Several methods of providing a secure and authenticated channel between hosts on the Internet above the transport layer have appeared. The objective of this proposed working group is to write standards track RFC(s) for protocols using the currently available Internet drafts as a basis. The SSL, PCT and SSH protocols are examples of mechanisms of establishing a secure channel for general purpose or special purpose Internet applications running over a reliable transport, usually TCP.
The TLS working group is a focused effort on providing security features at the transport layer, rather than general purpose security and key management mechanisms. The standard track protocol specification will provide methods for implementing privacy, authentication, and integrity above the transport layer.
The work currently under way in the area of secure IP is outside the scope of this working group. Also, general authentication mechanism discussions are outside the focus of this group. However, best efforts will be made to utilize as much as possible of the already existing technologies and methodologies in the IETF and other places to solve common problems, such as key management.
The group may also produce an informational RFC to describe conventions for the interface to a Socket (or transport) layer secure library to build specific applications as well as TCP port number conventions for running secure versions of network applications.