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

Eric Johnson <> Thu, 27 June 2013 21:52 UTC

Return-Path: <>
Received: from localhost (localhost []) by (Postfix) with ESMTP id 19FC821F9F1F for <>; Thu, 27 Jun 2013 14:52:09 -0700 (PDT)
X-Virus-Scanned: amavisd-new at
X-Spam-Flag: NO
X-Spam-Score: -2.599
X-Spam-Status: No, score=-2.599 tagged_above=-999 required=5 tests=[BAYES_00=-2.599]
Received: from ([]) by localhost ( []) (amavisd-new, port 10024) with ESMTP id AuX5fKZT5z1V for <>; Thu, 27 Jun 2013 14:52:03 -0700 (PDT)
Received: from ( []) by (Postfix) with ESMTP id 4377C21F9F1C for <>; Thu, 27 Jun 2013 14:52:03 -0700 (PDT)
X-IronPort-AV: E=Sophos;i="4.87,954,1363158000"; d="scan'208";a="70525918"
Received: from (HELO ([]) by with ESMTP/TLS/AES128-SHA; 27 Jun 2013 14:52:03 -0700
Received: from Eric-Johnsons-MacBook-Pro.local ( by ( with Microsoft SMTP Server (TLS) id 14.2.342.3; Thu, 27 Jun 2013 14:52:02 -0700
Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 27 Jun 2013 14:52:02 -0700
From: Eric Johnson <>
User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10.7; rv:17.0) Gecko/20130620 Thunderbird/17.0.7
MIME-Version: 1.0
To: DataPacRat <>
References: <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>
In-Reply-To: <>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="ISO-8859-1"; format=flowed
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
X-Originating-IP: []
Cc: "" <>
Subject: Re: [Uri-review] Initial inquiry into URI proposal (nym)
X-Mailman-Version: 2.1.12
Precedence: list
List-Id: Proposed URI Schemes <>
List-Unsubscribe: <>, <>
List-Archive: <>
List-Post: <>
List-Help: <>
List-Subscribe: <>, <>
X-List-Received-Date: Thu, 27 Jun 2013 21:52:09 -0000

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.