Dave, if you have any facts to contribute to the discussion, it would be
nice if you included them.
Yes, it is always nice to include facts. That is why I noted their absence from
> I've chosen to interpret your note as some
questions and comments on the hypothesis I advanced in my previous
message, and have tried to supply some additional information below.
A note that says that you have made basic errors, that render your
unconstructive to the current topic, probably qualifies as more than
"questions and comments".
The empirical fact is that I get some S/MIME signed mail. I cannot
verify their origin, because my mailer does not have a certificate chain
installed that allows the machinery installed in my mailer to do so. I
have heard from others that the same thing happens to them.
Taking a very small sampling, from a very limited community, and projecting it
onto a population of roughly 1 billion users, is not valid analytic methodology,
Don't do it.
This is a phenomenon that I've seen rather consistently over the years,
and it seems to me that "no single root" is a reasonable description of
Your discussion of no single root made two claims. One was about the failure of
s/mime failure and the second was about IETF community consensus. The
fact that multiple roots can (and do) cause problems does not provide
substantiation for either of your claims.
So, you are taking my challenge on your logic as somehow indicating that I think
use of multiple roots is not often a problem.
Don't do that.
I did not choose to repeat those observable facts; I chose to clearly
label my hypothesis based on them a hypothesis ("might").
The logic you are using is that a technology characteristic that causes you (and
some others) problems might be a reason for the relative failure of that
technology. However, any interesting technology has lots of problems; this is
true even for successful ones. Hence, the mere presence of a problem does not
qualify it as a basis for the failure of the technology.
In other words, Harald, anything "might" be a cause. Adding the "might" does
not free up the speaker from being responsible for what they choose to suggest.
You chose what to claim "might" be responsible, but you have no basis for
that, other than a limited sampling of problem experiences.
In other words, Harald, absent a serious basis for citing the possible cause,
mentioning it is injecting mere noise into the dialogue. Were we having a
light-hearted discussion about the failure of s/mime, perhaps such casual
reference to possible causes "might" make sense. In a discussion about the
chartering of DKIM, it makes none.
Oh, I see by your later text that you can't. So what is your basis for
saying "the IETF community has rejected"? For that matter, I suspect you
are wrong. For example, the IETF did standardize private re-use of
address space, which is its own bit of balkanization.
I can't parse what I'm supposed to be wrong about here....
the IETF community seems to have rough consensus on what the IAB said in
RFC 2826 about the DNS single root. In addressing, see RFC 1958 section 4.
1. It represents IAB consensus. IETF consensus on the document has never been
assessed, yet you appear to be claiming otherwise.
2. An assertion concerning the DNS root has no automatic generalization to a
principle that multiple roots is bad, yet that is what you have just attempted.
As for the rejection of single roots - that's a hypothesis, and I'm
advancing it as a hypothesis that seems to have reasonable predictive
value - what one would expect if the hypothesis was true seems to match
fairly well what happens in reality (no security standards work apart
Harald, let's cut to the chase. How is any of this relevant to the chartering
of DKIM? So far, this has become a frustrating exercise in fears and sloppy
logic. If you have any facts to contribute to the question of chartering DKIM,
it would be nice if you included them.
Given your statement, here, it appears that you are calling for DKIM chartering
to be preceded by some sort of research project that attempts to assess the
diffusion of innovation failures for message signing. I suspect that would
entail rather more delay than is reasonable, nevermind the challenge in
producing useful research results.
I haven't seen anyone promoting multiple roots in this discussion, so how
is this line of discussion at all relevant to the chartering of DKIM?
Actually, the subject line doesn't say anything about DKIM, so this
thread is presumably about "Bozoproofing the net, was The Value of
Reputation". But the current argument is actually somewhat relevant to
You think that John K's note that you were responding to did not have DKIM as
its focus? I encourage you to re-read it.
DKIM (as I interpret it, and for this version) chooses a trust path that
says "keys belonging to a domain sign messages". This means that each
domain is its own "root".
What an interesting bit of logic. Good thing you raised it, since the
application of your logic means that the distributed administration of domain
name and IP Address mappings -- essentially the same thing as domain name/key
mapping is the result of multiple roots. We had better fix that fast, since it
must be causing failure of adoption of the Internet.
The pieces that tie the "roots" together aren't specified in current
It isn't? You don't think that the administrative structure of the DNS might
mitigate this supposed problem, just a tad?
there's a good argument that it shouldn't be. One of the
candidates for those pieces is called "reputation systems"; another,
possibly orthogonal, is DNSSEC.
Reputation systems have something to do with a single administrative root?
FWIW, I'm in favour of approving the DKIM charter in its present form,
Good to know, since that is very much NOT what John K's note promotes. He calls
for adding a deliverable.
That's the problem with using guesses as facts.
As far as I know, I'm using guesses as guesses. Also known as "theories".
Harald, theories are supposed to have substantial basis, not stray bits of data.
When did fear and psychosocial guesses become the basis for blocking IETF
As far as I know, reasonable fears and well-funded guesses are a
*reasonable* basis for making decisions, given that facts about what
When we see any applied to this discussion, I'll agree with you. So far, we
haven't even come close, and I spent some effort explaining why.
Come to think of it, I do not recall seeing you respond to any of the substance
of my comments.
Please consider less dismissive frivolity and more care and relevance in your
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