[Gnso-epdp-team] IPC Comments on the Accreditation Building Block.

Alex Deacon alex at colevalleyconsulting.com
Tue Oct 22 23:29:37 UTC 2019

EPDP Colleagues,

Attached are IPC's comments and suggestions on the Accreditation building
block language published on the wiki at
https://docs.google.com/document/d/134Vryb2H5fYzC1B_451pfzCA1VHVtreF/edit .

Let me explain the main updates.

*A single Accreditation Authority vs. Multiple*

In my original Accreditation Framework and diagram  presented in LA I
defined a framework that assumed  the existence of multiple Accreditation
Authorities.   Since then we have decided that ideally we want a single
Accreditation Authority (run by ICANN) that can leverage one or more
external/3rd party Identity Providers.   This document (based on the doc
submitted by Staff this afternoon) makes this assumption and
accommodates for it.  (I hope)

*Identifier Credential and Authorization Credential*

I added back the distinction (and definition) of an Identifier Credential
and an Authorization Credential.

   - An Identifier Credential is "static".    It identifies an individual
   user in the system and is valid until it either expires or is revoked.  For
   example my SSAD Identifier Credential would identity me to the system and
   convey my Name (Alex Deacon) and perhaps even my email address
   (alex at colevalley.consulting) and affiliation (Cole Valley Consulting).
   - An Authorization Credential conveys one or more access authorizations
   (also known as assertions or claims) that are associated with (and bound
   to) the Identity Credential.   Authorization Credentials are more dynamic
   in nature an convey information that may change per request.   (things like
   the purpose of the request, legal basis being asserted, compliance with
   laws/ToS/etc., etc.   (See "Benefits of Accreditation f) for a list.   )

The ability to associate a dynamic set of Authorization Credentials
(assertions) on a per request basis simplifies the system and removes the
need to issue and manage an identity credential for each purpose/basis/etc.
combination.   (users don't want to have to manage 12 or more different
credentials to use the system) .   Note that this is a "best practice" when
building/designing authentication and authorization systems.   Also note
that the technology suggested by the TSG, OpenID Connect, supports the
separation of Identity Credentials from Authorization Credentials.

*Revocation vs. De-Accreditation*

We were overloading the term De-Accreditation to apply to both Identity
Credentials (associated with requestors) and the Accreditation Authority
itself.   I found this confusing so I defined the term "Revocation" to
apply to Identity Credentials and De-Accreditation to apply to the
Accreditation Authority itself.    Revocation of an Identity Credential
only impacts a single user of the system.  (e.g. we revoked Alex's Identity
Credential because he no longer works at Cole Valley Consulting - or got
hit by a bus!)   De-Accreditation of the Accreditation Authority impacts
every credential managed by the Accreditation Authority (i.e. its the
Nuclear Option when there is a major/catastrophic audit failure- everything
fails and all credentials managed become null and void.  )

*Accreditation is more than just Identification*

I've heard several folks state that Accreditation is only about
Identification of requestors.    In LA we made it clear that an
Accreditation framework that only accomplished Identification was a waste
of time.    See my suggested update to the Benefits of Accreditation
section which in addition to Identity lists: 1) management of Authorization
Credentials, 2) How Identity Credentials and Authorization Credentials
facilitate the decision to accept or reject the SSAD request, and 3)
definition of a baseline code of conduct (based on EDPB guidance)

Please review and let me know if you have any suggestions.   There is no
doubt improvements that can be made - but hopefully this moves the ball a
few steps in the right direction.   Happy to walk thru this on the call on
thursday morning.


*Alex Deacon*
Cole Valley Consulting
alex at colevalleyconsulting.com
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