A Proposal to Separate Handles from Names on the Internet [article]

Michael J. O'Donnell
2003 arXiv   pre-print
Networked communications inherently depend on the ability of the sender of a message to indicate through some token how the message should be delivered to a particular recipient. The tokens that refer messages to recipients are variously known as routes, addresses,handles, and names} ordered by their relative nearness to network topology vs. human meaning. All four sorts of token refer in some way to a recipient, but they are controlled by different authorities and their meanings depend on
more » ... rent contextual parameters. Today's global Internet employs dynamically determined routes, IP addresses, and domain names. Domain names combine the functions of handles and names. The high value of domain names as names leads to substantial social and legal dispute about their assignment, degrading their value as handles. The time has come to provide a distinct open network handle system (ONHS), using handles that are not meaningful in natural language and are therefore not subject to the disputes surrounding the use of names. A handle service may be deployed easily as a handle domain within the current Domain Name System. In order to minimize the administrative load, and maximize their own autonomy, netizens may use public-key cryptography to assign their own handles.
arXiv:cs/0302017v1 fatcat:u2nh5gtu5zgunhrskxu4rvwbr4