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Subject: Re: [office] Digital Signature proposal

Duane Nickull <dnickull@adobe.com> wrote on 07/30/2008 01:49:45 PM:

> It sounds like this TC has not documented dSig requirements from users. 
> a big fan of ODF, I would like to suggest we consider collecting some as 
> would hate to see implementations of ODF get pushed aside based on not
> meeting the basic requirements for dSig.  I can help reach out to the
> Canadian Government, maybe UK, Austria, Germany and US too.
> Thoughts?

Document security, both on the encryption and digital signature side is a 
critical issue to get right.  I know that I'm not an expert in the area, 
but my gut feeling is that we need to bring in some expertise.  This is 
similar to what we did when we brought it accessibility experts to 
evaluate our gaps and options with ODF 1.0.

The concerns I have are:

1) XAdES appears to satisfy the requirements of Brazil and possible 
Europe.  But what about the US (FIPS)?  What about Japan?  What about 
China?  Most of the ODF vendors today are selling their products 
internationally.  The open source implementations are certainly 
distributing internationally.  So I think we need a more comprehensive 
view of what the digital signature requirements are globally.  Although 
XAdES may be part of this, I think it may be worth getting the 
requirements up front and to work this out comprehensively.  Maybe it 
means we need W3C XML DigSig and 3 other standards, including XAdES.  I 
don't know.  But I don't want to wait for ODF 2.0 for this.  I want us to 
get this done for ODF 1.2.

2) Are we doing the right thing for encryption?  I read one blog post by a 
security expert suggesting that what we have specified today may not be 

3) Are we doing what we need now, to be flexible for what we may add 
tomorrow?  For example, we may not allow field level encryption today, or 
slide-level signatures today, or multiple author signatures on overlapping 
parts of a document, but let's make sure that we don't specify these 
things in a way which would preclude us from adding more advanced features 
later.  I'd like to be able to wave my arms and describe how these 
features could be done, by extending what we have specified, without 
looking too foolish.

Again, this is not my area of expertise, but I can certainly tap into 
security expertise within IBM.  I wonder whether it would be worth putting 
together a few experts from TC members and member companies to review what 
we have today, and Jomar's/Bob's proposal, and suggest additional 
requirements that should be met for ODF 1.2, and serve as a reviewer of 
the security areas of the eventual draft text.  This could be done as a 
"security subcommittee" like we did with accessibility.  Or we could do it 
with a few conference calls, outside of the normal TC call schedule.

In the end we need these features in ODF to be world class, because that 
is our audience.


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