[Txauth] Call for charter consensus - TxAuth WG

Yaron Sheffer <yaronf.ietf@gmail.com> Fri, 06 March 2020 16:44 UTC

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Date: Fri, 06 Mar 2020 18:44:53 +0200
From: Yaron Sheffer <yaronf.ietf@gmail.com>
To: "txauth@ietf.org" <txauth@ietf.org>
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Thread-Topic: Call for charter consensus - TxAuth WG
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Subject: [Txauth] Call for charter consensus - TxAuth WG
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Hi Everyone,
It appears that momentum is forming around the proposed formation of a TxAuth working group.  We’d like to more formally gauge interest in proceeding with this work.  Please do so by responding to the following questions:
1.  Do you support the charter text provided at the end of this email?  Or do you have major objections, blocking concerns or feedback (if so please elaborate)?
2.  Are you willing to author or participate in the development of the drafts of this WG?
3.  Are you willing to help review the drafts of this WG?
4.  Are you interested in implementing drafts of this WG?
The call will run for two weeks, until March 21. If you think that the charter should be amended In a significant way, please reply on a separate thread.
The feedback provided here will help the IESG come to a decision on the formation of a new WG. Given the constraints of the chartering process, regardless of the outcome of this consensus call, we will be meeting in Vancouver as a BoF.
Yaron and Dick
--- Charter Text Follows ---

This group is chartered to develop a fine-grained delegation protocol for authorization, identity, and API access. This protocol will allow an authorizing party to delegate access to client software through an authorization server. It will expand upon the uses cases currently supported by OAuth 2.0 and OpenID Connect (itself an extension of OAuth 2.0) to support authorizations scoped as narrowly as a single transaction, provide a clear framework for interaction among all parties involved in the protocol flow, and remove unnecessary dependence on a browser or user-agent for coordinating interactions. 

The delegation process will be acted upon by multiple parties in the protocol, each performing a specific role. The protocol will decouple the interaction channels, such as the end user’s browser, from the delegation channel, which happens directly between the client and the authorization server (in contrast with OAuth 2.0 which is initiated by the client redirecting the user’s browser). The client and AS will involve a user to make an authorization decision as necessary through interaction mechanisms indicated by the protocol. This decoupling avoids many of the security concerns and technical challenges of OAuth 2.0 and provides a non-invasive path for supporting future types of clients and interaction channels.

Additionally, the delegation process will allow for:

- Fine-grained specification of access
- Approval of AS attestation to identity claims
- Approval of access to multiple resources and APIs in a single interaction
- Separation between the party authorizing access and the party operating the client requesting access
- A variety of client applications, including Web, mobile, single-page, and interaction-constrained applications

The group will define extension points for this protocol to allow for flexibility in areas including:

- Cryptographic agility for keys, message signatures, and proof of possession 
- User interaction mechanisms including web and non-web methods
- Mechanisms for conveying user, software, organization, and other pieces of information used in authorization decisions
- Mechanisms for presenting tokens to resource servers and binding resource requests to tokens and associated cryptographic keys
- Optimized inclusion of additional information through the delegation process (including identity)

Additionally, the group will provide mechanisms for management of the protocol lifecycle including:

- Discovery of the authorization server
- Revocation of active tokens
- Query of token rights by resource servers

Although the artifacts for this work are not intended or expected to be backwards-compatible with OAuth 2.0 or OpenID Connect, the group will attempt to simplify migrating from OAuth 2.0 and OpenID Connect to the new protocol where possible.

This group is not chartered to develop extensions to OAuth 2.0, and as such will focus on new technological solutions not necessarily compatible with OAuth 2.0. Functionality that builds directly on OAuth 2.0 will be developed in the OAuth Working Group, including functionality back-ported from the protocol developed here to OAuth 2.0.

The group is chartered to develop mechanisms for applying cryptographic methods, such as JOSE and COSE, to the delegation process. This group is not chartered to develop new cryptographic methods. 

The initial work will focus on using HTTP for communication between the client and the authorization server, taking advantage of optimization features of HTTP2 and HTTP3 where possible, and will strive to enable simple mapping to other protocols such as COAP when doing so does not conflict with the primary focus.

Milestones to include:
 - Core delegation protocol
 - Key presentation mechanism bindings to the core protocol for TLS, detached HTTP signature, and embedded HTTP signatures
 - Identity and authentication conveyance mechanisms
 - Guidelines for use of protocol extension points