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Network Working Group                                            T. Bray
Internet-Draft                                                    Google
Updates: 2616 (if approved)                                June 11, 2012
Intended status: Standards Track
Expires: December 13, 2012


        A New HTTP Status Code for Legally-restricted Resources
             draft-tbray-http-legally-restricted-status-00

Abstract

   This document specifies an additional Hypertext Transfer Protocol
   (HTTP) status code for use when resource access is denied for legal
   reasons.

Status of this Memo

   This Internet-Draft is submitted in full conformance with the
   provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79.

   Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
   Task Force (IETF).  Note that other groups may also distribute
   working documents as Internet-Drafts.  The list of current Internet-
   Drafts is at http://datatracker.ietf.org/drafts/current/.

   Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six months
   and may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other documents at any
   time.  It is inappropriate to use Internet-Drafts as reference
   material or to cite them other than as "work in progress."

   This Internet-Draft will expire on December 13, 2012.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2012 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents
   (http://trustee.ietf.org/license-info) in effect on the date of
   publication of this document.  Please review these documents
   carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect
   to this document.  Code Components extracted from this document must
   include Simplified BSD License text as described in Section 4.e of
   the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as
   described in the Simplified BSD License.




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Internet-Draft                     415                         June 2012


Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
   2.  Requirements  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
   3.  451 Unavailable For Legal Reasons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
   4.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
   5.  IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
   6.  Normative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
   Appendix A.  Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
   Author's Address  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5









































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Internet-Draft                     415                         June 2012


1.  Introduction

   This document specifies an additional Hypertext Transfer Protocol
   (HTTP) status code for use when resource access is denied for legal
   reasons.  This allows server operators to operate with greater
   transparency in circumstances where issues of law or public policy
   affect their operation.  This transparency may be beneficial both to
   these operators and to end users.

   Feedback should occur on the ietf-http-wg@w3.org mailing list,
   although this draft is NOT a work item of the IETF HTTPbis Working
   Group.


2.  Requirements

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this
   document are to be interpreted as described in [RFC2119].


3.  451 Unavailable For Legal Reasons

   This status code indicates that the server is subject to legal
   restrictions which prevent it servicing the request.

   Since such restrictions typically apply to all operators in a legal
   jurisdiction, the server in question may or may not be an origin
   server.  The restrictions typically most directly affect the
   operations of ISPs and search engines.

   Responses using this status code SHOULD include an explanation, in
   the response body, of the details of the legal restriction; which
   legal authority is imposing it, and what class of resources it
   applies to.  For example:
















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Internet-Draft                     415                         June 2012


   HTTP/1.1 451 Unavailable For Legal Reasons
   Content-Type: text/html

   <html>
   <head>
   <title>Unavailable For Legal Reasons</title>
   </head>
   <body>
   <h1>Unavailable For Legal Reasons</h1>
   <p>This request may not be serviced in the Roman Province of
   Judea due to Lex3515, the Legem Ne Subversionem Act of AUC755,
   which disallows access to resources hosted on servers deemed
   to be operated by the Judean Liberation Front.</p>
   </body>
   </html>

   The use of the 451 status code implies neither the existence nor non-
   existence of the resource named in the request.  That is to say, it
   is possible that if the legal restriction were removed, a request for
   the resource might still not succeed.


4.  Security Considerations

4.1.  451 Unavailable for Legal Reasons

   The 451 status code is optional; clients cannot rely upon its use.
   It is imaginable that certain legal authorities may wish to avoid
   transparency, and not only forbid access to certain resources, but
   also disclosure that the restriction exists.


5.  IANA Considerations

   The HTTP Status Codes Registry should be updated with the following
   entries:

   o  Code: 451
   o  Description: Unavailable for Legal Reasons
   o  Specification: [ this document ]


6.  Normative References

   [RFC2119]  Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
              Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, March 1997.





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Internet-Draft                     415                         June 2012


Appendix A.  Acknowledgements

   Thanks to Terence Eden, whose blog observed that the existing status
   code 403 was not really suitable for this situation, and suggested
   the creation of a new status code

   Thanks also to Ray Bradbury.

   The author takes all responsibility for errors and omissions.


Author's Address

   Tim Bray
   Google

   Email: tbray@textuality.com
   URI:   http://www.tbray.org/ongoing/

































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