Re: What ASN.1 got right

Michael Thomas <> Thu, 04 March 2021 19:32 UTC

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Subject: Re: What ASN.1 got right
References: <20210302010731.GL30153@localhost> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>
From: Michael Thomas <>
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Date: Thu, 4 Mar 2021 11:32:04 -0800
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On 3/4/21 11:24 AM, Keith Moore wrote:
> On 3/4/21 2:17 PM, Michael Thomas wrote:
>> My point here isn't to defend how TLS works, it's to say that almost 
>> nothing requires the truly offline verification aspect that x.509 
>> brings to the table.
> Emphatically disagree.   There are lots of situations requiring "truly 
> offline" certificate verification.
What? Seriously what? A Mars rover, maybe? And if they truly need 
offline verification, fine use X.509. For all the rest it is just so 
much more unneeded baggage and confusion.
>> I can (and have) built a asymmetric key login mechanism that just 
>> puts naked public keys into a user table of a database, for example. 
>> The x.509-first view of the asymmetric keys world has confused a lot 
>> of thinking and had I introduced it to that mechanism it would have 
>> worlds more complex and much harder to understand. Designers should, 
>> dare I say it, be looking at the actual requirements of the system 
>> before settling on a particular solution.
> Perhaps you should take your own advice.
I did take my own advice. The result was DKIM. So did the SSH folks 
which works just fine on a disconnected network.