The information below is for an older proposed charter
Document Proposed charter Public Notary Transparency WG (trans) Snapshot
Title Transpaency
Last updated 2014-01-22
State Start Chartering/Rechartering (Internal Steering Group/IAB Review) Rechartering
WG State Active
IESG Responsible AD Roman Danyliw
Charter Edit AD Stephen Farrell
Send notices to (None)


Mitigating web site certificate mis-issuance is the initial problem of
interest for this working group. Certificate Transparency (CT,
RFC6962) allows such mis-issuance to be detected in interesting and
useful cases, for example by an auditor acting for the web site, or
one acting to check general CA behaviour. The working group will
produce a standards-track version of the experimental RFC 6962
reflecting implementation and deployment experience since that
specification was completed.

Additionally, many other Internet protocols require a mapping between
some kind of identifier and some kind of public key, for example,
SMTPS, IPSec, DNSSEC and OpenPGP. As with HTTPS, these protocols rely
on either ad-hoc mappings, (as in a web of trust), or on authorities
(such as CAs) that attest to the mappings. History shows that neither
of these mechanisms is entirely satisfactory.  Ad-hoc mappings are
difficult to discover and maintain, and authorities make mistakes or
are subverted.

Cryptographically verifiable logs can help to ameliorate these
problems by making it possible to discover and rectify errors before
they can cause harm. A cryptographically verifiable log is an
append-only log of hashes of more-or-less anything that  is structured
in such a way as to provide efficiently-accessible,
cryptographically-supported evidence of correct log behaviour. For
example, RFC 6962 says: "The append-only property of each log is
technically achieved using Merkle Trees, which can be used to show
that any particular version of the log is a superset of any particular
previous version. Likewise, Merkle Trees avoid the need to blindly
trust logs: if a log attempts to show different things to different
people, this can be efficiently detected by comparing tree roots and
consistency proofs. Similarly, other misbehaviors of any log (e.g.,
issuing signed timestamps for certificates they then don't log) can be
efficiently detected and proved to the world at large."

These logs can potentially also assist with other interesting
problems, such as how to assure end users that software they are
running is, indeed, the software they intend to run.

While the privacy issues related to use of RFC6962 for public
web sites are minimal, the working group will consider privacy
as it might impact on uses of CT e.g. within enterprises or
for other uses of logs.

Work items:

- Publish an update to RFC 6962 as a standards-track mechanism to
apply verifiable logs to HTTP over TLS.  As DANE (RFC6698) provides an
alternative keying infrastructure to that used in the current web PKI,
the working group should consider appropriate client behavior in the
presence of both DANE-based keying and current web PKI when
standardising CT.

- Discuss mechanisms and techniques that allow cryptographically
verifiable logs to be deployed to improve the security of protocols
and software distribution. Where such mechanisms appear sufficiently
useful, the WG will re-charter to add relevant new work items.  Should
no such items be chartered the WG will close when documents associated
with the first work item are complete.