[foaf-protocols] elliptic curve certs?

Henry Story henry.story at bblfish.net
Sun Dec 19 22:37:13 CET 2010

On 19 Dec 2010, at 20:10, peter williams wrote:

> Folks just had the usual debate on: should the protocol formulation require only 1 scheme for linked data (promoting minimum interoperability) or encourage a smorgasbord of solutions?
> As I could not fathom the answer this time any better than the last 1000 time I saw the same thread, I’m just going to assume that the id cards are our HTML homepages, marked up with RDFa micro-tags. The RDFa is easy enough for me to use, and is structured enough for computers to process rigorously.

yes, that's about it, though don't get stuck on rdfa, or any format.

> Now, the topic of public key crypto has also come up. According to some, some of its patents and patent history fundamentally biased the web. Though I know that is not true, it’s irrelevant. At the same time, patents did enable the RSA element of the public key cipering world to become very widely used, except in US government and similar circles.
> Do we/you want the RSA assumption to carry forward? Should there be real consideration of other schemes, based on elliptic curves, for example? Will DNSsec be using RSA for our naming recordations? Should WebID client certs be specifically not RSA, if DNSsec is – so to do some disaster preparedness for the inevitable crypto emergency?

Any other encryption scheme is ok. We should add DSA, and am happy to look at others.
We don't even need to go over all schemes because RDF is easily extensible. Currently RSA and DSA seem to be the most usefully tied to TLS.

> It’s not really for the incubator to decide these question; but it is appropriate to question the presumptions we/you may have. It’s not really in the scope of the incubator to plan a national or trans-national infrastructure; and neither does the scope address “critical infrastructure” requirements. At the same, one has to recognize that the web is big; and the group intends the WebID to be as big as SSL.
> With little doubt, SSL is already a trans-national infrastructure. I would not want to carry forward some of the foibles present in today’s crypto-based identity. Some of the foibles are due to nature of RSA and its patent history; and thus its worth considering : has RSA had its moment of glory?
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