Shepherd writeup

Writeup for "JSON Web Token (JWT)" <draft-ietf-oauth-json-web-token-25>

(1) What type of RFC is being requested (BCP, Proposed Standard, Internet Standard, Informational, Experimental, or Historic)? 
Why is this the proper type of RFC? Is this type of RFC indicated in the title page header?

The RFC type is 'Standards Track' and the type is indicated in the title page. 
This document defines the syntax and semantic of information elements. 
(2) The IESG approval announcement includes a Document Announcement Write-Up. 
Please provide such a Document Announcement Write-Up. Recent examples can be found in the "Action" announcements for approved documents. 
The approval announcement contains the following sections:

Technical Summary:

   JSON Web Token (JWT) is a compact URL-safe means of representing
   claims to be transferred between two parties.  The claims in a JWT
   are encoded as a JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) object that is
   used as the payload of a JSON Web Signature (JWS) structure or as the
   plaintext of a JSON Web Encryption (JWE) structure, enabling the
   claims to be digitally signed or MACed and/or encrypted.
Working Group Summary:

Was there anything in WG process that is worth noting? 
For example, was there controversy about particular points or were there decisions where the consensus was particularly rough?

This document was uncontroversial. It defines a JSON-based security token format to increase interoperability both among OAuth deployments 
and in other application contexts as well. (ID tokens are specified in

Document Quality:

This document has gone through many iterations and has received substantial feedback. 

A substantial number of implementations exist, as documented at
(scroll down to the 'JWT/JWS/JWE/JWK/JWA Implementations' section)

An Excel sheet providing additional details about implementations can be found here:


The document shepherd is Hannes Tschofenig and the responsible area director is Kathleen Moriarty. 

(3) Briefly describe the review of this document that was performed by the Document Shepherd. 
If this version of the document is not ready for publication, please explain why the document is being forwarded to the IESG.

The document is ready for publication. The document has received review comments from working group members, and from the OAuth working group chairs. 
Implementations exist and they have tested for interoperability as part of the OpenID Connect interop events. 

(4) Does the document Shepherd have any concerns about the depth or breadth of the reviews that have been performed?

This document has gotten enough feedback from the working group. There are no concerns regarding the reviews. 

(5) Do portions of the document need review from a particular or from broader perspective, 
e.g., security, operational complexity, AAA, DNS, DHCP, XML, or internationalization? If so, describe the review that took place.

Since the OAuth working group develops security protocols any feedback from the security community is always appreciated. 
The JWT document heavily depends on the work in the JOSE working group since it re-uses the JWE and the JWS specifications. 
Reviews from the JOSE group are therefore also appreciated. 

(6) Describe any specific concerns or issues that the Document Shepherd has with this document that the Responsible Area Director and/or the IESG should be aware of? 
For example, perhaps he or she is uncomfortable with certain parts of the document, or has concerns whether there really is a need for it. 
In any event, if the WG has discussed those issues and has indicated that it still wishes to advance the document, detail those concerns here.

The shepherd has no concerns with this document. 

(7) Has each author confirmed that any and all appropriate IPR disclosures required for full conformance with the provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79 have already been filed. 
If not, explain why?

The authors have confirmed that they do not have or that they are not aware of any IPR. 
Mike Jones:
Nat Sakimura:
John Bradley: 

(8) Has an IPR disclosure been filed that references this document? If so, summarize any WG discussion and conclusion regarding the IPR disclosures.

Two IPRs have been filed for the JWT specification this document relies on, 

There was no discussion regarding those two IPRs on the mailing list. 

(9) How solid is the WG consensus behind this document? 
Does it represent the strong concurrence of a few individuals, with others being silent, or does the WG as a whole understand and agree with it?

The working group has consensus to publish this document. 

(10) Has anyone threatened an appeal or otherwise indicated extreme discontent? 
If so, please summarise the areas of conflict in separate email messages to the Responsible Area Director. 
(It should be in a separate email because this questionnaire is publicly available.)

No appeal or extreme discontent has been raised. 

(11) Identify any ID nits the Document Shepherd has found in this document. 
(See and the Internet-Drafts Checklist). Boilerplate checks are not enough; this check needs to be thorough.

The shepherd has checked the nits. The shepherd has also verified the examples for correctness. 

(12) Describe how the document meets any required formal review criteria, such as the MIB Doctor, media type, and URI type reviews.

The document does not require a formal review even though it contains JSON-based examples. 

(13) Have all references within this document been identified as either normative or informative?


(14) Are there normative references to documents that are not ready for advancement or are otherwise in an unclear state? 
If such normative references exist, what is the plan for their completion?

There are various JOSE documents that have not been published as RFCs yet. 
It is recommended to last call and to publish this together with the respective JOSE documents. 

(15) Are there downward normative references references (see RFC 3967)? 
If so, list these downward references to support the Area Director in the Last Call procedure.

RFC 6755 is a necessary downref. 
The document also contains a normative reference to ECMAScript, a non-IETF document. 

(16) Will publication of this document change the status of any existing RFCs? 
Are those RFCs listed on the title page header, listed in the abstract, and discussed in the introduction? 
If the RFCs are not listed in the Abstract and Introduction, explain why, and point to the part of the document where the relationship of this document to the other RFCs is discussed. 
If this information is not in the document, explain why the WG considers it unnecessary.

The publication of this document does not change the status of other RFCs. 

(17) Describe the Document Shepherd's review of the IANA considerations section, especially with regard to its consistency with the body of the document. 
Confirm that all protocol extensions that the document makes are associated with the appropriate reservations in IANA registries. 
Confirm that any referenced IANA registries have been clearly identified. 
Confirm that newly created IANA registries include a detailed specification of the initial contents for the registry, that allocations procedures for future registrations are defined, and a reasonable name for the new registry has been suggested (see RFC 5226).

The document creates a new registry for JWT claims and populates this registry with values. 

It also registers values into two existing registries, namely into 
 * the RFC 6755 created OAuth URN registry, and 
 * the media type registry 

(18) List any new IANA registries that require Expert Review for future allocations. 
Provide any public guidance that the IESG would find useful in selecting the IANA Experts for these new registries.

The newly created JWT claims registry requires expert review for future allocations. Guidance is given in the document. 
The document shepherd and the author Michael Jones both volunteer to become expert reviewers.  
Note that the document recommends that multiple expert reviewers be appointed, with the following text (which also appears in the JOSE documents):
   It is suggested that multiple Designated Experts be appointed who are
   able to represent the perspectives of different applications using
   this specification, in order to enable broadly-informed review of
   registration decisions.  In cases where a registration decision could
   be perceived as creating a conflict of interest for a particular
   Expert, that Expert should defer to the judgment of the other

(19) Describe reviews and automated checks performed by the Document Shepherd to validate sections of the document written in a formal language, such as XML code, BNF rules, MIB definitions, etc.

There are examples in the document that use a JSON-based encoding. The document shepherd has reviewed those examples and verified them for correctness.