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

Nico Williams <nico@cryptonector.com> Thu, 13 March 2014 00:48 UTC

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Date: Wed, 12 Mar 2014 19:48:46 -0500
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From: Nico Williams <nico@cryptonector.com>
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Subject: Re: [dane] [saag] Need better opportunistic terminology
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On Wed, Mar 12, 2014 at 7:37 PM, Viktor Dukhovni
<viktor1dane@dukhovni.org>; wrote:
> On Wed, Mar 12, 2014 at 02:59:34PM -0700, Joe Touch wrote:
>
> [ It seems the discussion has moved on beyond the specifics of the title of
>   the SMTP with DANE draft: "SMTP security via opportunistic DANE TLS".  So
>   if anyone has a considered proposal for a better name, please start a new
>   thread on the DANE list only, or just send me your suggestions off-list. ]

It has moved beyond SMTP w/ DANE because we actually need general
terminology for some of these behaviors.

>     2. Opportunistic use of authenticated TLS (e.g. via DANE) with
>        fallback to "0." when the destination authentication policy
>        is not available.
>
>         http://www.postfix.org/TLS_README.html#client_tls_dane
>         (with the "dane" security level)
>
>        Here when "usable" secure TLSA records are published,
>        the server is always authenticated.  But otherwise, we
>        do our best to at least not send in the clear.

Right, we should distinguish "authenticate with TLS server PKI" from
authenticate via DANE".

> So perhaps a small list of terms (nouns or noun-phrases) will not
> cover all the models in a generic way.  We can however provide some
> guidance on the appropriate use of some popular "adjectives", to
> encourage people to use them in a more appropriate, consistent
> fashion.
>
> My contention is, for example, that the use of "opportunistic" in
> "opportunistic TLS" to describe TLS in case "0" is a proper use of
> that adjective.  Similarly "opportunistic DANE TLS" for case "2"
> is also reasonable.  By way of contrast one might speak of "mandatory
> TLS", "mandatory DANE TLS", ...

No argument from me.  You're right too that we're going to compose two
or more words.

> Finally, the terminology is the least of our worries, lets get more
> of the security protocols deployed!

Well, you'd be surprised.  Terminology makes a huge difference 'round
these here parts.  In this particular space we have a chance to define
generic terms because a lot of the behaviors in question are new(ish).
 Sounds like a huge win to me!

Nico
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