30 Nov 2022
Bulletproof TLS Newsletter is a free periodic newsletter bringing you commentary and news surrounding SSL/TLS and Internet PKI, designed to keep you informed about the latest developments in this space. Received monthly by more than 50,000 subscribers. Written by Ivan Ristić.
Back in February, we wrote about the EU's plans to mandate support for Qualified Website Authentication Certificates (QWACs) in all browsers. This intention hasn’t gone over very well with Mozilla in particular: in response, the company kicked off its Security Risks Ahead campaign and an associated Twitter account and started to lobby against the changes.
Heated conversations are taking place, but largely using press releases and LinkedIn posts as far as we can tell—for example, Mozilla’s position statement from November 2021. In March 2022, a number of security researchers also published an open letter opposing the change. Then there’s Mozilla’s more recent press release, which followed an event that took place in Brussels in November 2022.
Eric Rescorla wrote about the problem from a technical perspective. Although he is Mozilla's CTO, he was not writing on Mozilla's behalf in this case.
It’s clear what the conflict is about. On the one hand, the EU wants to assert its sovereignty about an important topic that affects the lives of its citizens. On the other hand, browser vendors don’t want anyone else to tell them what to do when it comes to their user interfaces and security controls. But although there has been some form of conversation taking place for a year now, neither side has been very good at explaining why it’s right and the other side is wrong.
Bring out the popcorn.
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