Mathematical Mesh: Architecture

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Document Type Active Internet-Draft (individual)
Author Phillip Hallam-Baker 
Last updated 2016-01-13
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Network Working Group                                    P. Hallam-Baker
Internet-Draft                                         Comodo Group Inc.
Intended status: Standards Track                        January 14, 2016
Expires: July 17, 2016

                    Mathematical Mesh: Architecture


   The Mathematical Mesh ?The Mesh? is an end-to-end secure
   infrastructure that facilitates the exchange of configuration and
   credential data between multiple user devices.  The architecture of
   the Mesh and examples of typical applications are described.

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1.  Introduction

   The Mathematical Mesh is a user centered Public Key Infrastructure
   that uses cryptography to make computers easier to use.

   The Mesh uses cryptography and an untrusted cloud service to make
   management of computer configuration data transparent to the end
   user.  Each Mesh user has a personal profile that is unique to them
   and contains a set of public keys for maintaining the user?s Mesh

2.  Definitions

2.1.  Requirements Language

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   document are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119 [RFC2119].

3.  Background

   Public Key Cryptography permits Internet applications to be secure
   but requires an infrastructure for key distribution.

   WebPKI has been very successful for E-commerce.  Client side PKI has
   been remarkably less successful.

   S/MIME and OpenPGP both have significant user bases but both have
   been limited to a small community.  Government for S/MIME, system
   admins and security researchers for OpenPGP.  Use of PKI for
   authentication of Web users has seen negligible use.

   One of the chief obstacles any network application has to overcome is
   the critical mass problem.  While S/MIME and OpenPGP both have
   several million users, this is a small fraction of the number of
   email users.

   It is likely that the more significant obstacle to deployment is the
   difficulty of using client side PKI applications.  While S/MIME and
   OpenPGP both claim to reduce the effort of sending secure email ?to a
   single click?, no security feature that requires the user to make a
   conscious decision to use it every time it is used can ever hope to
   achieve ubiquitous deployment.

   Attempting to automate the process of sending encrypted mail
   introduces a new problem.  The fact that a user has configured a
   client to receive encrypted mail the past does not mean that they are
   capable of receiving and decrypting such mail today.  And even if

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   they are still capable of receiving the encrypted mail today, this
   capability may be limited to a single machine that they do not
   currently have access to.

   While such objections have been repeatedly dismissed as trivial and
   ?easily solved? by protocol designers, to ordinary email users, they
   are anything but trivial.  If a change is to be made to an
   infrastructure they rely on daily, it must be completely transparent.
   An email security infrastructure that interrupts or disrupts their
   flow of work is totally unacceptable.
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