Re: [TLS] Publication of draft-rhrd-tls-tls13-visibility-00

Richard Barnes <> Wed, 25 October 2017 22:37 UTC

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From: Richard Barnes <>
Date: Wed, 25 Oct 2017 23:37:41 +0100
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To: Stephen Farrell <>
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Subject: Re: [TLS] Publication of draft-rhrd-tls-tls13-visibility-00
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On Oct 25, 2017 22:34, "Stephen Farrell" <>; wrote:

Replying to just a couple of bits...

On 25/10/17 15:23, David A. Cooper wrote:
> Similarly, the best that TLS can offer in terms of privacy is that the
> contents of the communication between the two endpoints is not seen by
> anyone else *unless* at least one of the two endpoints (client or
> server) chooses to provide the contents of the communication to some
> other entity. draft-rhrd-tls-tls13-visibility doesn't change that.

The above is nonsense. The draft in question clearly proposes
fundamentally changing the feature set of TLS to include snooping
as a standard, supported feature.

Sorry, what?  The current draft proposes an extension, literally the
opposite of a standard, supported feature.  It's explicitly optional.

I don't really have a dog in this fight, but let's please be accurate.


> But, I'm tired of the abusive
> and false suggestions that draft-rhrd-tls-tls13-visibility is a
> "wiretapping" draft or that it is defining a "please-screw-me
> extension."

Abusive of what/whom? The truth or falsity of the wiretapping
description is a matter for debate. (Russ' argument that these
are not witetapping features is one I find to be lawyerly nit
picking based on a partial reading of 2804, but I believe he
does believe that.) I'm fine that you ignore that there are
other opinions.

I also don't really care if the proponents of snooping as a
standard feature get tired to their ideas being criticised to
be honest. I am, and will remain, available to offer such

And FWIW, I consider the use of euphemisms like "passive" or
"visibility" here to be deceptive. Perhaps not deliberately
deceptive, (I'm not saying the authors of the draft are trying
to deceive), but nonetheless I find such abuses of language
far more irritating than the occasional bit of robustness in
debate. Such euphemisms are also more long-term damaging IMO.

This draft and the one before it are proposing supporting an
active attacker in the middle of TLS sessions and that is how
we ought be discussing this, not as some pretend passive
good-natured observer capability.


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