Re: [plasma] Advanced Policies

"Fitch, Scott C" <> Sat, 06 August 2011 22:06 UTC

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Date: Sat, 06 Aug 2011 18:06:33 -0400
From: "Fitch, Scott C" <>
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Subject: Re: [plasma] Advanced Policies
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Ok. I think it's coming together for me, including my other comments on PEP bootstrapping. To test my understanding, the Roles from the PDP could be thought of as "policy collections" and the Policies as a pointer to all the resource attributes that the PDP needs to make its access decision. Is that a correct (re)characterization?

I definitely agree with Trevor about limiting the inputs that a user needs to make, particularly for email, which most users take a ready-fire-aim approach to. So the question that comes to mind is whether there are other uses of those attributes outside of plasma that may be helpful in having available directly in the message? Document retention/destruction and search are two that come to mind.

Another conderation is the number of individual policies that this approach results in, particularly for organizations that have thousands of active licenses and agreements. 

This is really an architecture allocation question: what component(s) are responsible for managing and resolving the individual resource attributes. It needs to be done somewhere, and plasma is recommending the PDP. I'm content to have a better understanding (I hope) of the plasma approach for the moment. I know Trevor has thought this through a lot and will be quite happy to share his views when he get back. Please do correct me if my understanding is still off or if you disagree with the considerations above though. 

Sent from my BlackBerry

----- Original Message -----
From: Jim Schaad []
Sent: Saturday, August 06, 2011 05:27 PM
To: Fitch, Scott C; <>
Subject: EXTERNAL: RE: [plasma] Advanced Policies

Having separate threads is frequently simpler so I have no objections to

I really wish Trevor was not on vacation so he could respond.  Instead I
will attempt to channel him and try not to get things really wrong.

Based on previous conversations that I have had with Trevor (including last
week at the Plasma side bar), the assumption we are working on is that users
are not the brightest of people and things should be made as simple as
possible for them.   One of the corollaries of this is that options should
generally not be given to users for configuration purposes.  This means that
there is no expectation that a generic ITAR policy would ever exist for a
company.   Instead you would define a different policy for each of the ITAR
export licenses/ projects.

Thus if you work on aircraft as an engineer, you would choose a role for a
specific plane and get a small list of policies.  It might be that the
end-user would not even see that it was ITAR export controlled, but rather
just that it is internal, external for that specific project.

The more options that make the end user select, the more likely that are to
get things wrong has been a basic philosophy that Trevor has espoused during
the design.   Counter arguments would be interesting, but probably better
after he gets back at the end of the month.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: [] On
> Behalf Of Fitch, Scott C
> Sent: Thursday, August 04, 2011 2:05 PM
> To:
> Subject: [plasma] Advanced Policies
> (Apologies for all the posts. Just trying to keep the threads separate for
> commenting.)
> It's important to acknowledge that many Advanced policies will required
> information about the message beyond just the Policy identifier. An
> from the export control world: An email may be governed by the ITAR
> however, access control decisions are made based ITAR and the specific
> export license or agreement that applies to the message. Simply
> that the document is export controlled doesn't given the PDP enough
> information to make a grant or deny decision.
> Stated differently, an access decision is based on attributes about the
> requester, resource, environment, and action. The plasma scenarios for
> Advanced Policies should include the ability to convey attributes (labels)
> about the message (including, but not limited to the policy identifier)
> attributes about the recipient.
> Scott Fitch
> Cyber Architect
> Lockheed Martin Enterprise Business Services
> _______________________________________________
> plasma mailing list