Reactive and proactive standardisation of TLS

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In the development of TLS 1.3, the IETF TLS Working Group has adopted an "analysis-prior-to-deployment" design philosophy. This is in sharp contrast to all previous versions of the protocol. We present an account of the TLS standardisation narrative, examining the differences between the reactive standardisation process for TLS 1.2 and below, and the more proactive standardisation process for TLS 1.3. We explore the possible factors that have contributed to the shift in the TLS WG’s design mindset, considering the protocol analysis tools available, the levels of academic involvement and the incentives governing relevant stakeholders at the time of standardisation. In an attempt to place TLS within the broader realm of standardisation, we perform a comparative analysis of standardisation models and discuss the standardisation of TLS within this context.

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Paterson, K. G., & van der Merwe, T. (2016). Reactive and proactive standardisation of TLS. In Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) (Vol. 10074 LNCS, pp. 160–186). Springer Verlag.

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