XML Security Encryption

The XML Signature Working Group was a successful joint effort of W3C and IETF to develop an XML compliant syntax used for representing the signature of Web resources and portions of protocol messages, and procedures for computing and verifying such signatures. The Working Group has concluded successfully. Its mailing list continues to operate.

Its deliverables included the Canonical XML 1.0 (“C14N”)specification which was subsequently found incompatible with xml:id version 1.0 and XML Base. The XML Core Working Group (part of the XML Activity) has published Canonical XML 1.1 as a Proposed Recommendation which is currently under Advisory Committee Review.

For a more detailed discussion see Known Issues with Canonical XML 1.0. A proposal for propagating these changes to XML Signature Syntax and Processing is outlined in Using XML Digital Signatures in the 2006 XML Environment.

The XML Encryption Working Group was a successful effort to develop a process for encrypting/decrypting digital content (including XML documents and portions thereof) and an XML syntax used to represent the (1) encrypted content and (2) information that enables an intended recipient to decrypt it.

The XML Key Management Working Group developed a specification of XML application/protocol that allows a simple client to obtain key information (values, certificates, management or trust data) from a web service. The Working Group concluded successfully.

The XML Security Specifications Maintenance Working Group is chartered to address the specific issues surrounding Canonical XML, XML Signature, and the Decryption Transform for XML Signature with respect to interactions with the current XML environment. The Working Group has mostly finished work on its main deliverables: A charter for follow-up work is under Advisory Committee review; that charter is based on the results from the September 2007 Workshop on Next Steps for the XML Security Specifications (report) that was organized by the Working Group. The Working Group contributed to the XML Core Working Group’s efforts toward Canonical XML 1.1, and has published XML Signature 2nd Edition as a Proposed Edited Recommendation, currently under Advisory Committee review.