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Network Working Group                                        A. Rundgren
Internet-Draft                                               Independent
Intended status: Standards Track                            May 18, 2018
Expires: November 19, 2018


                   JSON Canonicalization Scheme (JCS)
             draft-rundgren-json-canonicalization-scheme-00

Abstract

   Cryptographic operations like hashing and signing depend on that the
   target data does not change during serialization, transport, or
   parsing.  By applying the rules defined by JCS (JSON Canonicalization
   Scheme), data provided in the JSON [RFC8259] format can be exchanged
   "as is", while still being subject to secure cryptographic
   operations.  JCS achieves this by combining the strict serialization
   of JSON primitives defined in ECMAScript [ES6] with a platform
   independent sorting scheme.

   The intended audiences of this document are JSON tool vendors, as
   well as designers of JSON based cryptographic solutions.

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 https://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 November 19, 2018.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2018 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
   (https://trustee.ietf.org/license-info) in effect on the date of



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   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.

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2
   2.  Terminology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
   3.  Detailed Operation  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
     3.1.  Creation of JSON Data . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
     3.2.  Canonicalization of JSON Data . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
       3.2.1.  Whitespace Handling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
       3.2.2.  Serialization of Primitive Data Types . . . . . . . .   4
         3.2.2.1.  Serialization of Literals . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
         3.2.2.2.  Serialization of Strings  . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
         3.2.2.3.  Serialization of Numbers  . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
       3.2.3.  Sorting of Object Properties  . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
       3.2.4.  UTF-8 Generation  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
   4.  IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
   5.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
   6.  Acknowledgements  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
   7.  References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
     7.1.  Normative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
     7.2.  Informal References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   9
     7.3.  URIs  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   9
   Appendix A.  ES6 Sample Canonicalizer . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
   Appendix B.  Number Serialization Samples . . . . . . . . . . . .  11
   Appendix C.  Canonicalized JSON as "Wire Format"  . . . . . . . .  13
   Appendix D.  Dealing with Big Numbers . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  13
   Appendix E.  Implementation Guidelines  . . . . . . . . . . . . .  14
   Appendix F.  Other JSON Canonicalization Efforts  . . . . . . . .  15
   Appendix G.  Development Portal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  16
   Author's Address  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  16

1.  Introduction

   Cryptographic operations like hashing and signing depend on that the
   target data does not change during serialization, transport, or
   parsing.  A straightforward way of accomplishing this is converting
   the data into a format which has a simple and fixed representation
   like Base64Url [RFC4648] which for example have been used in JWS
   [RFC7515].  Another solution is creating a canonicalized version of
   the target data with XML Signature [XMLDSIG] as a prime example.





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   Since the objective was keeping the data "as is", the
   canonicalization method was selected.  For avoiding "reinventing the
   wheel", JCS relies on serialization of JSON primitives compatible
   with ECMAScript (aka JavaScript) beginning with version 6 [ES6], from
   now on simply referred to as "ES6".

   Seasoned XML developers recalling difficulties getting signatures to
   validate (usually due to different interpretations of the quite
   intricate XML canonicalization rules as well as of the equally
   extensive Web Services security standards), may rightfully wonder why
   this particular effort would succeed.  The reasons are twofold:

   o  JSON is a considerably simpler format than XML, as well as lacking
      support for the powerful (but complex) namespace concept.

   o  ES6 compatible JSON serialization is already supported by most Web
      browsers, Node.js [NODEJS], as well as by third party libraries
      like Open Keystore [OPENKEY], giving the proposed canonicalization
      scheme a head start.  Also see Appendix E.

   The JCS specification describes how JSON serializing rules compliant
   with ES6 combined with an elementary sorting scheme, can be used for
   supporting "Crypto Safe" JSON.

   JCS is compatible with some existing systems relying on JSON
   canonicalization such as JWK Thumbprint [RFC7638] and Keybase
   [KEYBASE].

2.  Terminology

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "NOT RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and
   "OPTIONAL" in this document are to be interpreted as described in BCP
   14 [RFC2119] [RFC8174] when, and only when, they appear in all
   capitals, as shown here.

3.  Detailed Operation

   This section describes the different issues related to JSON
   canonicalization, and how they are addressed by JCS.

3.1.  Creation of JSON Data

   In order to canonicalize JSON data, an internal representation of the
   JSON data is needed.  This can be achieved by:

   o  Parsing externally supplied JSON data.




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   o  Programmatic creation of JSON data.

   Irrespective of method used, the JSON data MUST be compatible both
   with ES6 and I-JSON [RFC7493], which implies the following:

   o  There MUST NOT be any duplicate property names within an "Object".

   o  Data of the type "String" MUST be expressible as Unicode [UNICODE]
      strings.  Also see Section 3.2.2.2.

   o  Data of the type "Number" MUST be expressible as IEEE-754
      [IEEE754] double precision values.  Also see Section 3.2.2.3.

3.2.  Canonicalization of JSON Data

   The following sub sections describe the steps required for creating a
   canonicalized version of internal JSON data elaborated on in the
   previous section.

   Appendix A shows sample code for an ES6 based canonicalizer, matching
   the JCS specification.

3.2.1.  Whitespace Handling

   Possible whitespace between JSON elements MUST be ignored (not
   emitted).

3.2.2.  Serialization of Primitive Data Types

   Assume that you parse a JSON object like the following:

     {
       "numbers": [333333333.33333329, 1E30, 4.50,
                   2e-3, 0.000000000000000000000000001],
       "string": "\u20ac$\u000F\u000aA'\u0042\u0022\u005c\\\"\/",
       "literals": [null, true, false]
     }

   If you subsequently serialize the object created by the operation
   above using an serializer compliant with ES6's "JSON.stringify()",
   the result would (with a line wrap added for display purposes only),
   be rather divergent with respect to representation of data:

     {"numbers":[333333333.3333333,1e+30,4.5,0.002,1e-27],"string":
     "\u20ac$\u000f\nA'B\"\\\\\"/","literals":[null,true,false]}

      Note: \u20ac denotes the Euro character, which not
      being ASCII, is currently not displayable in RFCs.



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   The reason for the difference between the parsed data and its
   serialized counterpart, is due to a wide tolerance on input data (as
   defined by JSON [RFC8259]), while output data (as defined by ES6),
   has a fixed representation.  As can be seen by the example, numbers
   are subject to rounding as well.

   The following sub sections describe serialization of primitive JSON
   data types according to JCS.  This part is identical to that of ES6.

3.2.2.1.  Serialization of Literals

   The JSON literals "null", "true", and "false" present no challenge
   since they already have a fixed definition in JSON [RFC8259].

3.2.2.2.  Serialization of Strings

   For JSON data of the type "String" (which includes "Object" property
   names as well), each character MUST be serialized as described in
   Section 24.3.2.2 of ES6.

   If the Unicode value falls within the traditional ASCII control
   character range (U+0000 through U+001F), it MUST be serialized using
   lowercase hexadecimal Unicode notation (\uhhhh) unless it is in the
   set of predefined JSON control characters U+0008, U+0009, U+000A,
   U+000C or U+000D which MUST be serialized as \b, \t, \n, \f and \r
   respectively.

   If the Unicode value is outside of the ASCII control character range,
   it MUST be serialized "as is" unless it is equivalent to U+005C (\)
   or U+0022 (") which MUST be serialized as \\ and \" respectively.

   Finally, the serialized string value MUST be enclosed in double
   quotes (").

   Note that many JSON systems permit the use of invalid Unicode data
   like "lone surrogates" (e.g.  U+DEAD), which also is dealt with in a
   platform specific way.  Since this leads to interoperability issues
   including broken signatures, such usages MUST be avoided.

   Note that although the Unicode standard offers a possibility
   combining certain characters into one, referred to as "Unicode
   Normalization" (https://www.unicode.org/reports/tr15/ [1]), such
   functionality MUST be delegated to the application layer which
   already is the case for most other uses of JSON.







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3.2.2.3.  Serialization of Numbers

   JSON data of the type "Number" MUST be serialized according to
   Section 7.1.12.1 of ES6; for maximum interoperability preferably
   including the "Note 2" enhancement as well.  The latter is
   implemented by for example Google's V8 [V8].

   Due to the relative complexity of this part, it is not included in
   this specification.

   Note that ES6 builds on the IEEE-754 [IEEE754] double precision
   standard for storing "Number" data.  Appendix B holds a set of
   IEEE-754 sample values and their corresponding JSON serialization.

   Occasionally applications need higher precision or longer integers
   than offered by the current implementation of JSON "Number" in ES6.
   Appendix D outlines how this can be achieved in a portable and
   extensible way.

3.2.3.  Sorting of Object Properties

   Although the previous step indeed normalized the representation of
   primitive JSON data types, the result would not qualify as
   "canonicalized" since "Object" properties are not in lexicographic
   (alphabetical) order.

   Applied to the sample in Section 3.2.2, a properly canonicalized
   version should (with a line wrap added for display purposes only),
   read as:

     {"literals":[null,true,false],"numbers":[333333333.3333333,
     1e+30,4.5,0.002,1e-27],"string":"\u20ac$\u000f\nA'B\"\\\\\"/"}

      Note: \u20ac denotes the Euro character, which not
      being ASCII, is currently not displayable in RFCs.

   The rules for lexicographic sorting of JSON properties according to
   JCS are as follows:

   o  "Object" properties are sorted in a recursive manner which means
      that a found JSON child "Object" type MUST be subject to sorting
      as well.

   o  JSON "Array" data MUST also be checked for the presence of
      sortable JSON "Object" elements, but array element order MUST NOT
      be changed.





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   When a JSON "Object" is about to have its properties sorted, the
   following measures MUST be performed:

   o  Property strings to be sorted depend on that strings are
      represented as arrays of 16-bit unsigned integers where each
      integer holds a single UCS2/UTF-16 [UNICODE] code unit.  The
      sorting is based on pure value comparisons, independent of locale
      settings.

   o  Property strings either have different values at some index that
      is a valid index for both strings, or their lengths are different,
      or both.  If they have different values at one or more index
      positions, let k be the smallest such index; then the string whose
      value at position k has the smaller value, as determined by using
      the < operator, lexicographically precedes the other string.  If
      there is no index position at which they differ, then the shorter
      string lexicographically precedes the longer string.

   The rationale for basing the sort algorithm on UCS2/UTF-16 code units
   is that it maps directly to the string type in ECMAScript, Java and
   .NET.  Systems using another representation of string data will need
   to convert JSON property strings into arrays of UCS2/UTF-16 code
   units before sorting.

   Note: for the purpose obtaining a deterministic property order,
   sorting on UTF-8 or UTF-32 encoded data would also work, but the
   result would differ (and thus be incompatible with this
   specification).

3.2.4.  UTF-8 Generation

   Finally, in order to create a platform independent representation,
   the resulting JSON string data MUST be encoded in UTF-8.

   Applied to the sample in Section 3.2.3 this should yield the
   following bytes here shown in hexadecimal notation:

     7b 22 6c 69 74 65 72 61 6c 73 22 3a 5b 6e 75 6c 6c 2c 74 72
     75 65 2c 66 61 6c 73 65 5d 2c 22 6e 75 6d 62 65 72 73 22 3a
     5b 33 33 33 33 33 33 33 33 33 2e 33 33 33 33 33 33 33 2c 31
     65 2b 33 30 2c 34 2e 35 2c 30 2e 30 30 32 2c 31 65 2d 32 37
     5d 2c 22 73 74 72 69 6e 67 22 3a 22 e2 82 ac 24 5c 75 30 30
     30 66 5c 6e 41 27 42 5c 22 5c 5c 5c 5c 5c 22 2f 22 7d

   This data is intended to be usable as input to cryptographic
   functions.

   For other uses see Appendix C.



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4.  IANA Considerations

   This document has no IANA actions.

5.  Security Considerations

   JSON parsers MUST check that input data conforms to the JSON
   [RFC8259] specification.

6.  Acknowledgements

   Building on ES6 "Number" normalization was originally proposed by
   James Manger.  This ultimately led to the adoption of the entire ES6
   serialization scheme for JSON primitives.

   Other people who have contributed with valuable input to this
   specification include Mike Jones, Mike Miller, Mike Samuel, Michal
   Wadas, Richard Gibson and Scott Ananian.

7.  References

7.1.  Normative References

   [ES6]      Ecma International, "ECMAScript 2015 Language
              Specification", <https://www.ecma-international.org/ecma-
              262/6.0/index.html>.

   [IEEE754]  IEEE, "IEEE Standard for Floating-Point Arithmetic",
              August 2008, <http://grouper.ieee.org/groups/754/>.

   [RFC2119]  Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
              Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC2119, March 1997,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc2119>.

   [RFC7493]  Bray, T., Ed., "The I-JSON Message Format", RFC 7493,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC7493, March 2015,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc7493>.

   [RFC8174]  Leiba, B., "Ambiguity of Uppercase vs Lowercase in RFC
              2119 Key Words", BCP 14, RFC 8174, DOI 10.17487/RFC8174,
              May 2017, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc8174>.

   [RFC8259]  Bray, T., Ed., "The JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) Data
              Interchange Format", STD 90, RFC 8259,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC8259, December 2017,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc8259>.




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   [UNICODE]  The Unicode Consortium, "The Unicode Standard, Version
              10.0.0",
              <https://www.unicode.org/versions/Unicode10.0.0/>.

7.2.  Informal References

   [KEYBASE]  "Keybase",
              <https://keybase.io/docs/api/1.0/canonical_packings#json>.

   [NODEJS]   "Node.js", <https://nodejs.org>.

   [OPENAPI]  "The OpenAPI Initiative", <https://www.openapis.org/>.

   [OPENKEY]  "Open Keystore",
              <https://github.com/cyberphone/openkeystore>.

   [RFC4648]  Josefsson, S., "The Base16, Base32, and Base64 Data
              Encodings", RFC 4648, DOI 10.17487/RFC4648, October 2006,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc4648>.

   [RFC7515]  Jones, M., Bradley, J., and N. Sakimura, "JSON Web
              Signature (JWS)", RFC 7515, DOI 10.17487/RFC7515, May
              2015, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc7515>.

   [RFC7638]  Jones, M. and N. Sakimura, "JSON Web Key (JWK)
              Thumbprint", RFC 7638, DOI 10.17487/RFC7638, September
              2015, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc7638>.

   [V8]       Google LLC, "Chrome V8 Open Source JavaScript Engine",
              <https://developers.google.com/v8/>.

   [XMLDSIG]  W3C, "XML Signature Syntax and Processing Version 1.1",
              <https://www.w3.org/TR/xmldsig-core1/>.

7.3.  URIs

   [1] https://www.unicode.org/reports/tr15/

   [2] https://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-staykov-hu-json-canonical-
       form-00

   [3] https://gibson042.github.io/canonicaljson-spec/

   [4] https://www.npmjs.com/package/canonicalize

   [5] http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Canonical_JSON

   [6] https://github.com/cyberphone/json-canonicalization



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Appendix A.  ES6 Sample Canonicalizer

   Below is a functionally complete example of a JCS compliant
   canonicalizer for usage with ES6 based systems.

   Note: The primary purpose of this code is highlighting the
   canonicalization algorithm.  Using the full power of ES6 would reduce
   the code size considerably but would also be more difficult to follow
   by non-experts.

     var canonicalize = function(object) {

         var buffer = '';
         serialize(object);
         return buffer;

         function serialize(object) {
             if (object === null || typeof object !== 'object') {
                 /////////////////////////////////////////////////
                 // Primitive data type - Use ES6/JSON          //
                 /////////////////////////////////////////////////
                 buffer += JSON.stringify(object);

             } else if (Array.isArray(object)) {
                 /////////////////////////////////////////////////
                 // Array - Maintain element order              //
                 /////////////////////////////////////////////////
                 buffer += '[';
                 let next = false;
                 object.forEach((element) => {
                     if (next) {
                         buffer += ',';
                     }
                     next = true;
                     /////////////////////////////////////////
                     // Array element - Recursive expansion //
                     /////////////////////////////////////////
                     serialize(element);
                 });
                 buffer += ']';

             } else {
                 /////////////////////////////////////////////////
                 // Object - Sort properties before serializing //
                 /////////////////////////////////////////////////
                 buffer += '{';
                 let next = false;
                 Object.keys(object).sort().forEach((property) => {



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                     if (next) {
                         buffer += ',';
                     }
                     next = true;
                     ///////////////////////////////////////////////
                     // Property names are strings - Use ES6/JSON //
                     ///////////////////////////////////////////////
                     buffer += JSON.stringify(property);
                     buffer += ':';
                     //////////////////////////////////////////
                     // Property value - Recursive expansion //
                     //////////////////////////////////////////
                     serialize(object[property]);
                 });
                 buffer += '}';
             }
         }
     };

Appendix B.  Number Serialization Samples

   The following table holds a set of ES6 "Number" serialization
   samples, including some edge cases.  The column "ES6 Internal" refers
   to the internal ES6 representation of the "Number" data type which is
   based on the IEEE-754 [IEEE754] standard using 64-bit (double
   precision) values, here expressed in hexadecimal.

























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   |===================================================================|
   |   ES6 Internal   |   JSON Representation    |       Comment       |
   |===================================================================|
   | 0000000000000000 | 0                        | Zero                |
   |-------------------------------------------------------------------|
   | 8000000000000000 | 0                        | Minus zero          |
   |-------------------------------------------------------------------|
   | 0000000000000001 | 5e-324                   | Smallest pos number |
   |-------------------------------------------------------------------|
   | 8000000000000001 | -5e-324                  | Smallest neg number |
   |-------------------------------------------------------------------|
   | 7fefffffffffffff | 1.7976931348623157e+308  | Largest pos number  |
   |-------------------------------------------------------------------|
   | ffefffffffffffff | -1.7976931348623157e+308 | Largest neg number  |
   |-------------------------------------------------------------------|
   | 4340000000000000 | 9007199254740992         | Largest pos integer |
   |-------------------------------------------------------------------|
   | c340000000000000 | -9007199254740992        | Largest neg integer |
   |-------------------------------------------------------------------|
   | 7fffffffffffffff |                          | Error (NaN)         |
   |-------------------------------------------------------------------|
   | 7ff0000000000000 |                          | Error (Infinity)    |
   |-------------------------------------------------------------------|
   | 44b52d02c7e14af5 | 9.999999999999997e+22    |                     |
   |-------------------------------------------------------------------|
   | 44b52d02c7e14af6 | 1e+23                    |                     |
   |-------------------------------------------------------------------|
   | 44b52d02c7e14af7 | 1.0000000000000001e+23   |                     |
   |-------------------------------------------------------------------|
   | 444b1ae4d6e2ef4e | 999999999999999700000    |                     |
   |-------------------------------------------------------------------|
   | 444b1ae4d6e2ef4f | 999999999999999900000    |                     |
   |-------------------------------------------------------------------|
   | 444b1ae4d6e2ef50 | 1e+21                    |                     |
   |-------------------------------------------------------------------|
   | 444b1ae4d6e2ef51 | 1.0000000000000001e+21   |                     |
   |-------------------------------------------------------------------|
   | 41b3de4355555553 | 333333333.3333332        |                     |
   |-------------------------------------------------------------------|
   | 41b3de4355555554 | 333333333.33333325       |                     |
   |-------------------------------------------------------------------|
   | 41b3de4355555555 | 333333333.3333333        |                     |
   |-------------------------------------------------------------------|
   | 41b3de4355555556 | 333333333.3333334        |                     |
   |-------------------------------------------------------------------|
   | 41b3de4355555557 | 333333333.33333343       |                     |
   |-------------------------------------------------------------------|




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   Note: for maximum compliance with ECMAScript's JSON object, values
   that are to be interpreted as true integers, SHOULD be in the range
   -9007199254740991 to 9007199254740991.

Appendix C.  Canonicalized JSON as "Wire Format"

   Since the result from the canonicalization process (see
   Section 3.2.4), is fully valid JSON, it can also be used as
   "Wire Format".  However, this is just an option since cryptographic
   schemes based on JCS, in most cases would not depend on that
   externally supplied JSON data already is canonicalized.

   In fact, the ES6 standard way of serializing objects using
   "JSON.stringify()" produces a more "logical" format, where properties
   are kept in the order they were created or received.  The example
   below shows an address record which could benefit from ES6 standard
   serialization:

     {
       "name": "John Doe",
       "address": "2000 Sunset Boulevard",
       "city": "Los Angeles",
       "zip": "90001",
       "state": "CA"
     }

   Using canonicalization the properties above would be output in the
   order "address", "city", "name", "state" and "zip", which adds
   fuzziness to the data from a human (developer or technical support),
   perspective.

   That is, for many applications, canonicalization would only be used
   internally for creating a "hashable" representation of the data
   needed for cryptographic operations.

   Note that if message size is not a concern, you may even send
   "Pretty Printed" JSON data on the wire (since whitespace always is
   ignored by the canonicalization process).

Appendix D.  Dealing with Big Numbers

   There are two major issues associated with the JSON "Number" type,
   here illustrated by the following sample object:








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     {
       "giantNumber": 1.4e+9999,
       "payMeThis": 26000.33,
       "int64Max": 9223372036854775807
     }

   Although the sample above conforms to JSON (according to [RFC8259]),
   there are some practical hurdles to consider:

   o  Standard JSON parsers rarely process "giantNumber" in a meaningful
      way.  64-bit integers like "int64Max" normally pass through
      parsers, but in systems like ES6, at the expense of lost
      precision.

   o  Another issue is that parsers typically would use different
      schemes for handling "giantNumber" and "int64Max".  In addition,
      monetary data like "payMeThis" would presumably not rely on a
      floating point system due to rounding issues with respect to
      decimal arithmetic.

      The (to the author NB), only known way handling this kind of
      "overloading" of the "Number" type (at least in an extensible
      manner), is through mapping mechanisms, instructing parsers what
      to do with different properties based on their name.  However,
      this greatly limits the value of using the "Number" type outside
      of its original somewhat constrained, JavaScript context.

   For usage with JCS (and in fact for any usage of JSON by multiple
   parties potentially using independently developed software), numbers
   that do not have a natural place in the current JSON ecosystem MUST
   be wrapped using the JSON "String" type.  This is close to a de-facto
   standard for open systems.

   Aided by a mapping system; be it programmatic like

     var obj = JSON.parse('{"giantNumber": "1.4e+9999"}');
     var biggie = new BigNumber(obj.giantNumber);

   or declarative schemes like OpenAPI [OPENAPI], there are no real
   limits, not even when using ES6.

Appendix E.  Implementation Guidelines

   The optimal solution is integrating support for JCS directly in JSON
   parsers and serializers.  However, this is not always realistic.
   Fortunately JCS support can be performed through externally supplied
   canonicalizer software, enabling signature creation schemes like the
   following:



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   1.  Create the data to be signed.

   2.  Serialize the data using existing JSON tools.

   3.  Let the external canonicalizer process the serialized data and
       return canonicalized result data.

   4.  Sign the canonicalized data.

   5.  Add the resulting signature value to the original JSON data
       through a designated signature property.

   6.  Serialize the completed (now signed) JSON object using existing
       JSON tools.

   A compatible signature verification scheme would then be as follows:

   1.  Parse the signed JSON data using existing JSON tools.

   2.  Read and save the signature value from the designated signature
       property.

   3.  Remove the signature property from the parsed JSON object.

   4.  Serialize the remaining JSON data using existing JSON tools.

   5.  Let the external canonicalizer process the serialized data and
       return canonicalized result data.

   6.  Verify that the canonicalized data matches the saved signature
       value using the algorithm and key used for creating the
       signature.

   A canonicalizer like above is effectively only a "filter",
   potentially usable with a multitude of quite different cryptographic
   schemes.

   Using an integrated canonicalizer, you would eliminate the
   serialization and parsing step before the canonicalization, for both
   processes.  That is, canonicalization would typically be an
   additional "mode" for a JSON serializer.

Appendix F.  Other JSON Canonicalization Efforts

   There are (and have been) other efforts creating "Canonical JSON".
   Below is a list of URLs to some of them:





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   o  https://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-staykov-hu-json-canonical-
      form-00 [2]

   o  https://gibson042.github.io/canonicaljson-spec/ [3]

   o  https://www.npmjs.com/package/canonicalize [4]

   o  http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Canonical_JSON [5]

Appendix G.  Development Portal

   The JSC specification is currently developed at
   https://github.com/cyberphone/json-canonicalization [6].

   The portal also provides software for testing.

Author's Address

   Anders Rundgren
   Independent
   Montpellier
   France

   Email: anders.rundgren.net@gmail.com
   URI:   https://www.linkedin.com/in/andersrundgren/


























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