[Cscwg-public] Final Minutes from the CSC WG meeting 21st October 2021

Dean Coclin dean.coclin at digicert.com
Thu Nov 4 17:38:45 UTC 2021

Here are the Final minutes of the subject call:

* Roll call

Tomas Gustavsson

Dimitris Zacharopoulos

Andrea Holland

Atushi Inaba

Bruce Morton

Ian McMillan

Inigo Barreira

Joanna Fox

Tim Crawford

Tim Hollebeek


Minute taker: Tomas Gustavsson


* Antitrust statement was read.


* Minutes from the meeting on October 7th was approved.


* Current ballots

Ballot CSC-11 in IPR review through November 3rd. No discussion so far.

Corey has put out the ballot about invalidity date, CSC-12, about the
revocation date and clarifications in the CSBRs about that. The discussion
period is going through October 26th, then it can go into voting next
Tuesday assuming the is no change to be made.


* Subscriber Private key protection

Ian wants to take the current proposal that has been discussed and put into
a ballot form for discussion and feedback. Everyone should want to provide
feedback and thoughts around the subscriber private key verification
section. Right now in the proposal there are five current methods to satisfy
the requirement, with an existing stipulation of "but is not limited to".
The thought of leaving it in, or the intention why it's there to begin with,
is that if somebody or some manufacturer comes up with a better way we don't
want to exclude that. It people, CAs, look at the requirements and think
there is a better way that they have seen the don't have to wait for the
requirements to change to accept that. They can start accepting it now and
use good judgment.

Bruce mentioned that you may want to put a cap on that for a year or two. If
someone comes up with a better way we can put it in through a ballot. At
some point the better way disappears and the only choice is to bring it in
as a ballot. So to not leave something open that was closed in other
sections. A reference followed to how domain verification has changed with
previously there was "any other way", and now bad ways have been eliminated
and the better ways have been put in, going from six documented methods plus
any other way to just several documented methods.

Tim said the best way of doing it is to actually get the minimum security
requirements and then try to not be prescriptive about all the other
behaviors where useful innovation might happen. A reference to TLS
validation methods was mentioned where if there is something new you want to
do, bring it up as a ballot and we'll discuss it. But there are other
approaches where there is some flexibility to allow, for example certificate
extensions where you're allowed to add new extensions without necessarily
having to bring it to CA/B Forum.

Bruce mentioned a concern that the customer buys an HSM and the HSM does not
provide key attestation, what is the method that would allow to do that?
Currently they allow an IT audit, which he think is not on the list. 

Tim mentioned there is an interesting midpoint between ability to innovate
and banning innovation that can be useful. You can do A or B or C, and if
you want to allow anything else it's allowed if you put it in the CPS,
because then you automatically get the disclosure. The forum can then look
it up and see if it's something the forum likes or not. In addition, the
auditors are looking at it and enforcing it. You get some transparency and
enforcement that you don't get with the other methods.

Ian said he liked that, transparency. If you an extra method in your CPS it
must be brought forward to the working group within six months or something
like that, for inclusion into the BRs for code signing.

Dimitris mentioned that from the experience from the server certificate
working group he doesn't think we will see many CAs disclose their detailed
practices in the CPS. If we get in perhaps 80-90% of the industries methods
over the next year or so, removing the other method after that there would
be a last call to CAs before removing it. Bruce referenced the domain
validation where it took a couple of years to sort it out and get all
methods documented. We're trying to give some time for other methods that
people are using to get them brought forward. It needs to be good not

Ian was okay and will work on the bringing it to a ballot.


* Signing Service

Bruce noted that his gut feeling was to sort out the subscriber key
protection and then the signing service would have to align with that. Tim
noted that we could delay some parts of the signing service discussion but
could work on other parts and take the opportunity to work in parallel. The
questions around op model and certifications and audit don't necessarily
touch the area of key protection and could be drilled into.

Bruce asked if we should take one of these items and put on the agenda for
the meeting in two or four weeks from now to work on this item. This was

Bruce discussed if we should aim to address the subscriber key protection in
the next meeting, get that done in pre-ballot format to get that moving, and
then move on to the other one later. Suggested to wrap up the key protection
and place the signing service for a future meeting. Tim agreed that wrapping
up the key protection would help us with the signing service so it makes
sense. Ian was fine either way. It was agreed to prepare the subscriber
private key protection for the next meeting on the 4th of November and then
start talking about the signing service two weeks after that.


* Any other business

Dimitris asked where we are on the conversion to RFC3647. Tim said that
Corey has a draft that needs some finishing up. There is a link to a GitHub
page somewhere on the mailing list. Dimitris remember starting a pull
request and Corey making a bigger pass. Dimitris noted that the more ballots
we include in the pipe-line the harder it is to rebase the 3647 work, so we
should perhaps set a timeline on this conversion. We could start prepare
other ballots but wait for the conversion to be done. Tim thinks we can do
it in either order as Corey wasn't too upset of having to merge a ballot or
two. Time thinks the 3647 pandoc conversion could be the next ballot, prior
to key protection. The other order would be fine but Tim thinks the 3647
work is done. Dimitris thinks they can work in parallel and that key
protection may take a while. Bruce added to plan to talk about the
conversion in the next meeting to get our next ballots against that version.


* Next meeting

Next meeting is on the 4th of November.


The meeting was adjourned. 

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