto (so that we didn't
>> have two different objects in the web platform to represent 'key'). As Eric
>> says, this became the basis of the current proposal, so you can blame me for
>> any misinterpretation.
> Without trying to set out blame (since this was a conversation held
> with multiple people), I think the important thing to focus on here is
> "so that we didn't have two different objects in the web platform to
> represent 'key'"
> My original message, and my point of view, is to challenge
> 1) the idea that what WebRTC is dealing with is logically a 'key'
> 2) the idea that it's a bad thing to have two different objects for
> these two different APIs
> Put differently (to avoid both double negatives and ambiguity)
> - I do not think that WebRTC is dealing with anything that logically
> makes sense to be dealt with at a 'key' level binding
> - More importantly, that users and developers are better served by
> treating these two different APIs as different objects with different
> use cases
> I'm not sure how best to move this conversation forward. I see there
> being at least two areas of disagreement on this thread:
> - Cullen's assertion that WebRTC serves as a form of a crypto API, and
> thus we should strive for alignment
> - Richard's assertion that Web Crypto designed CryptoKey to be the
> basis for key objects

Although the larger question (should WebRTC use WebCrypto) is clearly a
WebRTC question, if people in both WebCrypto and WebRTC want to set up a
joint teleconference to sort this out, I'm happy to set it up at a time
convenient for both parties.

In general, it should be expected that other standards in the future
build on WebCrypto. That being said, with W3C hat off, I think Ryan's
objections in this case make sense but again, we don't want two kinds of

> The former is a question for WebRTC WG, the latter is a question for
> the Web Crypto WG.
> While these could benefit from more discussion, I think the most
> important thing to do would be to keep in mind the priority of
> constituencies [1], and in particular, asking how the different
> proposed solutions work with developers' expectations. I think a
> solution that uses CryptoKey for WebRTC is going to fly in the face of
> a lot of expectations, and the only way in which it seems to align is
> in theoretical purity (since it provides no practical value to
> developers and nominal value for _some_ implementors)
> [1] http://www.w3.org/TR/html-design-principles/#priority-of-constituencies
Received on Tuesday, 6 January 2015 09:30:41 UTC

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