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[Freedombox-discuss] my summary of yesterday's Hackfest

On Tue, Mar 01, 2011 at 07:04:53PM +0100, Melvin Carvalho wrote:
>On 1 March 2011 18:44, Daniel Kahn Gillmor <dkg at fifthhorseman.net> wrote:
>> On 03/01/2011 12:33 PM, Melvin Carvalho wrote:
>>> But actually there is a way in the case of the Freedom Box, because 
>>> you have the advantage of controlling your own server.
>>> Since you are already running a webserver and (hopefully) have 
>>> control of your DNS.
>>> You can provide a two-way verification chain.
>>> 1. Your Person Profile publishes your public key. ?(this is a few
>>> lines of html5, should be easy)
>>> 2. Point your self-signed X.509 to your Freedom Box profile. ?This can
>>> be done by putting an entry in the SubjectAltName field of the cert, a
>>> common technique.
>>> This provides strong verification for all the X.509 tool chain and 
>>> means you can talk security to any server using SSL/TLS which is 
>>> most of them, providing strong authentication as a side product.
>> This doesn't provide an adequate means of revocation, though. ?If an 
>> attacker gets control over your key, and is able to repoint DNS, then 
>> you cannot publish any revocation statement about this key through 
>> this channel.
>If an attacker does gain these two points of control, and they knew 
>what they were doing, you could have an issue yes.
>We need to scope out a revocation model, but I dont think it's that 
>hard.  May already be something existing, I'll have a check.

Without plauing with it yet myself, I blindly assumed Monkeysphere was 
usable for exactly this: use GPG web of trust to assure certificates.

>> These two points are what i meant when i said that this model has "no 
>> way of verifying/revoking these keys".
>> I'm sure you could graft something like this onto <X.509+your scheme 
>> above>; but OpenPGP already exists and handles these cases pretty 
>> well. ?Why reinvent the wheel?
>Because X.509 is quite webby, and the web is the dominant ecosystem on
>the internet.

more specifically: TLS allows for RESTful secure identity handling - 
which helps save bandwidth as is is friendly to proxies and other 


Your arguments about the trust model, Daniel, I agree with: we should 
not (only) rely on existing certificate chains.

  - Jonas

  * Jonas Smedegaard - idealist & Internet-arkitekt
  * Tlf.: +45 40843136  Website: http://dr.jones.dk/

  [x] quote me freely  [ ] ask before reusing  [ ] keep private
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