Re: [Uri-review] Initial inquiry into URI proposal (nym)

Eric Johnson <eric@tibco.com> Thu, 27 June 2013 21:52 UTC

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Date: Thu, 27 Jun 2013 14:52:02 -0700
From: Eric Johnson <eric@tibco.com>
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To: DataPacRat <datapacrat@gmail.com>
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Subject: Re: [Uri-review] Initial inquiry into URI proposal (nym)
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Coming out of lurking mode, this quote captures the crux of the problem.

On 6/27/13 2:24 PM, DataPacRat wrote:
> If
> nyms only exist in the form of external documents where the assertion
> is recorded, that would remove a significant chunk of its usefulness.
Sounds like you want a nym to carry trust. I don't think it can carry that.

I think it far better to think of this problem the other way around - 
define a document that carries all the characteristics that you're 
currently trying to shove into a "nym". If a nym is sufficiently 
complicated (and the examples seem to be) that you cannot remember it or 
readily transcribe it, then it might as well be in a document anyway. 
See if you can get that document to satisfy the requirements you have. 
Only *then* try to address the problem of whether all of that 
information can be captured in a URI.

I think you'll discover that the answer is "no". In fact, existing 
identity solutions already exist (public/private keys, OpenID, etc.).

Poking at the problem, If I give you a "nym" that identifies me to you, 
I may still want to give a different nym to someone else to identify 
myself differently to them. Personal "eric" is different from work 
"eric", and I don't typically share identifying information across those 
boundaries (actually even more complicated than that). On top of that, 
if I start sharing identity information in order to "prove" myself to 
you, then I might be forcing the exposure of identity information I 
don't really want you to have. Think of social security numbers (SSNs) 
that have been badly abused in the US when companies tried to treat them 
as useful identifying information.

Eric