Re: SSL Protocol and the IETF

"Vinton G. Cerf" <> Thu, 16 March 1995 04:47 UTC

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Date: Wed, 15 Mar 1995 23:43:00 -0500
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From: "Vinton G. Cerf" <>
To: iab <>, iesg <iesg@CNRI.Reston.VA.US>
Cc: jbstaff <>, atri <>, paquin <>, kipp <>, Jeff Treuhaft <>
Subject: Re: SSL Protocol and the IETF
Message-Id: <73950316044337/0001050002NA4EM@MCIMAIL.COM>

>In a recent discussion with Netscape Communications, it became
>clear that Netscape would like to offer SSL as input to the
>ongoing network security architecture/protocol discussions
>in IAB and IETF. The "Secure Socket Layer" protocol arose out
>of World-Wide Web work that Netscape did for purposes of securing
>transactions traversing the Internet. This same protocol is
>doubtless under discussion, along with SHTTP, in the WWW Consortium.
>After our extended experience with ONC RCP and XDR, I pressed
>Netscape rather hard on the terms and conditions under which
>they were making this offer. I received the note below and it
>reflects what I understand to be a genuine willingness to make
>the specifications freely available for further work in the
>IETF and that whatever the security outcome for IP turns out
>to be, Netscape is pleased to participate in its development
>and implementation. 
>I believe that this contribution could be considered as input
>both to WWW and to IETF security working group efforts - though
>I leave the latter to Jeff Schiller's capable judgement.
>I also want to make it clear that the fact that I am forwarding
>this to you is an artifact of it's having been sent to me first
>and not an endorsement of any kind. There are a number of inputs
>to the whole security framework discussion and I have encouraged
>all interested parties to make their contributions available
>without encumbrance. 
>I am copying the Netscape folks on this message and by this
>means I want to remind them and emphasize that in offering the
>specifications for consideration they should anticipate
>that what comes out may not look at all like SSL, may not
>retain that name, may incorporate ideas from SHTTP and many other
>Date:     Tue Mar 14, 1995 09:02 pm EST
>Source-Date: Tue, 14 Mar 1995 18:05:24 -0800
>From:     Jeff Treuhaft
>          EMS: INTERNET / MCI ID: 376-5414
>          MBX:
>As you requested from the meeting this morning.
>Netscape Communications intends to do the following:
>1. Formally present the SSL protocol specification to the IETF and undertake a 
>standards track process for the SSL protocol spec within the framework of the 
>IETF Working Group structure.
>2. Do so without any strings, royalties, or other restrictions as to the use, 
>modification, or ultimate distribution of a future protocol specification 
>derived from the SSL protocol and endorsed as a standard by the IETF. 
>3. Support the protocol that is the outcome of taking SSL through the IETF 
>standards process in the Netscape line of products.
>        *  Netscape Communications
>                TEL: 415.528.2617  *  501 East Middlefield Rd.
>                FAX: 415.528.4120  *  Mountain View, CA 94043