Re: [dispatch] [art] Plain text JSON digital signatures

Bret Jordan <> Wed, 28 April 2021 02:29 UTC

Return-Path: <>
Received: from localhost (localhost []) by (Postfix) with ESMTP id 66EC83A1062; Tue, 27 Apr 2021 19:29:12 -0700 (PDT)
X-Virus-Scanned: amavisd-new at
X-Spam-Flag: NO
X-Spam-Score: -2.095
X-Spam-Status: No, score=-2.095 tagged_above=-999 required=5 tests=[BAYES_00=-1.9, DKIM_SIGNED=0.1, DKIM_VALID=-0.1, DKIM_VALID_AU=-0.1, DKIM_VALID_EF=-0.1, FREEMAIL_FROM=0.001, HTML_FONT_LOW_CONTRAST=0.001, HTML_MESSAGE=0.001, MIME_QP_LONG_LINE=0.001, SPF_HELO_NONE=0.001, SPF_PASS=-0.001, URIBL_BLOCKED=0.001] autolearn=ham autolearn_force=no
Authentication-Results: (amavisd-new); dkim=pass (2048-bit key)
Received: from ([]) by localhost ( []) (amavisd-new, port 10024) with ESMTP id P3B8DUKI29gA; Tue, 27 Apr 2021 19:29:07 -0700 (PDT)
Received: from ( [IPv6:2607:f8b0:4864:20::436]) (using TLSv1.2 with cipher ECDHE-RSA-AES128-GCM-SHA256 (128/128 bits)) (No client certificate requested) by (Postfix) with ESMTPS id 45C583A1060; Tue, 27 Apr 2021 19:29:07 -0700 (PDT)
Received: by with SMTP id v191so921588pfc.8; Tue, 27 Apr 2021 19:29:07 -0700 (PDT)
DKIM-Signature: v=1; a=rsa-sha256; c=relaxed/relaxed;; s=20161025; h=content-transfer-encoding:from:mime-version:subject:date:message-id :references:cc:in-reply-to:to; bh=ImyPWRB0TPrgYbHBaH1s6y5suW8JVeP8WJQwwdM+NuE=; b=uldO5ph3HQ6tize5lfZnibljd4hfjiw2dVFg0AySJWsBh8qzNs8ovo8PoyDuUQrm0U JiPJHYtI8VIA1WK5Y6sRPr80ybhGWhZHFznH8jU4Bw4JIMShLZgtvokDjxcBA4gwTyX8 C0h/PGbS6Ml3fZvQQRrS8shOJjV2NRo1VfMrNBLT/+fwtjEgMgvZHu3WpFdLt8Ur3PbX UH+n/7b6W0CiG8I1LA8PNTaZnFLQXYJ1euZAtv8nrV9cIVBmMLfqsxHT91n9QheXmpOF /DYJudYhRkk38h88es2lBPecuF8O6lik+5ET7W8Vs1S5gC5Mi+nUqv5CNPzrqHNyD6fm K2gg==
X-Google-DKIM-Signature: v=1; a=rsa-sha256; c=relaxed/relaxed;; s=20161025; h=x-gm-message-state:content-transfer-encoding:from:mime-version :subject:date:message-id:references:cc:in-reply-to:to; bh=ImyPWRB0TPrgYbHBaH1s6y5suW8JVeP8WJQwwdM+NuE=; b=Gqn3/xO8tO9IigTYw2xJppBNk/HjNE5QHJ+3Xrkh2l2G0GBoH58l/qrJiQ8IRasg78 DeFn1QIifVHsy7FQGeAuahvhqkJrhebGHNQiMCvEpeHKVKJOLYNdMrTwxCFxTZz4Hzea oCTu2UQtDPxG7O/KMWpJwr1IBrBF/wZina+jvpmI61TY0FCgOMusDuuROu4mRB2m/d0p gy9aOAoQvjGiPJ4Tfkw6GAi+JFlsMZX7fEU+HRpyzHBFMVznJPOudlV3STmOOVJ+yuah d+Zr+Djf8PRbQ3/OR/jTnZJuSoOUND8SZmG9n2B5oym8IS5FwwhJoa52mSLGIYW2tCCf sTRg==
X-Gm-Message-State: AOAM531CSlAILe+nUO6G7gZu7ttMCbrowRvGZPlTXvenvHSWK+0WvDGs CIy9rGi4xPIrdP/L28LUMctidDQ6JG0=
X-Google-Smtp-Source: ABdhPJwu0LDVUuFHjGFhT23YsF+2R0tGCe4+j3y7BQy8+St96kdI5/f+HbAIQrjd+koMElDjBRjpjw==
X-Received: by 2002:a63:6c06:: with SMTP id h6mr25448864pgc.95.1619576945200; Tue, 27 Apr 2021 19:29:05 -0700 (PDT)
Received: from [] ([]) by with ESMTPSA id gf21sm3535887pjb.20.2021. (version=TLS1_3 cipher=TLS_AES_128_GCM_SHA256 bits=128/128); Tue, 27 Apr 2021 19:29:04 -0700 (PDT)
Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary="Apple-Mail-01B157E7-5699-4FBC-BA95-089ED16BBAC6"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
From: Bret Jordan <>
Mime-Version: 1.0 (1.0)
Date: Tue, 27 Apr 2021 20:29:03 -0600
Message-Id: <>
References: <>
Cc: DISPATCH <>, IETF SecDispatch <>,,
In-Reply-To: <>
To: Dick Hardt <>
X-Mailer: iPhone Mail (18D70)
Archived-At: <>
Subject: Re: [dispatch] [art] Plain text JSON digital signatures
X-Mailman-Version: 2.1.29
Precedence: list
List-Id: DISPATCH Working Group Mail List <>
List-Unsubscribe: <>, <>
List-Archive: <>
List-Post: <>
List-Help: <>
List-Subscribe: <>, <>
X-List-Received-Date: Wed, 28 Apr 2021 02:29:12 -0000

Luckily this time we have RFC8785 that solves the canonicalization problem for JSON. 


Sent from my Commodore 64

PGP Fingerprint: 63B4 FC53 680A 6B7D 1447  F2C0 74F8 ACAE 7415 0050

> On Apr 27, 2021, at 7:39 PM, Dick Hardt <> wrote:
> I am supportive of this work, and would also be willing to work towards a PS. I am seeing rapid growth in the demand to embed JWS in JWS.
> Given my experience with XML-DSig (see below) making it more XML-DSig like does not sound like a good thing.
> For any interested in some JWT history, when we were brewing up what became OAuth 2.0, we did not want to tie a token format to the implementation as many deployments had their own proprietary token formats -- but we knew new deployments would benefit from standardizing a token.
> Our requirements were:
> - URL safe (access tokens at the time were often passed as a query parameter -- I know, not the best idea, but working with what people wanted)
> - HTTP header safe
> - richer than name / value pairs
> Options we considered:
> ASN.1 - the 60s are calling and want their data back
> XML-DSig - not URL safe, large size, and I personally had many scars canonicalizing XML. (An earlier company of mine had a contract to build XML-DSig libraries for a few languages)
> JSON was becoming very cool at that time, and with base 64 URL safe encoding the string, it was URL safe, and treating the JSON text as binary dealt with the canonicalization concerns -- and JSON canonicalization did not exist.
> Using a dot as the separator between header, payload, and signature made it easy to parse. The dot was URL safe, but not in the base 64 set.
> And Simple Web Tokens were born -- to be renamed JSON Web Tokens.
> /Dick
> ᐧ
>> On Tue, Apr 27, 2021 at 8:28 AM Bret Jordan <> wrote:
>> Dear Dispatch,
>> Anders Rundgren, Samuel, Erdtman, and I have been working on an ID for your consideration. This document describes how to use JWS and JCS to create plain-text JSON signatures. The abstract reads as follows:
>> This document describes a method for extending the scope of the JSON Web Signature (JWS) standard, called JWS/CT.  By combining the detached mode of JWS with the JSON Canonicalization Scheme (JCS), JWS/CT enables JSON objects to remain in the JSON format after being signed (aka "Clear Text" signing).  In addition to supporting a consistent data format, this arrangement also simplifies documentation, debugging, and logging.  The ability to embed signed JSON objects in other JSON objects, makes the use of counter-signatures straightforward.
>> The data tracker page for this:
>> As you know there are large ecosystems that needs digital signatures for plain text JSON data, meaning where the JSON data is not base64 encoded. This ID provides a solution using existing IETF RFCs to make this work. Further, this work looks to be adopted by many groups and organizations from financial services, threat intelligence, and incident response. 
>> We are not sure what direction would be best for this work in the IETF, should we send to the ISE for publication or do you want to create a working group. Ultimately there is a lot of work that could be done in this space to meet the needs of the market. We would be happy with releasing these IDs for ISE publication, or for creating a working group to move them forward. It is just important to note that the market is in desperate need of these solutions. If you want to take it for a spin, there is a JWS/CT playground at:
>> Thanks
>> Bret
>> -- 
>> Sent from my TI-99/4A
>> PGP Fingerprint: 63B4 FC53 680A 6B7D 1447  F2C0 74F8 ACAE 7415 0050
>> _______________________________________________
>> art mailing list