[Smcwg-public] [External Sender] RE: RE: Re: Re: Re: SV certificates devoid of individual attributes

Adriano Santoni adriano.santoni at staff.aruba.it
Tue Oct 24 07:42:47 UTC 2023

Hi Christophe,

frankly, it seems obvious to me that an email address is not, generally 
speaking, an individual attribute. Would you argue that info at example.com 
is a natural person's attribute? It may be so in specific cases (for 
example when it is of the type givenname.surname at example.com and the 
email service provider applies a rule that ensures proper attribution to 
users and disambiguation of similar names), but it certainly is not so 
by definition.

Evidently a natural person (or more likely more than one) can have 
access to the mailbox at an address like info at example.com, but it is 
evident that such address is not specific to any particular natural 
person in the same sense and in the same way in which givenname and 
surname are attributes of a natural person.

And no, no intent at all to modify the SV profile; quite the opposite: 
to respect its definition even in the legacy case (where among other 
things, the needs of niche use cases can very well be satisfied by OV 


Il 24/10/2023 09:25, Christophe Bonjean ha scritto:
> Hi Adriano,
> From your proposed change, it seems that you are not considering a 
> mailbox address as an individual (natural person) attribute? Could you 
> provide some context on that?
> We should also keep in mind the initial purpose of the legacy profile. 
> Even though the suggestion of using an OV profile for CN=email, 
> O=Company might be sensible, we’re still fundamentally modifying the 
> legacy SV profile.
> Christophe
> *From:*Smcwg-public <smcwg-public-bounces at cabforum.org> *On Behalf Of 
> *Adriano Santoni via Smcwg-public
> *Sent:* Friday, October 20, 2023 10:33 AM
> *To:* Ashish Dhiman <ashish.dhiman at globalsign.com>; SMIME Certificate 
> Working Group <smcwg-public at cabforum.org>; Martijn Katerbarg 
> <martijn.katerbarg at sectigo.com>
> *Subject:* Re: [Smcwg-public] [External Sender] RE: Re: Re: Re: SV 
> certificates devoid of individual attributes
> Ashish,
> my intent would not be to prohibit anything, but rather to make two 
> types of certificates (OV, SV) distinguishable that otherwise are not, 
> and to make the S/MIME baseline requirements consistent with the 
> definition of Sponsor-Validated.
> Furthermore, I don't understand why what I'm proposing could cause 
> problems for those who need, for their legacy use case, S/MIME 
> certificates that simultaneously contain Subject.organizationName AND 
> /any type /of email address in the Subject.commonName (like 
> department at example.com or ashish.dhiman at globalsign.com to quote your 
> examples), plus of course locality and organizationIdentifier. In 
> fact, in such use case you can very well use OV-type S/MIME 
> certificates. Don't you?
> Adriano
> Il 20/10/2023 10:20, Ashish Dhiman ha scritto:
>     NOTICE:Pay attention - external email - Sender is
>     ashish.dhiman at globalsign.com
>     Respected: CA/B – S/MIME Forum Members.
>     I feel the problem that we are trying to solve by prohibiting
>     email address from CN in Legacy will only make things complex
>     rather than solve it. During our discussion, the intent for
>     legacy, always was to have minimum impact on existing practices
>     and give time for wider industry to move to multipurpose or strict
>     profile. I feel, we are defeating the whole purpose of legacy with
>     suggested change, as I am trying to understand how; eliminating
>     email address from CN will help us differentiate a sponsor profile
>     from organization profile. As, Technically, people can still use
>     department at example.com in sponsor profile as email address and
>     also use ashish.dhiman at globalsign.com in Organization Profile as
>     email address.
>     On the other hand, this change will also deviate from current
>     practices for CN use for legacy use cases Also, during
>     implementation, we see in most of the cases; email address used in
>     Sponsor profiles are correct.
>     I think removing email in CN makes legacy no longer like legacy
>     and seems to make it stricter than multi and strict where its
>     allowed. There is also no indication that the intent for changes,
>     will be achieved without mandatory use of Given Name and Sur Name
>     in Legacy profile, which is again a big change considering legacy
>     intent, and make these profiles similar to multi and strict
>     version. Overall, this change seems to defeat its goal of
>     supporting wider ecosystem for a while.
>     Ashish
>     *From:* Smcwg-public <smcwg-public-bounces at cabforum.org>
>     <mailto:smcwg-public-bounces at cabforum.org> *On Behalf Of* Adriano
>     Santoni via Smcwg-public
>     *Sent:* Thursday, October 19, 2023 5:00 PM
>     *To:* Martijn Katerbarg <martijn.katerbarg at sectigo.com>
>     <mailto:martijn.katerbarg at sectigo.com>; SMIME Certificate Working
>     Group <smcwg-public at cabforum.org> <mailto:smcwg-public at cabforum.org>
>     *Subject:* Re: [Smcwg-public] [External Sender] Re: Re: Re: SV
>     certificates devoid of individual attributes
>     I have created the pull request below.
>     https://github.com/cabforum/smime/pull/218
>     Even if there exists some niche legacy uses cases, I believe it
>     would be highly preferable to avoid allowing SV certificates that
>     do not match the SV definition and are indistinguishable from OV
>     certs. Besides, it appears that in such particular contexts OV
>     certificates would still meet the need.
>     Looking for endorsers.
>     Adriano
>     Il 16/10/2023 18:38, Martijn Katerbarg ha scritto:
>         Happy to work with you on that. I do wonder what the cause and
>         original intent behind this was.
>         I wonder if they key lies in the Note added to section
>         “Legacy Generation profiles MAY omit the |subject:givenName|,
>         |subject:surname|, and |subject:pseudonym| attributes and
>         include only the |subject:commonName| as described in Section
>         <https://github.com/cabforum/smime/blob/main/SBR.md#71422-subject-distinguished-name-fields>.”
>         Could it be that the original intent here was that
>         subject:givenName, subject:surname and subject:pseudonym are
>         allowed to be left out, *only* if subject:commonName was
>         included *and* had either the pseudonym or givenName+surname
>         in it?
>         I could see that as a possible legacy use case, with the
>         intend to deprecate. I’m not sure if any CA needs that use
>         case at current though.
>         Regards,
>         Martijn
>         *From:* Smcwg-public <smcwg-public-bounces at cabforum.org>
>         <mailto:smcwg-public-bounces at cabforum.org> on behalf of
>         Adriano Santoni via Smcwg-public <smcwg-public at cabforum.org>
>         <mailto:smcwg-public at cabforum.org>
>         *Date:* Monday, 16 October 2023 at 18:09
>         *To:* smcwg-public at cabforum.org <smcwg-public at cabforum.org>
>         <mailto:smcwg-public at cabforum.org>
>         *Subject:* Re: [Smcwg-public] [External Sender] Re: Re: SV
>         certificates devoid of individual attributes
>         CAUTION: This email originated from outside of the
>         organization. Do not click links or open attachments unless
>         you recognize the sender and know the content is safe.
>         I would suggest an amendment in order to correct this
>         unintended result; I'm available to dratf a proposal it if
>         there are any endorsers.
>         Adriano
>         Il 16/10/2023 17:17, Dimitris Zacharopoulos via Smcwg-public
>         ha scritto:
>             NOTICE:Pay attention - external email - Sender is
>             0100018b3910b1a1-5f63e11d-cb86-4599-8385-07abf817d4d1-000000 at amazonses.com
>             I agree it's not a good thing. The SV profile was to
>             support certificates that include attributes of
>             individuals validated by the Enterprise RA. If we allow
>             those to be missing, making it effectively an OV
>             Certificate, seems like an unintended result.
>             Best regards,
>             _______________________________________________
>             Smcwg-public mailing list
>             Smcwg-public at cabforum.org
>             https://lists.cabforum.org/mailman/listinfo/smcwg-public
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