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Subject: proposed definition: "security context"

security context

   With respect to an individual SAML protocol message, the security context is 
the semantic union of the message's security header blocks (if any) along with 
other security mechanisms that may be employed in the message's delivery to a 
recipient. With respect to the latter, an example is security mechanisms 
employed at lower network stack layers such as HTTP, TLS/SSL, IPSEC, etc.

   With respect to a system entity, "Alice", interacting with another system 
entity, "Bob", a security context is nominally the semantic union of all 
employed security mechanisms across all network connections between Alice and 
Bob. Alice and Bob may each individually be, for example, a provider or a user 
agent. This notion of security context is essentially the same as the notion of 
"security contexts" as employed in the Distributed Computing Environment [DCE], 
for example.


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