Re: Security for various IETF services

Randall Gellens <randy@qti.qualcomm.com> Thu, 10 April 2014 02:01 UTC

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Date: Wed, 9 Apr 2014 19:01:16 -0700
To: Phillip Hallam-Baker <hallam@gmail.com>, "Fred Baker (fred)" <fred@cisco.com>
From: Randall Gellens <randy@qti.qualcomm.com>
Subject: Re: Security for various IETF services
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At 9:12 AM -0400 4/9/14, Phillip Hallam-Baker wrote:

>>  To that end, I could imagine a requirement for some kind of 
>> roadmap. "The tools that access the IETF SMTP and HTTP sites use 
>> protocols X, Y, and Z. After <date>, we require them to use Secure 
>> X, Secure Y, and Secure Z, and traffic originated by the IETF 
>> sites shall use such protocols."
>
>  This sounds like a good idea.

To me it sounds like a knee-jerk reaction rather than an assessment 
of what we need to protect and what the costs are of various 
mechanisms.

>  But we currently have a big problem in
>  that the IETF has two email security standards, not one. And the two
>  sides don't talk and this has created a stalemate that has blocked
>  ubiquitous use of either.

We actually have a few more email security standards, but regardless, 
I don't think the major barrier to deployment is that there is not a 
single standard.  There are a number of reasons why email end-to-end 
encryption is rarely used, which include the difficulty of managing 
keys, but it's also worth pointing out that end-to-end encrypted 
email breaks a lot of the anti-spam, unless users share their private 
keys with their mail provider (which kind of defeats the point).

-- 
Randall Gellens
Opinions are personal;    facts are suspect;    I speak for myself only
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