XEP-0429: Special Interests Group End to End Encryption

This document proposes the formation of a Special Interest Group (SIG) within the XSF devoted to the development of end-to-end encryption within the context of XMPP.
Paul Schaub
© 1999 – 2021 XMPP Standards Foundation. SEE LEGAL NOTICES.


NOTICE: This Procedural document defines a process or activity of the XMPP Standards Foundation (XSF) that has been approved by the XMPP Council and/or the XSF Board of Directors. The XSF is currently following the process or activity defined herein and will do so until this document is deprecated or obsoleted.
1.0.0 (2021-07-27)
Document Lifecycle
  1. Experimental
  2. Proposed
  3. Active

1. Introduction

End-to-end encryption presents a vital tool for users to protect their communications against third parties. To ensure a good user experience it is important to agree on shared standards which are widely rolled out and adopted by implementations.

There already exists a number of encryption protocols with different properties and scopes. It is necessary to coordinate the efforts of further improving those standards to identify and unify common problems and patterns.

2. Scope and Role

The role of the SIG shall be as follows:

The SIG-E2EE shall not itself approve XMPP extension protocols (XEPs), which tasks shall remain under the purview of the XMPP Council.

The scope of the SIG is limited to end-to-end encryption in contexts which are useful for instant messaging.

3. Membership

The SIG-E2EE shall be open to the public and shall not be limited to elected members of the XMPP Standards Foundation. Anyone who works with, or is interested in encryption protocols is invited to take part. Only elected members of the XSF however may act as ambassadors.

Discussions shall be conducted in a dedicated openly accessible mailing list.

4. Lifetime

The SIG-E2EE shall be a standing SIG, and shall exist as long as the XMPP Council deems it useful.

5. Deliverables

The SIG-E2EE should maintain active existing end-to-end encryption specifications and keep them up to date.

It should also coordinate the production of future end-to-end encryption specifications to keep up with the state of the art.


Appendix A: Document Information

XMPP Standards Foundation
Last Updated
Approving Body
XMPP Council
Superseded By
Short Name
Source Control

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Appendix B: Author Information

Paul Schaub


This XMPP Extension Protocol is copyright © 1999 – 2020 by the XMPP Standards Foundation (XSF).


Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this specification (the "Specification"), to make use of the Specification without restriction, including without limitation the rights to implement the Specification in a software program, deploy the Specification in a network service, and copy, modify, merge, publish, translate, distribute, sublicense, or sell copies of the Specification, and to permit persons to whom the Specification is furnished to do so, subject to the condition that the foregoing copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Specification. Unless separate permission is granted, modified works that are redistributed shall not contain misleading information regarding the authors, title, number, or publisher of the Specification, and shall not claim endorsement of the modified works by the authors, any organization or project to which the authors belong, or the XMPP Standards Foundation.

Disclaimer of Warranty

## NOTE WELL: This Specification is provided on an "AS IS" BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, express or implied, including, without limitation, any warranties or conditions of TITLE, NON-INFRINGEMENT, MERCHANTABILITY, or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. ##

Limitation of Liability

In no event and under no legal theory, whether in tort (including negligence), contract, or otherwise, unless required by applicable law (such as deliberate and grossly negligent acts) or agreed to in writing, shall the XMPP Standards Foundation or any author of this Specification be liable for damages, including any direct, indirect, special, incidental, or consequential damages of any character arising from, out of, or in connection with the Specification or the implementation, deployment, or other use of the Specification (including but not limited to damages for loss of goodwill, work stoppage, computer failure or malfunction, or any and all other commercial damages or losses), even if the XMPP Standards Foundation or such author has been advised of the possibility of such damages.

IPR Conformance

This XMPP Extension Protocol has been contributed in full conformance with the XSF's Intellectual Property Rights Policy (a copy of which can be found at <https://xmpp.org/about/xsf/ipr-policy> or obtained by writing to XMPP Standards Foundation, P.O. Box 787, Parker, CO 80134 USA).

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Appendix D: Relation to XMPP

The Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP) is defined in the XMPP Core (RFC 6120) and XMPP IM (RFC 6121) specifications contributed by the XMPP Standards Foundation to the Internet Standards Process, which is managed by the Internet Engineering Task Force in accordance with RFC 2026. Any protocol defined in this document has been developed outside the Internet Standards Process and is to be understood as an extension to XMPP rather than as an evolution, development, or modification of XMPP itself.

Appendix E: Discussion Venue

The primary venue for discussion of XMPP Extension Protocols is the <standards@xmpp.org> discussion list.

Discussion on other xmpp.org discussion lists might also be appropriate; see <https://xmpp.org/about/discuss.shtml> for a complete list.

Errata can be sent to <editor@xmpp.org>.

Appendix F: Requirements Conformance

The following requirements keywords as used in this document are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119: "MUST", "SHALL", "REQUIRED"; "MUST NOT", "SHALL NOT"; "SHOULD", "RECOMMENDED"; "SHOULD NOT", "NOT RECOMMENDED"; "MAY", "OPTIONAL".

Appendix G: Notes

Appendix H: Revision History

Note: Older versions of this specification might be available at https://xmpp.org/extensions/attic/

  1. Version 1.0.0 (2021-07-27)
    Accepted by Council
    XEP Editor: jsc
  2. Version 0.2.0 (2020-01-28)
    Allow only XSF members to act as ambassadors
  3. Version 0.1.0 (2020-01-28)
    Accepted by vote of Council on 2020-01-08.
    XEP Editor (jsc)
  4. Version 0.0.1 (2019-12-30)
    Initial published version.

Appendix I: Bib(La)TeX Entry

  title = {Special Interests Group End to End Encryption},
  author = {Schaub, Paul},
  type = {XEP},
  number = {0429},
  version = {1.0.0},
  institution = {XMPP Standards Foundation},
  url = {https://xmpp.org/extensions/xep-0429.html},
  date = {2019-12-30/2021-07-27},