Re: [Acme] ACME or EST?

Tony Arcieri <> Tue, 25 November 2014 23:00 UTC

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From: Tony Arcieri <>
Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2014 14:59:45 -0800
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To: Paul Hoffman <>
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Cc: Richard Barnes <>,
Subject: Re: [Acme] ACME or EST?
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On Tue, Nov 25, 2014 at 2:50 PM, Paul Hoffman <> wrote:

> The JOSE message structure has been much more problem-laden than CMS ever
> was. Yes, ASN.1 is ugly; many people feel the same (or worse) about JOSE.

We make extensive use of both CMS and JOSE for our enterprise's HSM-backed
encryption service. We've gone full bore switching from CMS to JOSE with
everyone agreeing CMS is terrible and JOSE is less terrible.

Are there specific concerns you have? I think the main advantage is JOSE is
considerably easier to implement than ASN.1, and aside from a handful of
problems has fewer potential ambiguities and misinterpretations than ASN.1
(e.g. BERserk). JSON largely follows the LANGSEC requirements of:
content-free or regular and full recognition before processing. ASN.1 fails
this test.

Personally I'd probably be more of a fan of something like Cap'n Proto for
the message format as an ASN.1 replacement, but compared to CMS, JOSE has
been a breath of fresh air for us.

Seeing ACME is using JOSE actually makes me more excited about it.

Tony Arcieri