Open Network Handles
Design Notes
(DRAFT 0.3)

Michael J. O'Donnell

17 August, 2002


I propose a system of Open Network Handles to provide permanent primitive network handles promiscuously to all who request them. Handles provide an intermediate level of service between IP numbers and domain names. While assignment of IP numbers is constrained by routing considerations, the owner of a handle may reassign it to different addresses over time for mobility or changes p in configuration of resources. Unlike domain names, handles carry no significance in natural language, so they should not have high commercial value, nor should they attract disputes based on assertions of rights in significant names.

This document describes several considerations and questions that arise when planning a design of a network handle system.

For now, I'm just listing issues as they occur to me.
Still a chaotic list, I just added and refined a bit, and converted from ``central'' to ``global.''
Minor refinements.

1 Functional design

I have no background in cryptographic key management. I hope that someone with such knowledge will contribute.

2 Incentives

Compare the value of a globally assigned handle to the value of an independently assigned handle:

Table 1: Comparative value of globally assigned vs. independently assigned handle

Property Global vs. Independent
Control limited $<$ total
Key management multiple keys $<$ one key
Size of handle moderate $\approx$ a few bits longer
Support from registrar $>$ from self
Transferability total $>$ requires additional escrow

3 Vulnerabilities

3.1 Exposure to Harm

3.2 Attacks and Defenses

I have no background in threat analysis. I hope that someone who understands such things will contribute.

About this document ...

Open Network Handles
Design Notes
(DRAFT 0.3)

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Mike O'Donnell 2002-08-17