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W3C CCG Weekly Teleconference

Transcript for 2022-02-22

Our Robot Overlords are scribing.
Mike Prorock: Cool all right well hello and welcome Happy Tuesday with all sorts of things in the agenda for today is up on the mailing list and I have linked it out and we discussed last week as well so basically we will be running a fun continuation of last week last week we got a great overview from the work done by asri thanks to sponsorship by Anil John over at DHS.
Mike Prorock: Ecosystem and cryptography and all sorts of fun stuff so today we're going to be diving into kind of a top-five practical takeaways you know from that report at what does that mean for implementers and users of the city of these types of systems Etc IP note so just to start this off anyone can contribute or participate in these calls but any substantive contributors to actual work items on the ccg must be members of the.
Mike Prorock: For IP our agreement signed the link is in the in the agenda that I sent out these minutes in an audio recording of everything set on this call are archived at our GitHub under the meetings project and we do use the jitsi chat and or IR C 2q speakers so feel free to type Q Plus to get on the Q q- to remove yourself from the queue you can also do things like say Q Plus with the word to afterwards.
Mike Prorock: To mention something specifically.
Mike Prorock: And if you for some reason can't add yourself to the queue all you have to do is just speak up and say hey I can't get on the Queue because I'm dialed in or whatever the situation is and we'll get you on the queue.
Mike Prorock: We this meeting is held by voice not by chat log so just be aware of that if we need to clean up chat log or IRC we will do so which we might need to do given the auto transcriber we will be rolling with the auto transcriber today for the transcript which is probably a little bit of Overkill but it is what it is and it seems to be improving so as it learns us.
Mike Prorock: The I believe that is really what we're after I do want to make a quick call first to intros and an eerie intros I'm seeing mostly familiar faces here but is there anyone new to the group today due to the call today that would like to introduce themselves.

Topic: Introductions/Reintroductions

Mike Prorock: And with that I am not seeing any volunteers for that so let's go ahead and move on and just check if there are any announcements Clea think you might be on the call I know there is some some items coming up on that front leave Thursday any announcements for new on that front or anyone else Community related items.

Topic: Announcements

Kaliya Young: DIFcon is happening, I posted it on the list if is having its virtual face-to-face meeting on Thursday so people are interested in learning about what the working groups are are doing each one of them has a time to present.
Kaliya Young: I'm also doing a one-on-one conversation with Anil John about his SVIP work to give exposure to that work into the deaf community.
<identitywoman> IIW has scholarships for people from underrepresented groups if you want to explore that possibility please contact me

Topic: Deep Dive on SRI Cryptographic Review

David Balenson: It's quite alright this is so bizarre I've never been part of meetings like this with the assistant of the side here with the little language and notation for doing things so it's very interesting anyway yesterday I was talking with Mike and others and Mike originally asked me off the top of my head or ask me for my top three items and I said hmm good idea off the top of my head there are actually five things that occurred to me and.
David Balenson: He's been mentioning this morning that there's.
David Balenson: So there were a couple of themes that sort of threads if you will that were woven throughout the different set of recommendations that I outlined last week but I think one of the number one things that came up in that we need to discuss is what I will call the need for crypto agility and so this is especially Critical with the forthcoming.
David Balenson: Ocean from the current set of nist approved algorithms to the Future set of post Quantum crypto algorithms that are hopefully ultimately going to come out of the post Quantum crypto competition that they had been hosting I know that that Mike and Mary and others have already started pursuing crypto agility they've been doing some prototyping and we can discuss that further perhaps they can.
David Balenson: Gus it further but clearly.
David Balenson: The need for crypto agility the ability to be able to swap in new algorithms over time and all of the king material the parameters the the inputs and the outputs that go along with that is probably number one on the list.
David Balenson: Number two when it comes to government use of these Technologies and the underlying crypto it's the use of validated crypto algorithms and modules there is a program by which such algorithms and modules can can be validated it's not a trivial Endeavor it takes some time and.
David Balenson: There are some modules that are out there that have been algorithms and modules that have been evaluated improved and there are others that probably would need to be in order to be sufficient for government use and would love to discuss that further with all of you to get a better idea as to what you're currently using what if any experience you have with the US government.
David Balenson: Validation programs and and just have that discussion number three this was my number for yesterday but I'm going to make it my number three today and that is pay attention to bit strength pay attention because that that's sort of drives the security level of the algorithms that you're using and depending on whether you're using it for four hash or Mac or signature or.
David Balenson: There's going to be different different levels than this guidance and we excerpted some of this in the tables in the report and in the slides there's guidance on on the bit strength that you need to have in order to ensure appropriate security and back to item one the crypto agility all these strengths apply now to the current algorithm sweets right so things like SHS, SHA-3 AES DSS but as we transition in the future to public key cryptography we're going to have to pay attention to the bit strengths of those algorithms as well.
David Balenson: Top five number four is what I'll refer to is sort of keeping track of the keying material or memory management so there were a number of recommendations that talk about treating the different Randomness seeds other parameters just like you would the king material itself generate it use it and then destroy it.
David Balenson: It don't keep it around .
David Balenson: The more of an attack surface over time it presents the more susceptible it is to being attacked through various vulnerabilities or exploits oh so you want to pay attention you know consciously to sort of the I'll call the life cycle of that material from the moment it's created until the moment that it's destroyed and then finally number five is.
David Balenson: As you write various standards whether it be the base standards or some of the axillary or supplementary standards the glue standards whatever the case might be make sure that your documentation fully addresses the use of crypto and includes all of the different areas that we recommended in that are mentioned here in the top five list.
David Balenson: Its strength recommendations for proper handling of keying material and discussion of potential government needs or requirements I think one of the things that's important to recall from what we presented last week is even though this is primarily the government compliance is primarily for for their purposes and meeting fisma requirements and and that in turn requires the use of.
<mprorock> Top 5 topics: 1) Crypto Agility 2) Verification of Modules for .gov use 3) Bit strength 4) Tracking and managing key material 5) Documentation and ability to approach the tech
David Balenson: Krypto the fips approved modules even though that's primarily for government that is of benefit for non-government for commercial use as well.
David Balenson: So number five very important to document I'll also point out one of the challenges Nick Jenice my collaborator and I had when we were going through the V CDM and did standards was trying to find the references to nist Photography in fact we found that there weren't necessarily references in this cryptography there were references to other w3c documents to other ietf documents and then those documents in turn had references.
David Balenson: Has to various other documents and we were.
David Balenson: Only after some time and Care able to trace to the nest crypto documents themselves and people who were on saw the presentation last week may recall the graphs that we had shown where we traced all that so I think part of documenting crypto is also being more explicit about the crypto including the use of government flying compliant crypto including the use of NE standards.
Mike Prorock: Yeah thanks David I think that's a great starting place there and we can obviously kind of drill into some other stuff man ooh I see you on the Queue here.
Manu Sporny: Yeah I've got a very long list of questions which is I mean all good stuff so let me start off by saying some of these are going to be controversial and I'm not trying to insult or anything I'm just trying to and they're not directed at you David it's kind of you know directed at the community and in really looking forward to your input on this this is great like I wish we were able to do this every couple of months in the group and I would like us to try and figure out how we can.
Mike Prorock: +1 Manu - more frequent attention to security and privacy in practical terms is much needed
Manu Sporny: The regular discussion over the next two years the guidance is really appreciated okay so the first first question David is so I took a look at your background which is I should have done before but you've got a really interesting background both in Academia and also chairing a number of cryptography conferences and security conferences input from people like you I think.
Manu Sporny: Is fantastic and we need more of it we've also I've read through the entire report multiple times it's a great report but it is a bit motherhood and apple pie right I mean these are all things that I'm sure that you have had to repeat over your career over and over and over again because people keep getting the basics wrong and I think it's totally appropriate to keep repeating it as the VC and did stuff our or happen.
Manu Sporny: Because there are all very valid point.
Manu Sporny: Um however there's a little bit of reading between the lines that I think some of us are having to do in I just want to try and be a bit more explicit in those cases so the first thing is you know this is very much kind of a review based on a presumption that it is nist standards that you have to comply with you know to deploy stuff in the US and in worldwide and in other governments that.
Manu Sporny: A tree using a.
Manu Sporny: That's good to know there are new forms of cryptography like the post Quantum stuff CL signatures come initial listens get signatures Anon creds BBS plus that have not had appropriate cryptography review yet in the message seems to be you will not be using any of those things until there is proper nist.
Manu Sporny: Let's go.
Manu Sporny: Government had will have a very hard time saying yes to the some of that that new Step could you could you elaborate on that a bit more like just because something is not nist approved in Phipps certified does that mean that it's automatically not a possibility when we talk about some pretty heavy-duty government credentials like for example the u.s. permanent resident card and things like that.
David Balenson: Sure happy to and yes though I know and understand I'm sort of the messenger here you're not out to Kill the Messenger and in earlier discussions we've emphasized this and I want to emphasize it again we're not setting any of these requirements these have been set under by Congress under law.
David Balenson: And fisma which is law that law is binding on US government departments and agencies and so ultimately it's the Departments and agencies that have to abide by that law and they have to figure out how best to abide that by that unfortunately fisma requires Phipps the use of the Phipps is mandatory in earlier incarnations many years ago you used to be able to get.
David Balenson: Get waivers to using the.
David Balenson: Um it's no longer possible to get waivers that said I'm pretty confident that the various government departments and agencies have run into situations where for various reasons they need to use different types of cryptographic algorithms and I'm sure that they have worked through all of this and figured out exactly when and where they need to be fully compliant versus when.
<anil_john> :-)
David Balenson: Use Alternatives and unfortunately I'm not familiar with that process that's really something that you've got to reach back and talk to them about Anil and I have had this discussion several times we do expect in the future to have explicit discussions with them about the recommendations and get their thoughts and reactions to using them as well as to learn more about.
David Balenson: How they address some of the issues.
David Balenson: You're.
David Balenson: About I don't know Anil if you want to step in and offer anything further about that but ultimately it's a question of what is your Market what portion of that market is your government customer who are those customers and what are their needs and requirements and just as any other sales opportunity when you're working to promote your.
David Balenson: Technologies with your customers.
<anil_john> +q to add a bit of nuance
David Balenson: You need to talk with them and understand their needs and requirements and it's important to have that conversation and and work with them collaboratively to give them what they need to either meet the requirements or if it's not practical to meet the requirements to justify using the Alternatives even if it's not possible to get a waiver there might be other processes or procedures by which they can entertain alternatives.
Mike Prorock: Until I see you on the Queue so I'm going to defer to you and then I'll talk a bit about what I've been hearing on the commercial side which is going to be also important from an adoption front but I think you can speak best directly to the government side.
Mike Prorock: Hopefully Mike is working now.
<heather_vescent> Is there any audio?
Manu Sporny: Yeah no audio from Anil might need to refresh Anil.
Mike Prorock: Well wall Anil is refreshing I will ask yourself here be you know one of the one of the thought one of the things may know I've been seeing case in point directly to this like with some of the post Quantum stuff we're working on even to get that stuff registered like you know two major Cloud providers that are engaged in that work said that you know said yep we're in but only if we.
Mike Prorock: I'm doing two things one making sure whatever nist approves you know we ensure that rolls through the standardization process and that we cover the standardization for the other thing so that we can register them appropriately to say do not use them right if they're not you know and we don't want to see them on our networks so like that's the kind of thing like I'm even hearing on the commercial side just to engage with folks beyond the government front Anil is your audio picking up now.
Manu Sporny: Nope still no audio.
David Balenson: So if I could while we're waiting for a meal I think it's great to be talking to the large commercial vendors they're obviously going to be interacting extensively with the government and so they would have a lot of good interesting and hopefully helpful perspective there I also want to make another comment which is you talked about the these alternative algorithms right the the public key crypto but also the CL.
Mike Prorock: +1 David
David Balenson: BBS Plus for example it's also important not only to have the conversations I mentioned with the government customers and other customers but I think it's also to have conversations with the folks who are developing these cryptographic algorithms and then with nest and making sure that they are aligned and working collaboratively on these algorithms with an eye towards possible future standardization so that they.
David Balenson: I'm by government customers so for example when Nick and I were working on this we actually spoke with the number of the the cryptographers and subject matter experts at nist and they were familiar with the number of these efforts that you all are interested in including the BBS plus signatures and they understand the potential utility of them they understand the potential need to standardize them.
David Balenson: You've got to speak to them they can better explain their process in their priorities but the sense that we got from them was that right now their primary focus is on post Quantum crypto and at this point it's highly unlikely they're going to standardize on anything else until they get over that that major hurdle.
Anil John: Can you can you hear me Mike.
Mike Prorock: Anil feel free to sound check if here I see joint back in.
Anil John: Oh okay finally thank you so just a bit of nuance to the discussions around you know what Mike mentioned and the questions that Manu is asking as well right so and and what Dave noted about what the requirements are regarding fisma compliance on agencies so the work that we're doing in DHS does not come under National Security.
Anil John: That so if you want to find out what how that is different go look at that particular section I think day provides a good overview in the paper on how certain things are binding on one part of the government and not may not be binding on the other but the long and the short of it is I would I would I'm going to nuances a tad bit and I'm also going to tap dance a bit and by noting that in general as Dave node is there are certain things that we cannot way when it comes.
Anil John: He's too you know.
Anil John: Of Photography and what cryptography can be you so from so from that perspective I sort of interpret that to mean that if there is a specific direct guidance that you know this particular cryptography can only be implemented using ABC and options you do not have the luxury of getting out of that or waving that and I think.
Anil John: A lot of the work a lot of the guys.
Anil John: And a lot of the information that they provided there is very much around if you're using you know digital signatures you know these are the things that are really really important if you're using XYZ these are really really important and you cannot basically you know you don't have a get-out-of-jail-free card there where things get a little bit more interesting at least from my perspective is when cryptography that currently is not standardized and is.
Anil John: Not laid down in law is potentially.
Anil John: Has a specific set of benefits that may be from the perspective of the agency is beneficial to the agency in delivering your capability then that that particular aspect whereby how an agency sort of implements that becomes more of a risk based decision within the agency and a calculation own whether or not.
Anil John: Does the security properties.
Anil John: Other privacy properties of this can we have confidence in that and is it is it something that can actually deliver significant amount of value to the agency and if we implemented right so that that becomes a more nuanced discussion internally and it tends to be very agency and in a component specific in in in in how that is implemented beyond that I'm you know.
Anil John: No I I can't give you.
Anil John: You a lot more information and to be blunt a lot of these things that we're talking about a lot of the cryptography that we're talking about is basically you know as as Manu noted as Dave noted really good practice Market ography that has stood the test of time and we obviously will require that to be implemented but there are other pieces of the cryptography that nist has not standardized and is still you know something that may be of value to the government.
Anil John: And see and those are things that we will you know paying attention to you to make a roof space decision on whether that makes sense provided that it does not violate any existing law or in a broader security policies within government right so I'll that's my tap dancing and I'm going to stop there.
Mike Prorock: Yeah that's helpful and one thing I did want to comment on to that I think David mentioned that I think is also important is if you are looking at crypto in any of this kind of stuff you should be in touch with the authors of this stuff and you should be in touch with nist or other regulatory bodies if you're trying to bring something new in because that's kind of how that process works and crypto is slow for a reason David I see you on the cube.
David Balenson: Yes thank you so plus one on what you just said Mike absolutely I think it's important to have the conversations with with the government customers as an eel was just saying they're making a risk calculation you need to help them make that calculation and provide them the information necessary to support the case that this this is alternative crypto it may be approved but it provides necessary benefits.
David Balenson: And yet it's still.
David Balenson: Your mitigate the risks and give them the information they need to be able to make that case and then as you just alluded to as part of that talk to the algorithm developers talk to nist as well this is not trying to obstruct right they want to support as much as they possibly can but they have a lot that they're wrestling with and the whole transition to public-key crypto is clearly an important priority and then the other thought that occurs to me is this is yet another reason.
David Balenson: Reason why building crypto agility in.
David Balenson: Is absolutely critical because you're going to need and want to be able to support alternative algorithms not just over time through things like transition from current crypto to Future public post Quantum crypto but also to be able to support different sweets for different needs for different customers.
Mike Prorock: Yeah thanks man of your On Cue.
Manu Sporny: Yeah so all this is super super helpful so I'm trying to reflect back what I'm kind of hearing right so you know there's the established cryptography it exists we can point to nist standards we can point to ietf drafts this is stuff like you know shot three and shs and you know those sorts of things and then there's the you know when it comes to Phipps compliance there's the.
Manu Sporny: The what's deployed out there like what.
<anil_john> Specifically US Federal PKI
Manu Sporny: To you so to give folks an understanding like a flavor of what this actually means in practice if you go and you look at things like the certificate authorities that the government runs the US government runs Ori Canadian any government runs with specifically US Treasury certificate Authority stuff what you will find in there are Keys like keys that are 23 years old meaning the.
Manu Sporny: LG was invented 23 years.
Manu Sporny: Still what is used for kind of the certificate chain in so you know even if nist you know has approved some of these Newark you know forms of cryptography and all that kind of stuff when you get to Phipps compliance and if you have to use those fips-compliant systems you're talking about picking up and using technology that's that's 23 years old in some cases right what I think all of us want to see is the ability to in parallel you some of these newer Technologies so.
Manu Sporny: I think that there's a.
Manu Sporny: Plan for the Post Quantum stuff nist as David you mentioned nist is all over the poet's you know standardizing post Quantum crypto ietf you know is they're doing quite a bit of work you know in that area not as much as I think some of us would like to see but there's work happening there Mike you know put out you know spec with a number of really good names you know on it so that work feels like it's going to mature and it's going to happen right the BBS.
Manu Sporny: Plus stuff also you know there's work happening.
Manu Sporny: F this involvement in that is a bit fuzzy to me but you know I think they're aware of it so that's good like that's on a good good track so I feel like at least those two things that this community feel strongly about is happening in some capacity or another but it's definitely not going to be like at the same level that you all three is today at any point in the next year or two.
Manu Sporny: You know or three and I think.
Manu Sporny: We're saying.
Manu Sporny: Is that there's still a way to use that stuff certainly in Private Industry because they don't have this as strong requirement says US federal government systems have and so there's there we have this ability to kind of put it out in the market and in try it out okay so all that sounds good David in your report shifting gears a bit in your report there was there was this great thing that I feel like Nick and you did which is you create.
<anil_john> NIST and Pairing Based Cryptography --
<mprorock> thanks anil
Manu Sporny: It's like if you needed to draw a line to the nist Publications how does that flow from the w3c doc to an ITF dok2 in this stock so it is in I think they were named things like w3c description of hash functions w3c description of digital signature functions and things like that there's this presumption that there would be a specification that did that and I know I think you were you were kind of.
Manu Sporny: Sketching in the abstract in.
Manu Sporny: Paper in reality those types of documents won't exist at w3c w3c is too big of a place in there too many different application areas for w3c to publish one document on hash functions one document on signature functions and things of that nature so I mean we are taking that input into account David like I'm one of the editors we've got multiple editors of specifications on this call today that are going to.
<mprorock> direct link to the actual report on Pairing
Manu Sporny: Of that document and I just wanted to confirm with you that you weren't being literal when you said there's a you know a w3c description of hash functions you were saying there exist some document that then draws a clear line to ITF specs and then nest and Phipps Publications is that is that a proper interpretation of what you wrote.
David Balenson: I believe it is yes that was really our attempt to come up with an as when I'll call an as-built specification sort of the graph the path of the connection among the different crypto related documents and it was not an attempt to either.
<mprorock> a counter approach btw - we have directly linked to FIPS, NIST, as well as IETF in line in the profile
David Balenson: Analyze what was in each of them or to make any recommendations as to what should go into any of them ultimately that's up I think to you and the community is to decide what the right set of intermediate documents or specifications or glue documents that are needed in order to connect everything up we were just trying to make sure we had an understanding of what.
David Balenson: What the path was and and ensured that there was in fact the path right path to to the required NIST documents.
Mike Prorock: Cell phone the queue and I do want to kind of comment on that a little bit because the I thought I did yep you know one of the things we've kind of as a takeaway and it you know but all and feedback from David and others in the Trade Center op side of things that's part of why we have direct links out as appropriate to the very specific here is this exact publication here's the exact version of it you know.
Mike Prorock: No any superseding comments just below.
Mike Prorock: Like when I was coming in and looking at this stuff for the first time you know with a reasonable background in cryptography it was very hard to go find those underlying things and what exactly was going on and make sense of it compared to other things and so I think that kind of to that fifth point that they've had brought up around documentation that's an area that we all can always continue to improve right and that's not to say we've done it right there on the trade side but that's one of the goals there is to try to improve that aspect of it.
Mike Prorock: So that if you've got someone from the security side.
Mike Prorock: And you know like we work with a number of chemical companies and crop protection companies and stuff right when they're going in and looking at your the standards that you say you're following they should be able to quickly get to the reference points that thereafter they shouldn't have to click through three or four links to get it because they won't frankly he'll just say no has been my experience I did want to also comment because you know I know Manu that some of the stuff is like yep.
Mike Prorock: Four-year-old yo crypto or you know whatever else.
Mike Prorock: Reality with cryptography is outside of certain things that Force adoption of you know the you know like in this case you know post Quantum right or when things get broken on you know other other items right that force and Adoption of a new thing generally the older and more hammered something is on is the better right you did generally try not to take oh this is my cool thing that I like is it solves this problem and well that gets broken.
Mike Prorock: You should assume that that will get broken right first and.
Mike Prorock: Assume that getting broken is desirable right because it doesn't get broken publicly someone else won't break it behind the scenes and I'll tell you about it and then it becomes a real problem and it for those of us that have had engagement with like stream ciphers over the years right like our C4 is the classic example of something that's like oh this is cool it's super fast everything else got all these great properties gets widely deployed in turns out to be a nightmare in actual practice with all sorts of holes and then quickly everyone.
Mike Prorock: Who did not think about crypto agilities redoing massive amounts of their.
Mike Prorock: So a lot of this stuff is very well tied together men who c1q here.
<mprorock> a?
Manu Sporny: Yeah and I def I'm trying to not jump on the Queue too much and if it's other people but I've got a ton of questions for David's I'm not gonna I'm not gonna let the opportunity pass so I wanted to I wanted to acknowledge Mike what you're saying the old stuff stays around for much longer because it's tried and tested and it's been hammered on and you know it's secure and like there's all those are.
Mike Prorock: +1 Manu - there is a good reason to shake up certain things
Manu Sporny: Let me also remind all of us that the verifiable credentials initiative took three years of lobbying like before anything really happens because the x.509 community had such a violent reaction against some new form of issuing a certificate right I mean so verifiable credential you could just do this with x.509 certificates I don't see what the problem is the problem was solved along time ago and you're just injecting.
Manu Sporny: Completely useless new specification that's going to.
Manu Sporny: Iron like these are the arguments that were used against verifiable credentials for a good three years by existing you know certificate authorities large vendors that kind of thing right and then the the the argument shifted from x.509 20 Json web token exists it you can express any kind of claim that you want you can already do verifiable claims and in jwt's you don't need to change anything just register your properties at ITF in.
Manu Sporny: Are done right and that fight took.
<mprorock> i am not sure that fight is done
Manu Sporny: So there is a dark side to the the amount of vetting that is necessary that that we talked about and that is that the people that are bringing new technologies to bear on these problems where the old Technologies very clearly do not solve the problem have a really hard uphill like multi-year uphill fight to just even be given the chance to put.
Manu Sporny: All gee you know out there on a standard Strack so I wanted to make sure that you know there is there tends to be this kind of flippant response to anything new by establish vendors in the space that harms our ability to actually solve these problems right you have to convince everyone that there is actually a problem be be solved.
Manu Sporny: Changing subjects really quickly actually you know what no I'm gonna I'm gonna be quiet and let someone else go.
Mike Prorock: Nowadays I think you hit on some good things there and in a think one of the key topics is that that I think you got at is what your when you look at some of these established things why they're established and what is worth shaking up you know going after new crypto can be really hard for just the math proof reasons write them to and difficulties related to that and the fact that they rely on hard problems so it limits.
Mike Prorock: It's the space of.
Mike Prorock: That's the stuff but looking at how you transform and represent this stuff I mean that's where verifiable credentials obviously is a case in point like brings an actual like real Solution on top is especially around the semantic meaning side and things like that they're highly valuable those are critical things of value that differentiate from existing x.509 or the continuing fight with jwk you know where aspects of jwk right on its own.
Mike Prorock: You know so I think.
Mike Prorock: Wing what battles to go pick you know crypto itself is probably like the actual underlying cryptography probably barking up the wrong tree as far as like getting broad commercial adoption if you're after broad commercial or covid option but you can definitely fight those battles on things like key representations and things like that right especially if there are significant value to be had since we actually have like a customer of this kind of stuff on the line I'm going to put them on the spot I.
Mike Prorock: It's on you know that aspect of the discussion like as far as Expo nines and JW case and movement forward adoption new tech I mean what motivated you to even start looking at this space from a you know gov you know / commercial aspect.
Anil John: So you may or may not like the answer that I gave you Mike so it's a lot but I'll give it any where right so I think I've been very clear from the beginning of my involvement in this community that I work for a sovereign I tend not to buy into the Techno utopianism of some of the my colleagues here on this call right so having said that the rationale for moving forward with verifiable credentials.
Anil John: Two fires in particular were very straightforward I'll start with decentralized identifiers primarily because of the the I was going to use a pejorative I'll refrain from it the disaster that is a social security number where I'm number that in the 1930s was designed to be a identifier for a social benefit as over time become conflated and being used as an.
Anil John: A was a problem that we thought that I needed to get a solution to and so when when Drummond read my new Christopher Allen and less Jason paying me way back you know five or six years ago and said hey we want to like take a look at this and is there any way is there any interest in your community would there be any funding for it I was happy to find it because I saw that as a.
Anil John: As a potential solution to Iraq and identify a representation that clearly separate your dedication from an identifier functionality and provided a set of capabilities on top of it having said that to be blunt I had no idea that they and the did working good would actually have a opportunity to solve one of the fundamental problems in.
Anil John: It which is if.
Anil John: Digitally signed document how do you basically get access to the public key that was you know the mate of the private key that was used to digitally sign that document I consider the resolver functionality that is in the did to be the super secret super power of the decentralized identify our ecosystem I don't care about decentralization I don't I love the separation of.
Anil John: Ian and and authentic.
Anil John: Shouldn't but the secret super power is a resolution functionality where you can feed in an identifier and you get a container of that basically contains metadata about the issuer right so that's a big deal so so that that was a reason for going down that particular path the very fiber credential very simple json-ld is really really attractive because it is a global standard it basically is the underpinning of verifiable could.
Anil John: I'm not used in isolation and we really did not have a mechanism that provided a generic way that of representing information that was semantically aware supported language translations because in a bit because of the rdf underpinnings and provided a mechanism for providing information in a developer friendly manner so so those were some of the rationale for going down this path and.
Anil John: What came out of.
Anil John: Out verifiable credential is that clear separation that separated out the holder which typically has been either ignored or glommed together with the with the issue itself that was articulate in the verifiable credentials data model and a lot of the other properties that have come along for the ride where by you giving agency and power to that holder the ability to put in place capabilities that does not.
Anil John: You know does not continue to encourage a an environment where you are an issuer has the ability to track you across space and time depending on whether credential is used so the the ability to sort of architect the solution such that you can prevent the phone home problem and things like that was really attractive so all of that and the potential bridge to paper that that technology provides.
Anil John: Really become really really important.
Anil John: You my two primary customers write my two primary components at the people that I do this work on behalf of which also just so happens to be the two oldest parts of the US government to entities that have been around as long as America has been around u.s. immigration which is in the business of producing everything from the permanent resident card employment authorization and u.s. Customs which is in the business of digitizing trade document right so and.
Anil John: They saw the value of these Technologies.
Anil John: In the because it provided the open Global Perspective that is not very u.s. Centric that actually is something that a global Community can get behind and I know that it was a long-winded answer to probably something that you were hoping was short Mike but that's the rationale.
Mike Prorock: No I that's actually exactly what I was looking for so that was extremely helpful because I think we don't often enough think about the Practical like sometimes it's very easy to get distracted by like tech for tech sake because sometimes it's just cool right now and a lot of times it's important to go back and look at the motivation for adoption so that we can focus on the amplifying that message for further adoption across other areas so.
Mike Prorock: I see you on the Queue and then we'll pass it to.
Mike Prorock: Bubbly response Andorra wrap up so.
Manu Sporny: Okay great thanks and yeah that's it's always really interesting to me to hear Anil you go through the rationale for why these Technologies are interesting to the US government it certainly I mean it's strange I've heard that multiple times throughout the years every time I hear it it feels new and in like really good it they're really solid points.
Manu Sporny: Is that for whatever reason are not the motivating factors for at least our organization I mean we it is they are motivating factors but they're not the primary one so I think it's really neat that this technology has gotten people that are very much interested in self Sovereign identity interested in them and Sovereign Nations interested in the same technology there's a bridge building going on there that's interesting socially interesting.
Manu Sporny: Last question is is.
Manu Sporny: To David it's really to the general ecosystem you've spoken a couple of times about this is really food for thought you've spoken a couple of times about cryptographic agility and I think everyone here is totally on board with that and we're building our systems to make sure that their cryptographically agile it was a lesson learned long ago you know with our C4 and md5 and all that all that kind of stuff however I think there's a gap in the.
Manu Sporny: That you've got people working on cryptographic Primitives like the crypto form research group at ITF in nist in there basically these tools these Primitives that you kind of throw out on the table and then the step that happens after that at least to me is horrifying because then you have a bunch of seemingly random developers picking those Primitives off of the table and putting them together in ways that I would suggest or dangerous right so.
Manu Sporny: This kind of gets the the concern that.
<mprorock> lol @manu - this is a very concerning and awesome and terrifying point
Manu Sporny: Don't have an OSHA for cryptography so OSHA is the occupational safety and health administration when you go on a job site any kind of physical job site you know in the United States and people aren't wearing their harnesses or their hard hats OSHA can come in and find them because it's an unsafe work environment we do not have that in cryptography and so what you end up having is like web developers that have very little understanding.
Manu Sporny: Of cryptography just kind of slapping things together.
<anil_john> We *USG* does have it via FISMA/FIPS pubs :-)
Mike Prorock: +1 Anil
Manu Sporny: And we've seen some of that in this space in there some of us are really trying to make sure that you know things are built in the right way and it's debatable on what the right way there is so does anyone know of such a thing because it's not ITF and it's not nest and it's not the it's not the the conference's paper conferences what is the equivalent of Osha for.
<tallted_//_ted_thibodeau_(he/him)_(> NSA
<mprorock> no such...
Anil John: I'll just jump in here my new and say that I disagree with one Nuance on it right so it's the US government does have something that is the equivalent of it and that is the entire theme of this today's and last briefing right the fisma Phipps Publications that are binding on the US government is the equivalent of Osha for cryptography on the US government now it's not binding on the private sector and I.
Anil John: I have no answer there.
<manu> FISMA/FIPS has never stepped in in our commercial contracts and fined us (or anyone), nor has the NSA :)
Anil John: Hey these what what nist is doing and Publishing is open and they are they do encourage other people to adopt it.
David Balenson: Yeah I would agree with that wholeheartedly and point out that in many ways this is not dissimilar to just the whole software Assurance challenge right so crypto is not the only area where we've run into challenges with the process that you're describing manyu right we've got people who are slapping together software that aren't always applying the right software security.
<mprorock> software supply chain is a big deal that shares the same issue
<mprorock> the work Krebs started on this front is quite good
David Balenson: When they couldn't should be and I know that there are a lot of efforts of foot to try to improve software Assurance I know that sza the cyber security and infrastructure Security Agency and another one of the many components within DHS is been working on identifying vulnerabilities and trying to come up with new processes to improve software Assurance to improve improve supply chain security.
David Balenson: There's efforts such as.
David Balenson: Software bill of materials just for tracking what the software components are right you can't even begin to know what are the issues the challenges the vulnerabilities if you don't even know what what software you're using and then there's also always forget the with the acronym stands for vex it's a companion effort on Vex and then you've got things like CDE and what have you and.
David Balenson: Perhaps extending these processes or coming up with similar processes for cryptography you also excluded the ITF and yes they're not the OSHA fisma is more like the OSHA but I still think it's good I was even going to mention this earlier it's good to align with the ITF into work as a community to develop the appropriate standards.
David Balenson: And I think that that.
David Balenson: Because then that provides the standards that the software developers can write the packages to and then the packages are in better shape for for web developers and others to to adopt and use in fact it's one of the things I mentioned this to you the other day Mike I would be curious to know what are some of the common crypto package that folks in this form are using are they using packages that are already out there like like TLS.
David Balenson: There's or are they rolling their own and sort of where did they.
Mike Prorock: Yeah II that actually would be a great topic for a future meeting and if you would like to join us on that I absolutely will spin a topic call on that because I've been digging pretty heavy into that over the last few months actually and if there's some interesting and surprising stuff as well as some good stuff but it's kind of a little bit all over the place unfortunately we are at time but the one note that I'm going to say in closing man who is Wala we don't have someone like oh sure that comes in and finds you.
Mike Prorock: If you do it wrong you do have folks that want adopt your contracts.
Mike Prorock: I'm not sure we need.
Mike Prorock: Sara Lee in cryptography what people that can come in and find you for that for the simple reason you know legislation and other areas that are pushing for things like back doors and crypto that frankly break the whole damn thing right that we should never allow to come into play so it so it's a fine line right it's a very nuanced topic like a lot of the stuff we're dealing with here especially when it relates back to personal privacy so.
<anil_john> Thank you CCG, thank you Dave .. appreciate the opportunity to contribute to the discussion today.
David Balenson: And and real quick let me let me just throw in another potential future topic is globalization right and and when you're dealing with different countries different government's right I mean I support automotive cybersecurity and we're having this challenge with manufacturers who are trying to sell in the US and Asia and China for example right and and different requirements for different crypto.
<manu> SM9 and GOST are mentioned in the new VC 2.0 WG :)
Mike Prorock: Yeah absolutely export restrictions are a thing like if you're dealing with real crypto and are not familiar with that you will probably run into it at some point.
David Balenson: And I'm not even talking about export restrictions I'm just talking about global markets and how do you support different crypto that are required for different different markets.
David Balenson: I'm back.
<manu_sporny> Yes, thank you David!!! Really enjoyed this meeting.
Mike Prorock: Yep yeah and it could Point man who just a rabbits out that sm9 goes siderite that's stuff BC next PC working groups going to be pretty critical here so really appreciate the time thanks everyone who are going five minutes over here the once again David thank thank you very much really appreciate this deep dive hopefully this is the first of many back and forwards on certain key deep topics as relates to the community so.