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Subject: Re: [wsrp] Dealing with unauthenticated users

I would agree, though think we may want to consider additional values for userAuthentication for v1.1

Rich Thompson

Subbu Allamaraju <subbu@bea.com>

07/16/2003 03:00 PM

        To:        Michael Freedman <Michael.Freedman@oracle.com>
        cc:        wsrp@lists.oasis-open.org
        Subject:        Re: [wsrp] Dealing with unauthenticated users

I'm a but puzzled by your point that userAuthentication=wsrp:none means
the user is not "authorized". This has nothing to do with authorization.
It just means that the consumer has not yet or could not determine the
user identity. The consumer may still send some user categories that the
producer *may* use to personalize the markup. Why would this not address
your use case?


Michael Freedman wrote:
> Unfortunately, RuntimeContext.userAuthentication=wsrp:none isn't good
> enough.  It doesn't mean that the user identity is undetermined.  If
> merely means the user wasn't authorized.  Some consumer may prefer to
> implement a form of "weak" authorization whereby they use a client
> cookie to infer who the user is prior to a formal login to present a
> [partially] customized page.  Weak authorization is represented by
> sending a UserContext with the userId and a
> RuntimeContext.userAuthentication=wsrp:none.  Hence we still have the
> issue I raised concerning recoginizing the difference between I don't
> know this users identity  but want to pass user categories that apply to
> unrecognized users vs. a real user identity.
>      -Mike-
> Andre Kramer wrote:
>> We have RuntimeContext.userAuthentication == wsrp:none to say the user
>> identity is undetermined by a consumer.
>> Portlets can also use UserProfile info for users. If none is supplied,
>> the producer should not make any inference on user identity.
>> So I would prefer a real user context key and see no need on agreeing
>> a common value, but had asked for a "portlet is being shared" flag to
>> signal that a portlet is being multiplexed. Maybe this expand to cover
>> other common use cases in 2.0 such as "consumer is hiding end user
>> identity for privacy reasons"?
>> regards,
>> Andre
>>     -----Original Message-----
>>     *From:* Michael Freedman [mailto:Michael.Freedman@oracle.com]
>>     *Sent:* 15 July 2003 21:44
>>     *To:* wsrp@lists.oasis-open.org
>>     *Subject:* Re: [wsrp] Dealing with unauthenticated users
>>     The wsrp list it is ...
>>     I would like to avoid diving into the whole security discussion
>>     again ... that is why at the end I tried [poorly] to distill the
>>     question down to how can a consumer indicate that it provides user
>>     categories for interactions where it doesn't know the identity of
>>     the user?  Or put another way, how does the consumer provide
>>     information to the producer so it can decide the consumers intent
>>     on how an anonymous user can control the preferences of the
>>     entity?  I don't think the consumer should manufacture [on its
>>     own] a dummy user context key for this.  Rather it should have the
>>     ability to clearly communicate this circumstance -- however, given
>>     where we are in the specification process however we have to look
>>     for ways of working within the structure we have -- hence I focus
>>     on defining a consistent representation of this dummy user context
>>     key so this particular situation can/will be represented in an
>>     interoperable way.  I suggested "" to avoid collisions with any
>>     name the consumer might consider valid in its environment.  
>>          -Mike-
>>     Rich Thompson wrote:
>>>     How about we just carry this thread on the wsrp list rather than
>>>     many people getting duplicate emails?
>>>     I think there are some significant issues with interpreting
>>>     application data items as supplying security information rather
>>>     than actually using whatever might be available from security
>>>     subsystems. While on the surface your suggestion might appear
>>>     reasonable, how does it play out against the standard
>>>     man-in-the-middle attack mode that security people work hard to
>>>     stop?
>>>     Rich Thompson
>>>                      *Michael Freedman <Michael.Freedman@oracle.com>*
>>>     07/15/2003 03:27 PM
>>>             To:        wsrp-interop <wsrp-interop@lists.oasis-open.org>
>>>             cc:        WSRP <wsrp@lists.oasis-open.org>
>>>             Subject:        [wsrp] Dealing with unauthenticated users
>>>     I have cc'd this e-mail to the entier list because I think folks
>>>     might
>>>     be interested in general -- I apologize up front if this is
>>>     something
>>>     you don't want to see.
>>>     We have discussed that though the specification doesn't define the
>>>     UserContext [userContextKey and userCategories] as carrying security
>>>     information, we expect some producers to use this application level
>>>     information to satisfy its needs.  Currently, the userContextKey
>>>     is a
>>>     required field.  Hence the current way a consumer indicates it
>>>     doesn't
>>>     know the users identity is by passing a null userContext.  This
>>>     however
>>>     prevents the consumer from defining/mapping user categories to
>>>     unauthenticated/unknown users.  However consumers often represent
>>>     this
>>>     class of user just so some control can be defined on this class.
>>>      For
>>>     example, control as represented by wsrp:minimal user category.  
>>>     So the questions is, do we want to support defining/using user
>>>     categories on public/guest users?  If so, how do we deal with the
>>>     producer/JSR 168 interoperability problem wherein the producer
>>>     uses the
>>>     userContext/userContextKey field to establish whether its
>>>     communicating
>>>     with an authenticated user [through its trust relationship with the
>>>     consumer]?  Wouldn't we need to define a special token value for
>>>     userContextKey that all producers could safely use to mean the
>>>     application hasn't established the identity of the user but oh by
>>>     the
>>>     way here are the user categories that relate to anyonymous users?  I
>>>     would suggest we use the convention that an empty string "" as the
>>>     userContextKey indicates such a user.  What do others think?
>>>        -Mike-
>>>     You may leave a Technical Committee at any time by visiting
>>>     http://www.oasis-open.org/apps/org/workgroup/wsrp/members/leave_workgroup.php

You may leave a Technical Committee at any time by visiting http://www.oasis-open.org/apps/org/workgroup/wsrp/members/leave_workgroup.php

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