Re: [Cfrg] draft-irtf-cfrg-eddsa -- one final proposal for domain separation (context labels) for ed25519

Martin Thomson <> Thu, 21 April 2016 05:58 UTC

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Date: Thu, 21 Apr 2016 15:58:22 +1000
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From: Martin Thomson <>
To: David Jacobson <>
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Cc:, "D. J. Bernstein" <>
Subject: Re: [Cfrg] draft-irtf-cfrg-eddsa -- one final proposal for domain separation (context labels) for ed25519
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On 21 April 2016 at 15:47, David Jacobson <> wrote:
> If you want to include a NUL byte to separate the context from the following
> stuff, then to avoid ambiguity you need to require that the context not
> contain any NUL bytes.   And this rules out general binary blobs as context
> values, including general ASN.1 objects.

Yes, we can be more concrete if you like:

It's possible to say that only necessary requirement is that no label
be a prefix of any other.  One way of doing that is with a proper
bijective mapping like the length-and-value encoding used in Ed448.
However, that makes zero-length contexts incompatible with existing,
context-free signatures; or to retcon existing uses into being good

BTW, the plan is to submit this as a -00 soon, but here's our recommendation:

I'm sure that this will stimulate many fruitful discussions, much like this one.