Re: [TLS] HTTPS client-certificate-authentication in browsers

Henry Story <> Wed, 27 July 2011 21:02 UTC

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From: Henry Story <>
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Date: Wed, 27 Jul 2011 23:02:26 +0200
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Subject: Re: [TLS] HTTPS client-certificate-authentication in browsers
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On 27 Jul 2011, at 22:29, Martin Rex wrote:

> Anders Rundgren wrote:
>>> If you want to do application-level session management, then you
>>> ought to do application level session management, and NOT try to
>>> mess around and interfere with Single Sign-On functionality at the
>>> transport layer.
>> Sure, but the question was to use client-side PKI in such an application.
> TLS does *NOT* provide any PKI functionality to applications,
> never did, never will.
> If you need that, you'll have to newly build it form ground up,
> potentially re-using existing technologies and protocols
> (such as PKCS#7/CMS).

Yes, you can for example use X509 as such legacy technology, and with
simple WebArchitecture build a distributed public key infrastructure.
You do this by tying public keys to URIs and building a web of trust through
links between documents, using insights from the work done around the world in
the semantic web space.  When this is done it turns out that one can
magically re-use all the existing technology, including Client Certificates
to ones advantage. All that is explained quickly at 
Though if you want the philosophical background to this in detail you can
see the third presentation on my home page.


Social Web Architect