I-names are one form of an XRI — an OASIS open standard for digital identifiers designed for sharing resources and data across domains and applications. I-names are human readable XRIs intended to be as easy as possible for people to remember and use. For example, a personal i-name could be =Mary or =Mary.Jones. An organizational i-name could be @Acme or @Acme.Corporation.
One problem XRIs are designed to solve is persistent addressing — how to maintain an address that does not need to change no matter how often the contact details of a person or organization change. XRIs accomplish this by adding a new layer of abstraction over the existing IP numbering and DNS naming layers used on the Internet today (as well as over other type of addresses, such as phone numbers or instant messaging addresses). Such an abstraction layer is not new — URNs (Uniform Resource Names) and other persistent identifier architectures have the same effect. What's different about the XRI layer is that it offers a single uniform syntax and resolution protocol for two different types of identifiers:
I-names are identifiers resembling domain names, designed for simplicity and ease of use. Though typically long-lived, i-names may, like domain names, be transferred or reassigned to another resource by their owners. For example, a company that changes its corporate name could sell its old i-name to another company, while both companies could retain their original i-numbers. What most differentiates i-names from domain names is that in practice they will have a synonymous (equivalent) persistent i-number (below).
I-numbers are machine readable identifiers (similar to IP addresses) that are assigned to a resource (for instance, a person, organization, application or file) and never reassigned. This means an i-number can always be used to address a network representation of the resource as long it remains available anywhere on the network. I-numbers, like IP addresses, are designed to be efficient for network routers to process and resolve.
XRI syntax also allows i-names and i-numbers to be combined within the same XRI. So effectively the XRI layer supports both i-name and i-number synonyms for resources — one that reflects real-world semantics and can change over time, and one that reflects the persistent identity of a resource no matter how often its attributes (including its i-names) may change. And the same HTTP-based XRI resolution protocol can be used to resolve either an i-name or an i-number to an XRDS document describing the target resource.
XRIs are backward-compatible with the DNS and IP addressing systems, so it is possible for domain names and IP addresses to be used as i-names (or, in rare cases, as i-numbers). Like DNS names, XRIs can also be "delegated", i.e., nested multiple levels deep, just like the directory names on a local computer file system. For example, a company can register a top-level (global) i-name for itself and then assign second- or lower-level (community) i-names to its divisions, employees, etc. Examples:
i-names are called unified digital addresses because they can be resolved using the XRI resolution protocol into XRDS documents that expose various services for accessing the digital identity they represent. These services, such as OpenID, OAuth, or XDI can expose any other type of data under the control of this identity. Privacy is protected because the identity owner controls access. For example, the registrant of =Mary.Jones would not receive spam from this i-name because it is not an email address. To resolve =Mary.Jones into an email address would first require Mary's permission, and such requests can be verified by i-brokers to make sure they are legitimate.
In addition to =names for people and @names for organizations, the third major type of i-names is +names for generic concepts. This is the XRI equivalent of a generic noun in the English language, for example, +flowers, +phone.number, or +table.of.contents. Generic +names are very useful in distributed data sharing because they can be used as XRI cross-references to specify the precise type of data to be shared. For example, =Mary.Jones/(+phone.number)/(+daytime) and @Acme/(+phone.number)/(+daytime) can be used to request Mary's and Acme's daytime phone numbers, respectively.
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A domain name is an identification string that defines a realm of administrative autonomy, authority or control within the Internet. Domain names are used in various networking contexts and for application-specific naming and addressing purposes. In general, a domain name identifies a network domain, or it represents an Internet Protocol (IP) resource, such as a personal computer used to access the Internet, a server computer hosting a website, or the web site itself or any other service communicated via the Internet. In 2017, 330.6 million domain names had been registered.
Telephone number mapping is a system of unifying the international telephone number system of the public switched telephone network with the Internet addressing and identification name spaces. Internationally, telephone numbers are systematically organized by the E.164 standard, while the Internet uses the Domain Name System (DNS) for linking domain names to IP addresses and other resource information. Telephone number mapping systems provide facilities to determine applicable Internet communications servers responsible for servicing a given telephone number using DNS queries.
Sender Policy Framework (SPF) is an email authentication method designed to detect forging sender addresses during the delivery of the email. SPF alone, though, is limited to detecting a forged sender claim in the envelope of the email, which is used when the mail gets bounced. Only in combination with DMARC can it be used to detect the forging of the visible sender in emails, a technique often used in phishing and email spam.
A Canonical Name record is a type of resource record in the Domain Name System (DNS) that maps one domain name to another.
XDI is a semantic data interchange format and protocol under development by the OASIS XDI Technical Committee. The name comes from the addressable graph model XDI uses: every node in the XDI graph is its own RDF graph that is uniquely addressable.
i-numbers are a type of Internet identifier designed to solve the problem of how any web resource can have a persistent identity that never changes even when the web resource moves or changes its human-friendly name. For example, if a web page has an i-number, and links to that page use the i-number, then those links will not break even if the page is renamed, the website containing the page is completely reorganized, or the page is moved to another website.
Trust federations are part of the evolving Identity Metasystem that will bring a new layer of persistent identity and trusted data sharing to the Internet. Although the concept of trust federations is technology neutral, several protocols like SAML, Openid, Information Card, XDI can handle the challenges of technical interoperability. The challenge of business and social interoperability requires a new type of cooperative association similar to a credit card association. Instead of banks, however, a trust federation is an alliance of i-brokers and their customers who agree to abide by a common set of agreements in the care and handling of customer data. A model for trust federations is offered by Open Identity Exchange and Kantara Initiative, which is applied in the U.S. Government ICAM Trust Framework.
The IP Multimedia Subsystem or IP Multimedia Core Network Subsystem (IMS) is a standardised architectural framework for delivering IP multimedia services. Historically, mobile phones have provided voice call services over a circuit-switched-style network, rather than strictly over an IP packet-switched network. Alternative methods of delivering voice (VoIP) or other multimedia services have become available on smartphones, but they have not become standardized across the industry. IMS is an architectural framework that provides such standardization.
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OpenID is an open standard and decentralized authentication protocol promoted by the non-profit OpenID Foundation. It allows users to be authenticated by cooperating sites using a third-party identity provider (IDP) service, eliminating the need for webmasters to provide their own ad hoc login systems, and allowing users to log into multiple unrelated websites without having to have a separate identity and password for each. Users create accounts by selecting an OpenID identity provider, and then use those accounts to sign onto any website that accepts OpenID authentication. Several large organizations either issue or accept OpenIDs on their websites.
Universal personal telecommunications (UPT) is a special segment of the international telephone number space which has been set aside for universal personal telephone numbers. This service has been allocated country code +87810 and is completed by a 10-digit subscriber number which provides 10 billion unique numbers. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) introduced this concept in 2001, referring to it as "global number portability". However, number portability normally refers to the service of keeping an existing phone number after moving service to another provider. The delegation of UPT was requested by VisionNG Chairman Herwart Wermescher and was confirmed by Counsellor, SG2 of ITU-TSB Richard Hill on May 21, 2002.
The domain name .tel is a top-level domain (TLD) in the Domain Name System (DNS) of the Internet. It was approved by ICANN as a sponsored top-level domain, and is operated by Telnic. Telnic announced in January 2011 that over 300,000 domains had been registered since the start of general availability on 24 March 2009. A substantial drop of mostly IDN
.tels occurred at the beginning of 2014 - the current total registered
.tels as of 21 July 2016 is 98,516.
Yadis is a communications protocol for discovery of services such as OpenID, OAuth, and XDI connected to a Yadis ID. While intended to discover digital identity services, Yadis is not restricted to those. Other services can easily be included.
The SIP URI scheme is a Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) scheme for the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) multimedia communications protocol. A SIP address is a URI that addresses a specific telephone extension on a voice over IP system. Such a number could be a private branch exchange or an E.164 telephone number dialled through a specific gateway. The scheme was defined in RFC 3261.
An Internet Protocol Version 6 address is a numeric label that is used to identify and locate a network interface of a computer or a network node participating in an computer network using IPv6. IP addresses are included in the packet header to indicate the source and the destination of each packet. The IP address of the destination is used to make decisions about routing IP packets to other networks.
An Extensible Resource Identifier is a scheme and resolution protocol for abstract identifiers compatible with Uniform Resource Identifiers and Internationalized Resource Identifiers, developed by the XRI Technical Committee at OASIS. The goal of XRI was a standard syntax and discovery format for abstract, structured identifiers that are domain-, location-, application-, and transport-independent, so they can be shared across any number of domains, directories, and interaction protocols.
Federated VoIP is a form of packetized voice telephony that uses voice over IP between autonomous domains in the public Internet without the deployment of central virtual exchange points or switching centers for traffic routing. Federated VoIP uses decentralized addressing systems, such as ENUM, for location and identity information of participants and implements secure, trusted communications (TLS) for identify verification.
A Uniform Resource Locator (URL), colloquially termed a web address, is a reference to a web resource that specifies its location on a computer network and a mechanism for retrieving it. A URL is a specific type of Uniform Resource Identifier (URI), although many people use the two terms interchangeably. URLs occur most commonly to reference web pages (http) but are also used for file transfer (ftp), email (mailto), database access (JDBC), and many other applications.