Coda File System

Re: global identities name space?

From: Stephen J. Turnbull <>
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2004 11:39:49 +0900
>>>>> "Ivan" == Ivan Popov <> writes:

    Ivan> In that sense all national passports are "global
    Ivan> identities".  We lack such ones in the computer world.

Do you think it was an accident that Microsoft called its attempt to
monopolize authentication services "Passport"?

But think about it.  A Coda token _is_ already a global identity in
the geographical sense.  It allows you to enter and travel within a
Coda realm according to your identity.

Also note that national passports are _not_ identities in the sense
that a computer login is an identity.  If you fake my passport, you
can travel from one country to another as me, but you will have a hard
time accessing my bank accounts or giving grades to my students.  By
contrast, in most cases once you are authenticated on a system, you
get "all the honors and privileges appertaining to the degree" as my
high school diploma says.

I guess my meaning is that this is a hard problem, and we should be
very careful about analogies to "real world" contructs like passports
when talking about authentication on computer systems.

Institute of Policy and Planning Sciences
University of Tsukuba                    Tennodai 1-1-1 Tsukuba 305-8573 JAPAN
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Received on 2004-01-18 21:44:50