[Webpush] Opsdir last call review of draft-ietf-webpush-encryption-08

Tim Chown <tim.chown@jisc.ac.uk> Tue, 01 August 2017 20:36 UTC

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From: Tim Chown <tim.chown@jisc.ac.uk>
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Subject: [Webpush] Opsdir last call review of draft-ietf-webpush-encryption-08
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Reviewer: Tim Chown
Review result: Ready

I have reviewed this document as part of the Operational directorate's ongoing
effort to review all IETF documents being processed by the IESG.  These
comments were written with the intent of improving the operational aspects of
the IETF drafts. Comments that are not addressed in last call may be included
in AD reviews during the IESG review.  Document editors and WG chairs should
treat these comments just like any other last call comments.

This document specifies a message encryption scheme for the Web Push protocol
described in RFC8030. The scheme provides confidentiality and integrity for
Push messages sent from an Application Server to a User Agent.  The encryption
scheme has also been adopted by W3C.

Note: I have not followed this work, and am not active in the relevant WGs.

The document is well-written, and clear, but noting point 1 below.

Overall I think the document is Ready, though I have some comments below.

1. I looked at RFC8030, the protocol spec for “Generic Event Delivery Using
HTTP Push”, and it includes a useful terminology section. Perhaps this draft
would benefit from a terminology section for the specific language used here?

2. If it is not already planned, I would recommend a review by an independent
reviewer who follows both the IETF and W3C work.  The Web Push API is described
at https://w3c.github.io/push-api/, where this draft is cited as
[WEBPUSH-ENCRYPTION]. Is the W3C spec for the Push API fully consistent with
the spec here?

3. Would the “Security Considerations” section benefit from some DoS text,
given the computations required at both ends of the subscription channel?  The
privacy considerations text is also rather light compared to that in RFC8030 -
perhaps point there, and clarify any additional considerations specific to this
draft here?

4. Are there any considerations for this spec is the load distribution
mechanisms in Section 7.1 of RFC8030 are employed? I assume not, but think it’s
worth asking.

And one nit:

1. In Section 3, “application secret” is used, and only used here. Should this
be “authentication secret” instead?

2. Section 3.1 para 4, should that be “Application Server”?