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Digital signatures provide integrity, signature assurance and non-repudiatability over Web data. Such features are especially important for documents that represent commitments such as contracts, price lists, and manifests. In view of recent Web technology developments, future work will address the digital signing of XML -- and any of its applications such as RDF or P3P. This capability is critical for a variety of electronic commerce applications, including payment tools.
[This IETF charter is a reformatted version of the W3C charter. No terms are different.]
[This W3C charter is used to create a reformatted charter used for IETF process procedures.]
The mission of this working group is to develop an XML compliant syntax used for representing the signature of Web resources and portions of protocol messages (anything referencable by a URI) and procedures for computing and verifying such signatures. Such signatures will be able to provide data integrity, authentication, and/or non-repudiatability. The meaning of the signature is very simple: The XML signature syntax associates the cryptographic signature value with Web resources using XML markup. The meaning of the signature may be extensible by a set of semantics specified separately.
This effort is equally and strongly dependent on XML expertise and coordination, which is in the W3C, and Internet cryptographic expertise and coordination, which is in the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). Therefore, the working group will be a joint body operating simultaneously as an IETF WG and a W3C WG. Procedures may differ from the norm for either organization (IETF RFCs 2026 / 2418 & World Wide Web Consortium Process Document). Details are give in the sections below.
The core scope of this activity will be in specifying the necessary data model, syntax, and processing to bind a cryptographic signature to a resource in XML.
The working group will focus on:
The following requirements must be met by the WG:
The working group will not address the following issues:
It is hoped that the following applications being developed by members of the WG will provide a useful test of the completeness:
This working group will deliver the following:
This Working Group is scheduled for nine months. Currently, its expected lifetime is from June 1999 through January 2000. It is hoped Last Call candidates will be available by November 1999.
Once established, the Working Group can decide to parallelize more tasks by forming subgroups. The Working Group can also decide to reschedule tasks that do not have to meet deadlines imposed by other groups. However, the schedule must fit into the total timeframe given above.
Also, document dates may not be rescheduled without notifying the W3C Domain leaders, the W3C director, and the IETF Area Director. Note that delay of deliverables can be a reason for the Working Group to be terminated.
This charter, the WG web page, and the mailing list and archives will be
A central characteristic of this activity is its dependencies on other XML working groups. The WG chair will likely be made a member of the W3C XML Coordination Group. During W3C Last Call, the Chair will procure reviews from the following W3C WGs before the specification will be advanced further:
Since this Working Group will be public, its coordination with other W3C
WGs must take this into account.
Working group members are expected to participate in an electronic mailing list, periodic teleconferences and face-to-face meetings. The sole WG consensus venue is the mailing list.
NOTE: The proceedings of this Working Group are public.
In order to maintain shared context of the group and to provide access to the proceedings of the group, the Chair maintains a web page at http://w3.org/XML-DSig/.
Active participants are expected to have ready access to this page and be familiar with its contents.
Participants must subscribe to and participate in the email@example.com mailing list.
There are expected to be teleconferences held every few weeks at a time set by the Chair. The exact frequency of calls will be determined by working group consensus.
The Chair is responsible for producing an agenda at least 24 hours in advance of each call, posting it along with the call details to the mailing list, and causing minutes of the call to be posted promptly after the call.
The working group will have a two day face to face meeting in September 1999 and meet at the July and November 1999 IETF meetings and may have additional physical meetings by consensus of the WG. Meeting notice, advance agenda, and posting of minutes shall follow W3C timing rules.
This working group is public.
WG documents will be dual published in both the W3C, via the web, and in the IETF as Internet-Drafts or RFCs. Differing delays in the processes may cause skew in the appearance of a document in the two locations.
When a document is subject to a Last Call in both organizations (W3C Team Last Call or AC Review in the W3C, Working Group or IETF Last Call in the IETF) comments received in both venues must be considered and responded to. In effect, this postpones the end of the Last Call that would have ended sooner until the end of the Last Call in the other organization.
The rough equivalence between document types in the W3C and IETF is as follows:
|Working Draft||Working Group Internet Draft
Working Group Informational RFC
|Proposed Recommendation||Proposed Standard RFC|
|Recommendation||Draft Standard RFC
Full Standard RFC
If a document is substantively changed such that it recycles to a lower status in either venue, the corresponding document classification in the other venue should also change.
IETF Last Calls for joint working group documents which are on the IETF standards track will be 4 weeks per the Variance section of RFC 2026.
The working group itself will operate by consensus as provided in the IETF rules.
Appeals from decisions by the working group chair may be taken using either the W3C or the IETF appeals mechanisms. It is expected that these mechanisms will coordinate and differences are not anticipated. Nevertheless, if and when the appeal mechanisms of the W3C and IETF come to irreconcilable decisions, the group will thereby cease to be a working group of either the W3C or the IETF and may not take further official action under the procedures of either organization without explicit rechartering.
Should either the W3C or the IETF unilaterally terminate the Working Group
status so far as that organization is concerned, the WG will continue to
be a working group of the other organization.
Working group members must disclose intellectual properties "that are
reasonably and personally known" to be relevant to this WG in accordance
and W3C procedure;
including notice and disclosure of such information to the WG,
and the IETF Executive
Participation in the working group is open. Participation is expected to take a minimum of 15% of the participants time. The XML-DSig WG will be co-chaired by Donald Eastlake 3rd of W3C Member IBM and Joseph Reagle of the W3C Team. Co-chair duties are expected to take 20% of each of their time.
The XML-DSig Staff
Contact will be Joseph Reagle and his staff contact duties are expected
to take 40% of his time. The staff contact is partly responsible for coordinating
dependencies and requirements from the W3C Director and other activities.
Further details on the
Staff Contact and
Chair roles can be
found the W3C Guidebook for
Working Group Chairs.