Re: Machine Identity

Stephane Bortzmeyer <bortzmeyer@nic.fr> Thu, 28 February 2008 16:34 UTC

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Date: Thu, 28 Feb 2008 17:34:23 +0100
From: Stephane Bortzmeyer <bortzmeyer@nic.fr>
To: dcrocker@bbiw.net
Subject: Re: Machine Identity
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References: <20080226130527.GA1404@generic-nic.net> <200802261547.KAA20917@Sparkle.Rodents.Montreal.QC.CA> <20080226160412.GA22833@nic.fr> <47C46FBA.2090009@dcrocker.net>
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On Tue, Feb 26, 2008 at 11:59:54AM -0800,
 Dave Crocker <dhc@dcrocker.net>; wrote 
 a message of 37 lines which said:

> Rather than asking about your requirements, I'll ask about the uses
> you have in mind.

My original thinking was about a P2P system. Entities (I could have
used the term "machines" but it seems to mislead people in physical
machines only) request things (for instance, files) from other
entities and give things to others. In doing so, they build a
reputation ("leecher" or "nice guy"). This reputation is tied to their
identity. Hence the desire to have an identity which is not too
transient (IP addresses are not stable over time and a machine can
legitimately have several, for instance one v4 and one v6).

Of course, an entity must not be able to take the identity of another
one, for instance to steal its reputation. Hence the need for
authentication.

On the other hand, being able to generate a lot of identities is not a
problem: an entity which would do so would start at a reputation of
zero, which is not its interest.