Re: [OAUTH-WG] Rechartering JSON based request.

Mike Jones <> Thu, 27 October 2011 17:56 UTC

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From: Mike Jones <>
To: Phil Hunt <>, "" <>
Thread-Topic: [OAUTH-WG] Rechartering JSON based request.
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In OpenID Connect, the two tokens are used to access two different sets of resources:  the "id_token" for claims about the logged-in session and the "code" token to access the UserInfo endpoint for claims about the user.

FYI, see for a write-up on encoding multiple response types.  (I'm told that at least parts of this are already being used by Google and Facebook.)

                                                                -- Mike

From: [] On Behalf Of Phil Hunt
Sent: Thursday, October 27, 2011 10:49 AM
Cc: OAuth WG
Subject: Re: [OAUTH-WG] Rechartering JSON based request.


What is the reason behind having a separate ID_Token from the access Token?  I understand the tokens are used to retrieve different information, but not sure I fully understand why separate tokens are needed.

I ask because I recall others have asked for multi-token response....trying to understand if there is a general use case behind this requirement.



On 2011-10-27, at 10:33 AM,<> wrote:

Hi John,

why do you need to include the OAuth request parameters into the JSON document? I would expect OpenId Connect to extend OAuth none-intrusively. This would mean to use the JSON document for OpenId connect specific parameters only. Alternatively, the JSON request style could be adopted as part of OAuth. Then, the URI request parameters could be omitted.


Gesendet mit BlackBerry(r) Webmail von Telekom Deutschland

From: John Bradley <<>>
Date: Thu, 27 Oct 2011 13:52:31 -0300
To: Torsten Lodderstedt<<>>
Cc: Nat Sakimura<<>>; OAuth WG<<>>
Subject: Re: [OAUTH-WG] Rechartering JSON based request.

Hopefully to make it more compatible with existing OAuth 2 libraries.    At least leave open the possibility of dealing with it at a higher level.

The argument has been made that you probably need to modify the library anyway to check that the duplicate parameters are a match.

If there is consensus that the parameters should only be in the JSON then we would happily not duplicate them.

It is mostly a case of trying to fit in to the existing OAuth work and libraries.

John B.

On 2011-10-27, at 2:22 AM, Torsten Lodderstedt wrote:

why is it neccessary to duplicate the OAuth request parameters?

Am 27.10.2011 00:31, schrieb John Bradley:
Nat and I just refreshed the I-D for draft-sakimura-oauth-requrl.

It is essentially  a standardization of the method we are using in openID Connect to make signed requests to the Authorization server.

We do have the issue that parameters in the signed/encrypted request necessarily duplicate the query parameters to keep it a valid OAuth request plus an extension.

Even if it doesn't wind up as a OAuth WG item it is probably worth people looking at it before the final openID spec is voted on.

John B.

On 2011-10-26, at 3:16 PM, Torsten Lodderstedt wrote:

Hi Nat,

I think your proposal would be a useful OAuth enhancement. A JSON-based request format would allow for more complex requests (e.g. carrying resource server URLs and corresponding scope values ;-)).

Please note: I also think the way this mechanism is introduced and used in the current OpenID connect spec requires OpenID connect clients and servers to handle OAuth request parameters differently than for standard OAuth requests. Introducing the JSON based claim request capability to OAuth would be a way to cope with this.


Am 22.10.2011 16:00, schrieb Nat Sakimura:

Just a clarification:

Although my expired draft is 'request by reference', what was proposed through it at the iiw really is a generalized JSON based claim request capability. It could be passed by value as JSON or could be passed by reference. The later is an optimization for bandwidth constrained network as well as strengthening security in some ways. This capability already exists in OpenID Connect but it is actually an underpinning transport, so it probably should belong to OAuth instead. This was the primary reason for the proposal.


On Thu, Oct 20, 2011 at 3:56 PM, Torsten Lodderstedt <<>> wrote:
Hi all,

my prioritization is driven by the goal to make OAuth the authorization framework of choice for any internet standard protocol, such as WebDAV, IMAP, SMTP or SIP. So let me first explain what is missing from my point of view and explain some thoughts how to fill the gaps.

A standard protocol is defined in terms of resource types and messages by a body (e.g. IETF, OIDF, OMA), (hopefully) implemented in many places, and used by different but deployment-independent clients. OAuth-based protocol specifications must also define scope values (e.g. read, write, send) and their relation to the resource types and messages. The different deployments expose the standard protocol on different resource server endpoints. In my opinion, it is fundamental to clearly distinguish scope values (standardized, static) and  resource server addresses (deployment specific) and to manage their relationships. The current scope definition is much to weak and insufficient. Probably, the UMA concepts of hosts, resources sets, and corresponding scopes could be adopted for that purpose.

OAuth today requires clients to register with the service provider before they are deployed. Would you really expect IMAP clients, e.g. Thunderbird, to register with any a-Mail services upfront? So clients should be given a way to register dynamically to the authorization servers. This should also allow us to cover "client instance" aspects. It is interesting to note, that such a mechanism would allow us to get rid of secret-less clients and the one-time usage requirement for authorization codes.

We also assume the client to know the URLs of the resource server and the corresponding authorization server and to use HTTPS server authentication to verify the resource server's authenticity. This is impossible in the standard scenario. Clients must be able to discover the authorization server a particular resource server relies on at runtime. The discovery mechanism could be specified by the OAuth WG, but could also be part of an application protocols specification. But we MUST find another way to prevent token phishing by counterfeit resource servers.

As one approach, the client could pass the (previously HTTPS validated) resource server's URL with the authorization request. The authorization server should then refuse such requests for any unknown (counterfeit) resource servers. Such an additional parameter could also serve as namespace for scope values and enable service providers to run multiple instances of the same service within a single deployment.

If the additional data enlarges the request payload to much, we could consider to adopt the "request by reference" proposal.

Let's now assume, OAuth is successful in the world of standard protocols and we will see plenty of deployments with a bunch of different OAuth protected resource servers. Shall this servers all be accessible with a single token? In my opinion, this would cause security, privacy and/or scalability/performance problems. To give just the most obvious example, the target audience of such a token cannot be restricted enough, which may allow a resource server (or an attacker in control of it) to abuse the token on other servers. But the current design of the code grant type forces deployments to use the same token for all services. What is needed from my point of view is a way to request and issue multiple server-specific access tokens with a single authorization process.

I've been advocating this topic for a long time now and I'm still convinced this is required to really complete the core design. We at Deutsche Telekom needed and implemented this function on top of the existing core. In my opinion, a core enhancement would be easier to handle and more powerful. If others support this topic, I would be willed to submit an I-D describing a possible solution.

If we take standards really seriously, then service providers should be given the opportunity to implement their service by utilizing standard server implementations. This creates the challenge to find a standardized protocol between authorization server and resource server to exchange authorization data. Depending on the token design (self-contained vs. handle) this could be solved by either standardizing a token format (JWT) or an authorization API.

Based on the rationale given above, my list is as follows (topics w/o I-D are marked with *):

- Revocation (low hanging fruit since I-D is ready and implemented in some places)
- Resource server notion*
- Multiple access tokens*
- Dynamic client registration

 1) Dynamic Client Registration Protocol
 4) Client Instance Extension
- Discovery
 (10) Simple Web Discovery, probably other specs as well
- (6) JSON Web Token
- (7) JSON Web Token (JWT) Bearer Profile
- 8) User Experience Extension
- Device flow
- 9) Request by Reference
 (depending resource server notion and multiple access tokens)

Zitat von Hannes Tschofenig <<>>:

Hi all,

in preparation of the upcoming IETF meeting Barry and I would like to start a re-chartering discussion.  We both are currently attending the Internet Identity Workshop and so we had the chance to solicit input from the participants. This should serve as a discussion starter.

Potential future OAuth charter items (in random order):


1) Dynamic Client Registration Protocol

Available document:

2) Token Revocation

Available document:

3) UMA

Available document:

4) Client Instance Extension

Available document:

5) XML Encoding

Available document:

6) JSON Web Token

Available document:

7) JSON Web Token (JWT) Bearer Profile

Available document:

8) User Experience Extension

Available document:

9) Request by Reference

Available document:

10) Simple Web Discovery

Available document:


We have the following questions:

a) Are you interested in any of the above-listed items? (as a reviewer, co-author, implementer, or someone who would like to deploy). It is also useful to know if you think that we shouldn't work on a specific item.

b) Are there other items you would like to see the group working on?

Note: In case your document is expired please re-submit it.

Hannes & Barry

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Nat Sakimura (=nat)
Chairman, OpenID Foundation

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