Musings on Digital Identity

Month: February 2016

JWS Unencoded Payload Option is now RFC 7797

IETF logoThe JWS Unencoded Payload Option specification is now RFC 7797 — an IETF standard. The abstract describes the specification as:

JSON Web Signature (JWS) represents the payload of a JWS as a base64url-encoded value and uses this value in the JWS Signature computation. While this enables arbitrary payloads to be integrity protected, some have described use cases in which the base64url encoding is unnecessary and/or an impediment to adoption, especially when the payload is large and/or detached. This specification defines a means of accommodating these use cases by defining an option to change the JWS Signing Input computation to not base64url-encode the payload. This option is intended to broaden the set of use cases for which the use of JWS is a good fit.

This specification updates RFC 7519 by stating that JSON Web Tokens (JWTs) MUST NOT use the unencoded payload option defined by this specification.

This option is used by including the header parameters "b64":false and "crit":["b64"]. JWTs never use this option.

Initial OAuth working group Device Flow specification

OAuth logoThanks to William Denniss for creating the initial working group version of the OAuth 2.0 Device Flow specification. The abstract of the specification is:

The device flow is suitable for OAuth 2.0 clients executing on devices which do not have an easy data-entry method (e.g., game consoles, TVs, picture frames, and media hubs), but where the end-user has separate access to a user-agent on another computer or device (e.g., desktop computer, a laptop, a smart phone, or a tablet).

Note: This version of the document is a continuation of an earlier, long expired draft. The content of the expired draft has been copied almost unmodified. The goal of the work on this document is to capture deployment experience.

If you’re using an OAuth device flow, please let us know whether this specification matches your usage, and if not, how yours differs.

The specification is available at:

An HTML-formatted version is also available at:

OAuth Discovery spec pared down to its essence

OAuth logoIn response to working group input, this version of the OAuth Discovery specification has been pared down to its essence — leaving only the features that are already widely deployed. Specifically, all that remains is the definition of the authorization server discovery metadata document and the metadata values used in it. The WebFinger discovery logic has been removed. The relationship between the issuer identifier URL and the well-known URI path relative to it at which the discovery metadata document is located has also been clarified.

Given that this now describes only features that are in widespread deployment, the editors believe that this version is ready for working group last call.

The specification is available at:

An HTML-formatted version is also available at:

Authentication Method Reference Values spec incorporating adoption feedback

OAuth logoThis draft of the Authentication Method Reference Values specification incorporates OAuth working group feedback from the call for adoption. The primary change was to remove the “amr_values” request parameter, so that “amr” values can still be returned as part of an authentication result, but cannot be explicitly requested. Also, noted that OAuth 2.0 is inadequate for authentication without employing appropriate extensions and changed the IANA registration procedure to no longer require a specification.

The specification is available at:

An HTML-formatted version is also available at:

Initial OAuth working group Discovery specification

OAuth logoWe have created the initial working group version of OAuth Discovery based on draft-jones-oauth-discovery-01, with no normative changes.

The specification is available at:

An HTML-formatted version is also available at:

W3C Web Authentication Working Group

W3C logoThe W3C approved the Web Authentication Working Group charter today and announced the first working group meeting, which will be on March 4, 2016 in San Francisco. The initial input to the working group was the member submission of FIDO 2.0 Platform Specifications.

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