DKIM TTPs (was Re: [ietf-dkim] editorials and nits)
mike at mtcc.com
Tue Jul 4 09:16:51 PDT 2006
Paul Hoffman wrote:
> At 10:40 AM +0100 7/4/06, Stephen Farrell wrote:
>>>> #3 1.1, 2nd set of bullets. dkim *does* require a ttp - the DNS.
>>>> Better to say that dkim requires no *new* ttp.
>>> I don't see DNS as a "third party" in the same sense as a CA for
>>> certs. Yes, DNS has to work, but it isn't a third party (unless you
>>> want to count the root servers, I suppose). By this logic, we
>>> should also include the multiple third parties that run the routers
>>> and all the rest of the infrastructure.
>> In my little PKI-riddled mind, the DNS is a TTP since it supplies the
>> public keys and if/when DNSSEC were used, it starts to look quite like
>> a PKI. The routers etc. won't ever really be supplying signed key
>> records. But if no-one else thinks the same, leaving as-is if of course
> My brain has the same affliction as Stephen's in this department. The
> keys have to be distributed somehow. The keys are not inherently
> trusted. DKIM users trust the keys they get from the DNS. The DNS is
> the trusted third party who hands out keys.
You, me and Stephen aren't the problem though. We could read through the
entire document and it would be perfectly obviously a short way in that the
DNS was the ttp whether explicitly stated or not. Somebody who's not
nearly as involved, however, might read "DNS is a trusted third party",
think "PKI! Certficates! Run away!" And I've already seen way to many people
who even write to this list make that mistake, so to the larger unwashed
the conflation of "trusted third party" === "PKI" is likely to be even
Simply not bringing it up may not solve all of the problems, but I do
the concept of the DNS as being a "trusted third party" is pretty
inherent in its
design, so at some level all that does is restate the obvious -- in
misleading ways to the under-informed.
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