[Top] [All Lists]

Re[2]: IETF S/MIME and Algorithm Independence

1997-05-02 08:02:24

I'd like to make an observation on the current IETF S/MIME draft that I 
think may need to be addressed.  I believe it is the IETF's goal to achieve 
algorithm-independent drafts wherever possible.

However, there was a mandate that we *not* do that on this work, that we 
specify a minimum interoperability standard. That is, we don't want MOSS II.

I disagree.  We want an algorithm independent protocol, but we want to pick a 
"must implement" algorithm that ensures interoperability.

PKCS #7 is an excellent standard for RSA messages, it is not currently 
designed to handle other types of cryptography.

Well, we can all imagine why it was designed the way that it is. I'd be 
interested in hearing about which other types of cryptography are prevented 
by PKCS #7. With the SMIMECapabilities attributes, we're allowing 
implementations to change anything, including the type of cryptography 
used. This was specifically to allow the kinds of changes you want, so if 
some are prevented by PKCS  #7, we should deal with that soon.

Paul, the current structure mandates the use of RSA key management. The standrd 
should not prohibit the use of other techniques such a Diffie-Hellman.  It is 
possible to have RSA as the "must implement" key management algorithm, but the 
standardized structure should not prohibit the use of other techniques.