Summary: Logic in Access Control
University of California at Santa Cruz
Access control is central to security in computer systems.
Over the years, there have been many efforts to explain and
to improve access control, sometimes with logical ideas and
tools. This paper is a partial survey and discussion of the
role of logic in access control. It considers logical founda-
tions for access control and their applications, in particular
in languages for programming security policies.
Access control consists in deciding whether the agent
that issues a request should be trusted on this request. For
example, the agent may be a process running on behalf of
a user, and the request may be a command to read a par-
ticular file. In this example, the access control machinery
would be charged with deciding whether the read should
be permitted. This authorization decision may, in the sim-