The "safe" HTTP Preference
draft-nottingham-safe-hint-01

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Document Type Active Internet-Draft (individual)
Author Mark Nottingham 
Last updated 2014-03-15
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Network Working Group                                      M. Nottingham
Internet-Draft                                            March 16, 2014
Intended status: Informational
Expires: September 17, 2014

                       The "safe" HTTP Preference
                     draft-nottingham-safe-hint-01

Abstract

   This specification defines a "safe" preference for HTTP, expressing a
   user preference to avoid "objectionable" content.

Status of This Memo

   This Internet-Draft is submitted in full conformance with the
   provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79.

   Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
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   This Internet-Draft will expire on September 17, 2014.

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   Copyright (c) 2014 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

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Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
     1.1.  Notational Conventions  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
   2.  The "safe" Preference . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
   3.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
   4.  IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
   5.  References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
     5.1.  Normative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
     5.2.  Informative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
   Appendix A.  Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
   Appendix B.  Using "safe" on Your Web Site  . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

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1.  Introduction

   Many Web sites have a "safe" mode, to assist those who don't want to
   be exposed to "objectionable" content, or who don't want their
   children to be exposed to such content.  YouTube [youtube], Yahoo!
   Search [yahoo], Google Search [google], Bing Search [bing], and many
   other services have such a setting.

   However, a user that wishes to have this preference honoured would
   need to go to each Web site in turn, navigate to the appropriate
   page, (possibly creating an account along the way) to get a cookie
   [RFC6265] set in the browser.  They would need to do this for each
   browser on every device they use.  As has been widely noted, this is
   difficult [age-privacy].

   This can be onerous to nearly impossible to achieve effectively,
   because there are too many permutations of sites, user agents and
   devices.

   If instead this preference is proactively advertised by the user
   agent, things become much simpler.  A user agent that supports this
   (whether it be an individual browser, or through an Operating System
   HTTP library) need only be configured once to assure that the
   preference is advertised to all sites that understand and choose to
   act upon it.  It's no longer necessary to go to each site that has
   potentially "unsafe" content and configure a "safe" mode.

   Furthermore, a proxy (for example, at a school) can be used to ensure
   that the preference is associated with all (unencrypted) requests
   flowing through it, helping to assure that clients behind it are not
   exposed to "objectionable" content.

   This specification defines how to associate this preference with a
   request, as a HTTP Preference [I-D.snell-http-prefer].

   Note that this approach does not define what "safe" is; rather, it is
   interpreted within the scope of each Web site that chooses to act
   upon this information (or not).  As such, it does not require
   agreement upon what "safe" is, nor does it require application of
   policy in the user agent or an intermediary (which can be problematic
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