[Freedombox-discuss] DHTs and Names

Daniel Kahn Gillmor dkg at fifthhorseman.net
Thu Sep 1 13:03:05 UTC 2011

On 09/01/2011 02:09 AM, John Walsh wrote:
> Do you think human readable names are important to FBX?

Yes, undoubtedly; we want the tools produced by this project to be
usable by humans.

Whether the human-readable names are themselves global might be a
separate question, though.

A pure petname approach would provide human-readability to end users,
but with the downside that third-party introductions would be impossible.

A hybrid petname approach could allow third-party introductions while
not claiming absolute global scope on the names in question (and
allowing for conflicts in the namespace).

For example (this is a hand-wavy sketch, not a concrete proposal):

 0) a freedombox could be known by the fingerprint of its public key
(non-human-readable, OpenPGP or some other fingerprinting standard)

 1) the freedombox itself could publish its own routing information (DNS
records?  something else?), signed by its own public key so that it is
clear (and verifiable) how to reach the machine at the moment.

 2) individual users could choose to publish (some of) their petname
bindings in a way that is cryptographically verifiable, thereby creating
third-party introductions with human-readable names.

But the basic question about whether we want human-readable names for
the freedombox is quite clear to me: we do, and we must.



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