[Smcwg-public] [EXTERNAL]-Re: Common Name contents

Dimitris Zacharopoulos (HARICA) dzacharo at harica.gr
Thu Mar 10 09:39:24 UTC 2022


This is indeed a legal requirement in eIDAS and we need to see its 
applicability for S/MIME certificates.

The problem we need to address is the fact that I can validate myself to 
a CA with my physical presence and my official name (Dimitrios 
Zacharopoulos), and ask for a Pseudonym to be included in the 
certificate, but the process is unclear. Here are some 
questions/concerns (not addressed explicitly to Matthias, anyone can 

  * Could I ask that my pseudonym is "Matthias Wiedenhorst" or "Mickey
    Mouse"? How is THAT information validated so that it is not
    misleading to Relying Parties?
  * Can the pseudonym be a name/value that the CA decides, e.g.
    "Pseudonym-482733812"? How is that helpful for Relying Parties?
  * Can a Relying Party ask the CA to reveal the real identity of the
    person behind the pseudonym? If this is the case, how is this
    protecting the real person for being in danger?


On 10/3/2022 9:05 π.μ., Wiedenhorst, Matthias via Smcwg-public wrote:
> Hi all!
> Article 5 (2) eIDAS reads:
> /“Without prejudice to the legal effect given to pseudonyms under 
> national law, the use of pseudonyms in electronic transactions shall 
> not be prohibited.”/
> I am not a lawyer, but to me it sounds as if prohibiting pseudonyms 
> could cause problems within the EU.
> Legitimate use cases that I have heard of from different CAs are for 
> example persons from the “law enforcement area” that are in danger to 
> be threatened or even attacked in their private live when their full 
> real name is known.
> As already pointed out, a pseudonym certificate is not an anonymous 
> certificate, but only the CA is able to reveal identity. 
> Identification of the person has to be performed identically as if a 
> certificate without pseudonym would be issued.
> Best regards
> Matthias
> *Von:* Smcwg-public <smcwg-public-bounces at cabforum.org> *Im Auftrag 
> von *Stephen Davidson via Smcwg-public
> *Gesendet:* Mittwoch, 9. März 2022 15:34
> *An:* Pedro FUENTES <pfuentes at WISEKEY.COM>; SMIME Certificate Working 
> Group <smcwg-public at cabforum.org>; Dimitris Zacharopoulos (HARICA) 
> <dzacharo at harica.gr>
> *Betreff:* Re: [Smcwg-public] [EXTERNAL]-Re: Common Name contents
> In general, the CA is supposed to validate the true identity of a 
> holder behind a subject:pseudonym.  This is different from an 
> anonymous cert.
> The difficulty we face is that, having chosen to require Subject 
> identity information to be verified, it would be inconsistent to allow 
> the freeform use of pseudonyms.
> As far as I know, only Germany provides the options for alternative 
> “religious names or pseudonyms” on their national ID: 
> https://www.consilium.europa.eu/prado/en/DEU-BO-02004/image-344552.html 
> ... So that significantly narrows the options for verifying pseudonyms!
> My personal belief is that we should drop the use of pseudonyms from 
> this draft. I hope that SMCWG members that disagree with this will 
> speak up.
> The Mailbox-validated (MV) profiles are probably more appropriate for 
> users not wishing “real name” identity to be in their certs.
> Regards, Stephen
> *From:*Smcwg-public <smcwg-public-bounces at cabforum.org> *On Behalf Of 
> *Pedro FUENTES via Smcwg-public
> *Sent:* Monday, March 7, 2022 2:35 PM
> *To:* Dimitris Zacharopoulos (HARICA) <dzacharo at harica.gr>; SMIME 
> Certificate Working Group <smcwg-public at cabforum.org>
> *Subject:* Re: [Smcwg-public] [EXTERNAL]-Re: Common Name contents
> Could it be just acceptable that a pseudonym is freely chosen by a 
> subscriber?
> In other words… could it be acceptable to have names in the 
> subjectName which don’t require validation?
> We don’t currently use such attributes, but I wonder if this could be 
> good to reserve certain flexibility for use cases where anonymization 
> is desired.
> Pedro
>     Le 7 mars 2022 à 18:58, Dimitris Zacharopoulos (HARICA) via
>     Smcwg-public <smcwg-public at cabforum.org> a écrit :
>      Unless CAs have some clear rules on how to validate pseudonyms,
>     I also believe we should exclude this attribute from the allowed
>     profiles which makes this attribute practically not allowed. We
>     must be explicit about this because other attributes may be allowed.
>     Dimitris.
>     On 7/3/2022 9:41 π.μ., Adriano Santoni via Smcwg-public wrote:
>         We do not support pseudonyms, and do not think there is a need
>         for them.
>             ...we could even chose to exclude this attribute from the
>             allowed profiles
>         Yes, that's what we suggest to do: exclude this attribute from
>         the allowed profiles.
>         Adriano
>         Il 02/03/2022 18:43, Stephen Davidson via Smcwg-public ha scritto:
>             Hi Doug:
>             1. Further to our discussion today, the language in ETSI
>             EN 319 412-2 probably has the clearest definition:
>             The commonName attribute value shall contain a name of the
>             subject. This may be in the subject's preferred
>             presentation format, or a format preferred by the CA, or
>             some other format. Pseudonyms, nicknames, and names with
>             spelling other than defined by the registered name may be
>             used.
>             NOTE 1: The commonName attribute has a usage purpose that
>             is different from the required choice of pseudonym or
>             givenName/surname. commonName is used for user friendly
>             representation of the person's name, whereas
>             givenName/surname is used where more formal representation
>             or verification of specific identity of the user is
>             required. To maximize interoperability both are considered
>             necessary.
>             It does not give guidance on the scope for “user friendly
>             representation of the person's name” and as far as I can
>             tell, most TSPs apply either (givenName and surname) or
>             pseudonym in that field.
>             Notwithstanding this, our previous discussions had been
>             for the commonName to include verified information for the
>             purposes of the S/MIME BR, leading to the options
>             described here
>             <https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__github.com_cabforum_smime_blob_preSBR_SBR.md-2371422-2Dsubject-2Ddistinguished-2Dname-2Dfields&d=DwMDaQ&c=euGZstcaTDllvimEN8b7jXrwqOf-v5A_CdpgnVfiiMM&r=-bX5hBm1IdRDykQ-dBR8tsFRCM4v1VXUyG7RZa2WqPY&m=NCuXVva5JxiZue0JFxEbVTEZS67ltuKPjLakEuBlN-Q&s=SikwTyV2nbwaM8CjAAm0ewzVcCUuXH_rrJl0zlNlYwQ&e=>.
>             *_We are interested in hearing perspectives from both
>             Certificate Issuers and Certificate Issuers on this point._*
>             2.  The handling of subject:pseudonym is still an
>             unresolved issue – and so text still needs to be tightened
>             up. We are working from the basis that Subject information
>             must be verified, so this would also apply to pseudonym
>             (ie not a self reported name). Pseudonym identity is, by
>             definition, linked to the person’s real identity
>             ETSI TS 199 461 tries to deal with it by saying:
>             Although the outcome of the identity proofing can be a
>             pseudonym identity, identity proofing requires
>             identification of the real identity of the person as
>             determined by applicable identity documents, official
>             registers or other authoritative sources.
>             But as far as I can tell, only Germany provides pseudonym
>             as an information attribute on official identity
>             documents.  Given the lack of clarity, we could even chose
>             to exclude this attribute from the allowed profiles.
>             *_We’d be interested to hear from Certificate Issuers what
>             their practices are using the pseudonym in regulated
>             certificate types._*
>             Best, Stephen
>             Stephen Davidson
>             DigiCert Governance, Risk & Compliance
>             stephen.davidson at digicert.com
>             O 1.441.278.2803 | M 1.441.505.4908
>             ||
>             *From:*Doug Beattie <doug.beattie at globalsign.com>
>             <mailto:doug.beattie at globalsign.com>
>             *Sent:* Wednesday, March 2, 2022 1:10 PM
>             *To:* Stephen Davidson <Stephen.Davidson at digicert.com>
>             <mailto:Stephen.Davidson at digicert.com>; SMIME Certificate
>             Working Group <smcwg-public at cabforum.org>
>             <mailto:smcwg-public at cabforum.org>
>             *Subject:* Common Name contents
>             Hey Stephen,
>             During the call today it was mentioned that all of the
>             subject info pulled from the certificates and displayed
>             via GUI needs to be validated (no more OU logic). I went
>             back and looked at the options for Sponsor validated certs
>             and it permits the Pseudonym to be present in the CN.
>             I went to check the rules for validation and found this:
>             f. *Certificate Field:* |subject:pseudonym|(
>             *Contents:* The pseudonym attribute MUST NOT be present if
>             the givenName and/or surname attribute are present. If
>             present, the |subject:pseudonym|field field MUST be
>             verified according to Section 3.2.3
>             <https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__github.com_cabforum_smime_blob_preSBR_SBR.md-23323-2Dauthentication-2Dof-2Dindividual-2Didentity&d=DwMDaQ&c=euGZstcaTDllvimEN8b7jXrwqOf-v5A_CdpgnVfiiMM&r=-bX5hBm1IdRDykQ-dBR8tsFRCM4v1VXUyG7RZa2WqPY&m=NCuXVva5JxiZue0JFxEbVTEZS67ltuKPjLakEuBlN-Q&s=nliz6I7gIbr8WMy3LZQ94CqxFqzTqVpunO8t0YqxuCo&e=>.
>             But I could not find any references to this field in that
>             section, or section 3.2.4 that indicates how this is to be
>             validated.  Are there CA validation rules for this, or can
>             any value be supplied?
>             Doug
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