[cap-talk] "ambient authority" on wiki.erights.org

Rob Meijer capibara at xs4all.nl
Sat Jun 13 06:27:03 EDT 2009

On Fri, June 12, 2009 23:05, Karp, Alan H wrote:
> Rob Meijer wrote:
>> If that is the case, than the term ambient authority seems misleading.
>> If I try to simply decompose and analyze the term 'ambient authority' I
>> would come to the following:
>> Ambient : of the surrounding area or environment (that is not private)
>> Authority : can do something directly or indirectly
>> To me, the combination of the two reads like : "Those things a subject
>> can
>> do directly or indirectly by virtue of something that is of the
>> surrounding area or environment". Does this come close to how you parse
>> the term 'ambient authority'?
> Yes.
>> Expanding on this interpretation, any authority that flows from
>> permissions or references that reside within or are bound to an
>> implicitly
>> shared (non private) resource or name space would be authority that I
>> would interpret as 'of the surrounding area or environment', and thus as
>> ambient authority.
> That may be the next level of detail for some systems, but I don't think
> it's needed for the basic definition.

There is however an important component in it that I feel the basic
definition you presented is missing, more on that below.

>> In what you define as ambient authority, the term 'ambient' seems to me
>> to
>> be a property of the permissions rather than of the authority.
> Yes, but using a permission can result in some authority being exercised,
> so I can get away with using the word "authority."  Perhaps "ambient
> permission" would be a better term, but you go to Wikipedia with the
> vocabulary you've got.

Than apparently this is the core of our disagreement on this subject.
Your view is that ambient authority is only that authority that originates
from ambient permissions.

My interpretation of the term ambient authority would next to authority
originating from ambient permissions also include authority originating
from static (implicitly shared) designating permissions.

I thus feel that a definition of ambient authority should not be the same
as a definition of ambient permission.


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