Skip to main content

Last Call Review of draft-ietf-stir-passport-rcd-22

Request Review of draft-ietf-stir-passport-rcd
Requested revision No specific revision (document currently at 26)
Type Last Call Review
Team General Area Review Team (Gen-ART) (genart)
Deadline 2022-10-12
Requested 2022-09-28
Authors Chris Wendt , Jon Peterson
I-D last updated 2022-10-20
Completed reviews Genart Last Call review of -22 by Dale R. Worley (diff)
Secdir Last Call review of -21 by Vincent Roca (diff)
Artart Last Call review of -21 by Harald T. Alvestrand (diff)
Dnsdir Last Call review of -21 by Florian Obser (diff)
Secdir Telechat review of -23 by Vincent Roca (diff)
Assignment Reviewer Dale R. Worley
State Completed
Review review-ietf-stir-passport-rcd-22-genart-lc-worley-2022-10-20
Posted at
Reviewed revision 22 (document currently at 26)
Result On the Right Track
Completed 2022-10-20
I am the assigned Gen-ART reviewer for this draft. The General Area
Review Team (Gen-ART) reviews all IETF documents being processed
by the IESG for the IETF Chair.  Please treat these comments just
like any other last call comments.

For more information, please see the FAQ at


Document:  draft-ietf-stir-passport-rcd-22
Reviewer:  Dale R. Worley
Review Date:  2022-10-20
IETF LC End Date:  2022-10-20
IESG Telechat date:  (not known)


    This draft is on the right track but has open issues, described in
    the review.

Major issues:

The document needs to decide on what background is needed to read it.
As I read it, it requires a thorough understanding of the Passport
mechanism as well as JWT.  But the document doesn't state at the
beginning what background is required for understanding it.

From my point of view, it would be helpful to provide an example
showing all the moving parts, e.g. how a SIP INVITE message is
assembled using this mechanism, as well as describing the roles of all
the parties (caller, callee, Authentication Service, Verification
Service) and their actions.  There also is a "certificate" involved,
but what parties deal with that and how it is involved is not clear.
Compare to RFC 8224 section 5.1.  Section 9.3 gives some valuable
examples of the Json data structure that is built but nothing about
how it is embedded in the larger communication.

It would also be very valuable to provide a terminology section that
introduced the various special terms involved.

The writing should be carefully revised, especially with regard to
these points:

- Checking for forward references and clarifying them.  E.g. some of
  section 11 discusses "information about the call itself which may
  derive from analytics", but that only makes sense in the context of
  section 12, which speaks of parties other than the caller adding
  Passport information to a call.

- Cleaning up various phrasing errors and unclear phrasing.
  E.g. "externally referenced" or "externally referenced content" is
  used to describe external data that is referenced by the Passport,
  even though this isn't correct usage; the phrase means that
  something external does the referencing.  You want "referenced
  external content", content that is external and which is referenced
  by the Jcard.

- Various data items have various relationships that aren't specified
  clearly at the beginning of the sections about the data items.
  Often these are described later in the section but not in a succinct
  way.  Better phrasing would be e.g.

    "jcd" or "jcl" MAY appear once, but they are mutually exclusive.

    "rcdi" and "rcd" MAY each appear once, but if one appears the other
    must also.

- Use RFC 8174 words whenever their meaning is intended.  E.g. there
  are places in the document where the subjunctive mood is used to
  indicate RECOMMENDED.  This is one use of the subjunctive mood in
  English, but clarity demands that 8174 words be used when they would
  suffice.  E.g.

    "would recommend xxx" becomes "xxx is RECOMMENDED".

    "xxx would be discouraged" becomes "xxx is NOT RECOMMENDED".

- Use only one term for each concept.  A particularly confusing
  example are these, which seem to me to be intended to have the same
  meaning, but are all different, and only one has a non-trivial word
  to describe the relationship between "ppt" and "rcd":

    a "ppt" value of "rcd"
    a "ppt" for "rcd"
    a "ppt" of "rcd"
    "ppt" does contain an "rcd"

  A "Terminology" section helps ensure that there is a set term for
  each concept.

This document is referenced 18 times in the 33-page document but the
Datatracker says it expired on 2022-09-08:

              Wendt, C. and J. Peterson, "SIP Call-Info Parameters for
              Rich Call Data", Work in Progress, Internet-Draft, draft-
              ietf-sipcore-callinfo-rcd-04, 7 March 2022,

This statement is in the document:

   The candidate of designated expert should be like the same
   designated expert for PASSporT extensions registry which happens to
   be the first listed author of this document.

The phrasing is poor, but more importantly, how do this nomination
of a designated expert, the future approval of the document, and the
IANA processes interact?

The document is mostly normative text, although "MUST" is used rarely.
This is intermixed with discussion of typical use cases, possible
extensions, and other non-normative text in a way that is not usually
done.  In most of these cases, it is immediately clear which parts of
the text have which status.  But there are a few places where the
transitions are not clear and these should be made more explicit.

Particular care must be taken with discussions of verification
processes regarding which behaviors they MUST have, which they SHOULD
have, and which are RECOMMENDED.

Technical issues:

Section 6 tells that the "rcdi" datum is used to record hashes of the
components and subcomponents of the "rcd" datum.  Some questions arise
when a referenced datum is a string which has the format of a URI.
Section 6 requires that if the datum is a URI, then the hash is taken
of the resource retrieved using the URI, but if the datum is a string,
then the hash is taken of the Json representation of the string.

Section 6 seems to assume that the hashing algorithm knows whether
such a datum is a URI or not, but Json does not mark URIs specially.
Is the hashing algorithm required to know a priori which keys have
values that are URIs?  Does this cause problems with extensibility of
the Passport?

And given that the "jcd" datum is a Jcard, any extension elements of a
Jcard must be similarly understood by the hashing algorithm.  Looking
at the example "Rendezvous for Little Nellie" in section 9.3, I see
that /jcd/1/3/2 is the string "uri", which I suspect is what flags
that /jcd/1/3/3 should be interpreted as a URI.  To what degree are
behaviors like this embedded in Jcard, and therefore must be
understood by the hashing algorithm?

It seems to me that it would be preferable to alter the definition of
"rcdi" so that values that are hashes of Json value are explicitly
distinguished from values that are hashes of retrieved resources.
Perhaps a quasi-Unix notation could be used by appending "/" to keys
for the latter hashes.

(The usage I am referring to is that when there is a Unix symbolic
link "/foo/bar" pointing to a directory "/baz", using "/foo/bar" in a
command line usually indicates the link itself, but "/foo/bar/" is
interpreted to mean the pointed-to directory.  Apparently this was
originally because the filename parsing algorithm would see the final
slash and have to verify that "/foo/bar" was a directory in order for
the string to be declared valid.  But seeing that /foo/bar was a
symbolic link, the algorithm would follow the link to see what it
pointed to before deciding whether it was a directory.)

Nits/editorial comments:

   1.  Introduction

   ... "rcd PASSporT" ...

Also, "RCD PASSporT".  At base, this seems to mean a Passport data
structure containing an "rcd" datum, but since this isn't stated
explicitly, it's not clear whether this is a category of Passport that
excludes other, similar categories, or whether it can overlap them.
The latter case introduces the possibility that multiple
specifications could be normative for the same Passport.

   5.1.4.  "jcd" key

   This jCard object is intended to represent and correspond to
   the Call-Info header field value defined in
   [I-D.ietf-sipcore-callinfo-rcd] with a type of "jcard".

What does "represent and correspond to" mean?  And there is some
ambiguity in "the Call-Info header field value"; does that mean the
URI that is physically within the Call-Info header, or the jCard that
that URI references (typically physically within an additional body
part of the INVITE request).

   The jCard object value for "jcd" MUST only have referenced content
   for URI values that do not further reference URIs.

This is hard to read.  Does it mean "If a jCard object value for "jcd"
references content via a URI value, the content referenced by the URI
MUST NOT further reference content via URIs."?

   other future specifications and protocols are encouraged to be
   adapted for use of "jcd" (or similarly "jcl" below) key beyond SIP
   and Call-Info.

The direction of the relationship between future specifications and
use of "jcd" is unclear, as the text assumes that "jcd" uses the
future specifications.  Does this mean:

   other future specifications and protocols (beyond SIP
   and Call-Info) are encouraged to use the "jcd"/"jcl" keys.


   5.1.5.  "jcl" key

   The "jcl" key value is defined to contain a URI that refers the
   recipient to a jCard [RFC7095] JSON object hosted on a HTTPS enabled
   web server.

It is simpler to say "The "jcl" key value is an HTTPS URL that refers
to a jCard [RFC7095] JSON object on a web server."

   6.1.1.  "nam" and "apn" elements

   If used, the JSON key value referenced by the JSON pointer is the
   string includes the quotes, so quotes MUST be included to compute the

You might want to say that this is implied by the rules of 6.1:

   Note that the digest is computed on the Json representation of the
   string, which necessarily includes the beginning and ending
   double-quote characters.


   6.2.  JWT Claim Constraints for "rcd" claims only

   For the third mode described in the integrity overview Section 4 of
   this document, where only JWT Claim Constraints for "rcd" claims
   without an "rcdi" claim is required, the procedure when creating the
   certificate with the intent to always include an "rcd" claim, to
   include a JWT Claim Constraints on inclusion of an "rcd" claim with
   the intended values required to be constrained by the certificate
   used to compute the signature in the PASSporT.

I could not parse this paragraph.

   7.  JWT Claim Constraints usage for "rcd" and "rcdi" claims

   For the case that there should always be both "rcd" and "rcdi" values
   included in the "rcd" PASSporT, ...

I could not parse this clause.

   9.  Rich Call Data Claims Usage Rules

   ... An example PASSporT header with the "ppt" included is shown as

   { "typ":"passport",
     "x5u":"" }

I could not understand this.  I can see that a "ppt" key/name is
included in this Json, and I assume that is what 'the "ppt"' is
referring to.  But this paragraph is the first place that "ppt" is
mentioned and how it related to anything else is unclear.

   9.1.  "rcd" PASSporT Verification

   An "rcd" PASSporT that uses claims defined in this document, in order
   to have a successful verification outcome, MUST conform to the

The constraint really isn't a MUST on the PASSporT but a MUST on the
verifier, e.g. "A verifier that successfully verifies a PASSportT that
contains an "rcd" claim MUST ensure ..."

   9.3.  Example "rcd" PASSporTs

   An example of an "rcd" claims object that includes the "jcd" and also
   contains URI references to content which requires the inclusion of an
   "rcdi" claim and corresponding digests.  Note, in this example, the
   URI referenced content does include integrity protection in the
   "rcdi" claim.

   "crn": "Rendezvous for Little Nellie",
   "orig": { "tn": "12025551000"},
   "dest": { "tn": ["12155551001"]},
   "iat": 1443208345,
   "rcd": {
     "jcd": ["vcard",
     [ ["version",{},"text","4.0"],
       ["fn",{},"text","Q Branch"],
       ["org",{},"text","MI6;Q Branch Spy Gadgets"],
     ] ],
     "nam": "Q Branch Spy Gadgets"
   "rcdi": {
     "/jcd/1/3/3": "sha256-RojgWwU6xUtI4q82+kHPyHm1JKbm7+663bMvzymhkl4",
     "/jcd/1/4/3": "sha256-jL4f47fF82LuwcrOrSyckA4SWrlElfARHkW6kYo1JdI",
     "/jcd/1/5/3": "sha256-GKNxxqlLRarbyBNh7hc/4lbZAdK6B0kMRf1AMRWPkSo"

As in other places, generally correct but the wording needs to be
fixed.  As far as I can tell from section 4, in mode 4, "rcdi" need
not be provided regarding the three image URIs in the Passport.  In
regard to the second sentence, "the URI referenced content" does not
"include integrity protection in the rcdi claim", but instead "the
rcdi claim includes integrity protection of the URI referenced

   10.1.  Compact form of the "rcd" PASSporT claim

   Compact form of an "rcd" PASSporT claim has some restrictions that
   will be enumerated below, but mainly follows standard PASSporT
   compact form procedures.  ...

It would help if some background/example was given of the distinction
between "full" and "compact" forms.

But presumably this is normative text, and for normative text it is
far too inexact.  Provide a normative description.

11.  Further Information Associated with Callers

   Beyond naming information and the information that can be contained
   in a jCard [RFC7095] object, there may be additional human-readable
   information about the calling party that should be rendered to the
   end user in order to help the called party decide whether or not to
   pick up the phone.  This is not limited to information about the
   caller, but includes information about the call itself, which may
   derive from analytics that determine based on call patterns or
   similar data if the call is likely to be one the called party wants
   to receive.  Such data could include:

It seems like this text could be abbreviated, as the potential data
seems to be unbounded and none of this is normative (other than a
couple of sentences in the final paragraph).

   12.  Third-Party Uses

   While rich data about the call can be provided by an originating
   authentication service, an intermediary in the call path could also
   acquire rich call data by querying a third-party service.  Such a
   service effectively acts as a STIR Authentication Service, generating
   its own PASSporT, and that PASSporT could be attached to a call by
   either the originating or terminating side.

Given that this Passport would be generated by "an intermediary in the
call path", would it not be "attached to a call by" that same
intermediary (rather than either the originating or terminating side)?

   If the display name in the
   "rcd" PASSporT object matches the display name in the INVITE, then
   the name would presumably be rendered to the end user by the
   terminating user agent.

As written, this appears to be a very elaborate way of displaying the
display name in the INVITE.  I think the intended value-added is that
*if* the display name in the "rcd" (ultimately based on the calling
telephone number) *does not* match the display name in the INVITE,
then it is *not* displayed.

Also, no definition of "matches" is given.

A lot of the information in section 12 seems to be early-stage
proposals rather than clearly worked out use cases.  So it seems like
the section could be abbreviated without loss of usefulness.

The descriptions of the "iss" value in sections 12.1 and 13 seem to be
contradictory.  In 12.1 it is stated to be a name, but in 13 it is
stated to be the description of a relationship:

   value of "iss" however MUST reflect the Subject of the certificate
   used to sign a third-party PASSporT.  The explicit mechanism for
   reflecting the subject field of the certificate is out of scope of
   this document and left to the certificate governance policies that
   define how to map the "iss" value in the PASSporT to the subject
   field in the certificate.

   Therefore, third-party PASSporTs that carry
   "rcd" data MUST also carry an indication of the relationship of the
   generator of the PASSporT to the caller in the form of the "iss"


   14.1.  Authentication Service Behavior

   the authentication service generates an "rcd" claim containing "nam"
   with a value that is not equivalent to the From header field display-
   name value, it MUST use the full form of the PASSporT object in SIP.

What is the definition of "equivalent" here?

   14.2.  Verification Service Behavior

This should be clarified regarding what regarding which behaviors a
verification service MUST have, which it SHOULD have, and which are
RECOMMENDED and how they integrate into one clearly stated algorithm.

   17.3.  PASSporT RCD Types

This section introduces the term "type" without a definition.  What
does "type" mean?  As far as I can tell, "type" means the "name"
values in the Json object structure which Passport uses.  Can this be
aligned with usual usage?