OpenID Providers Invited to Join in an NSTIC Pilot Proposal

NSTIC has announced funding for pilot projects. Preliminary proposals are due by March 7 and full proposals by April 23. There will be a proposer’s conference on February 15, which will be webcast live.

We are planning to submit a proposal and are inviting OpenID identity providers to join us. The proposed pilot will demonstrate a completely password-free method of user authentication where the relying party is an ordinary OpenID relying party. The identity provider will issue a public key certificate to the user, and later use it to authenticate the user upon redirection from the relying party. The relying party will not see the certificate. Since the certificate will be verified by the same party that issued it, there will be no need for certificate revocation lists. Certificate issuance will be automatic, using an extension of the HTML5 keygen mechanism that Pomcor will implement on an extension of the open source Firefox browser.

There will be two privacy features:

  1. The identity provider will supply different identifiers to different relying parties, as in the ICAM OpenID 2.0 Profile.
  2. Before authenticating the user, the identity provider will inform the user of the value of the DNT (Do Not Track) header sent by the browser, and will not track the user if the value of the header is 1.

The identity provider will:

  1. Implement a facility for issuing certificates to users, taking advantage of the keygen element of HTML5. The identity provider will obtain a public key from keygen, create a certificate that binds the public key to the user’s local identity, and download the certificate in an ad-hoc HTTP header. Pomcor will supply a Firefox extension that will import the certificate automatically.
  2. Use the certificate to authenticate the user upon redirection from the relying party. The browser will submit the certificate as a TLS client certificate. The mod_ssl module of Apache supports the use of a client certificate and makes data from the certificate available to high-level server-side programming environments such as PHP via environment variables.

For additional information you may write to us using the contact page of this site.

1 thought on “OpenID Providers Invited to Join in an NSTIC Pilot Proposal”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *