Re: [dane] [saag] Need better opportunistic terminology

Joe Touch <> Thu, 13 March 2014 15:11 UTC

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From: Joe Touch <>
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Subject: Re: [dane] [saag] Need better opportunistic terminology
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On 3/13/2014 12:59 AM, Olle E. Johansson wrote:
> On 12 Mar 2014, at 21:02, Derek Atkins <> wrote:
>> Joe Touch <> writes:
>>> Why not just use the term "unauthenticated encryption", when that's
>>> exactly what's happening?
>> Well, it's not necessarily what's happening.  The data itself might
>> still have "integrity protection" (which is a form of authentication.
>> You're just not authenticating the endpoint, which means you could be
>> subject to a MitM attack.  Alternate terms could be "Unauthenticated
>> Keying" or "Unauthenticated Key Exchange" which are closer (IMHO) to
>> what's going on.
> To get any movement in this area among developers and sysadmins,
> we need a language that any sysadmin or developer understands.
> I believe we can easily get them to understand "Opportunistic encryption"
> but if we go into explaining "keying" or "key exchange" they will be lost in
> the OpenSSL documentation maze again.

The problem is that OE isn't what's going on when you simply choose not 
to authenticate keys. Yes, it's a simple term, but it's also an 
incorrect one.

I appreciate the desire to find a cute marketing term, which is why I 
offered "zero-ID" - which is more accurate and easier to explain to 
developers and sysadmins (what do you *do* to make OE? it's easy to make 
zero-ID - you stop using IDs).

I'm not wed to that term, but market-speak is your metric, OE fails on 
multiple counts.

> As a side note:
> Use the term "best-effort TLS" to describe that a SIP ua is perfectly
> allowed to set up a TLS session based on policy regardless if there
> is a "sips:" URI. I don't know where that terminalogy came from. It's
> always used with quotation marks in the RFC. This "best-effort TLS"
> still requires verification of the certificate though.

That's similar reasoning as to why I don't like OE.