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Subject: Re: Requirement for Isolated Request for Authorization Atributes

>>>>> "OD" == Orchard, David <dorchard@jamcracker.com> writes:

    OD> Pardon my gross ignorance, but is requesting authorization
    OD> attributes roughly equivalent to requesting policies?  So
    OD> would it be that SAML defines a carrier for whatever XACL
    OD> defines for ACLs?


The way we've defined "authorization attributes" is that they are
attributes of the subject which are used to make authorization
decisions -- such as group membership, role, organization, identity,
etc. This could easily be stretched to include practially any profile
information, e.g., to get to the Left Handers' Club Web site, I need
to have an attribute saying that I'm left-handed.

(I think the reason these are called authz attributes rather than
authz assertions is that they may not be a separate assertion at
all. Rather, they may be bound into an authn assertion -- part of an
authenticating party's output would be putting together these authz
attributes, and binding them to the authenticated party.)

What you're talking about, we've called "policy assertions" -- e.g.,
asserting the rule that, if the subject has the left-handedness
authorization attribute, they may enter the Left Handers' Club Web

One last type of authz assertion is "authorization decisions" -- the
statement that, "I, Policy Decision Point, checked the rules and
hereby grant 'Evan Prodromou' entry to the 'Left Handers' Club Web
site'." It doesn't state the criteria for making the decision, it just
says that the decision was made. So when the PEP for the LHC Web site
questions me, I can wave the authz decision in its face and go on my

Does that all make sense?


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