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A Presence Architecture for the Distribution of GEOPRIV Location Objects

The information below is for an old version of the document that is already published as an RFC.
Document Type
This is an older version of an Internet-Draft that was ultimately published as RFC 4079.
Author Jon Peterson
Last updated 2013-03-02 (Latest revision 2004-09-09)
RFC stream Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)
Intended RFC status Informational
Additional resources Mailing list discussion
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Document shepherd (None)
IESG IESG state Became RFC 4079 (Informational)
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Telechat date (None)
Responsible AD Ted Hardie
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GEOPRIV WG                                                   J. Peterson
Internet-Draft                                                   NeuStar
Expires: March 9, 2005                                 September 8, 2004

    A Presence Architecture for the Distribution of GEOPRIV Location

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   By submitting this Internet-Draft, I certify that any applicable
   patent or other IPR claims of which I am aware have been disclosed,
   and any of which I become aware will be disclosed, in accordance with
   RFC 3668.

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Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2004).  All Rights Reserved.


   GEOPRIV defines the concept of a 'using protocol', a protocol that
   carries GEOPRIV location objects.  GEOPRIV also defines various
   scenarios for the distribution of location objects that require the
   concept of subscriptions and asynchronous notifications.  This
   document examines some existing IETF work on the concept of presence,
   shows how presence architectures map onto GEOPRIV architectures, and
   moreover demonstrates that tools already developed for presence could
   be reused to simplify the standardization and implementation of

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Table of Contents

   1.   Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
   2.   Framework Analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
   3.   Presence Architecture for GEOPRIV  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
   4.   GEOPRIV Extensions to PIDF . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
   5.   Security Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
   6.   IANA Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
        Author's Address . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
   7.   Informative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
   A.   Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
        Intellectual Property and Copyright Statements . . . . . . . . 9

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1.  Introduction

   GEOPRIV is a standard for the transmission of location information
   and privacy policies over the Internet.  Location information is a
   description of a particular spatial location, which may be
   represented as coordinates (via longitude, latitude, and so on), or
   as civil addresses (such as postal addresses), or in other ways.
   GEOPRIV focuses on the privacy and security issues, both from a
   technology perspective and a policy perspective, of sharing location
   information over the Internet; it essentially defines a secure
   container class capable of carrying both location information and
   policy data governing the distribution of this information.  GEOPRIV
   also defines the concept of a 'using protocol', a protocol that
   carries the GEOPRIV location object.

   Presence is a service defined in RFC2778 [2] that allows users of a
   communications service to monitor one another's availability and
   disposition in order to make decisions about communicating.  Presence
   information is highly dynamic, and generally characterizes whether a
   user is online or offline, busy or idle, away from communications
   devices or nearby, and the like.

   This document shows the applicability of presence to GEOPRIV, and
   shows that a presence protocol could be a suitable using protocol for
   GEOPRIV.  This document is not intended to demonstrate that presence
   is the only method by which GEOPRIV location objects might be
   distributed.  However, there are numerous applications of GEOPRIV
   that depend on the fundamental subscription/notification architecture
   that also underlies presence.

2.  Framework Analysis

   The GEOPRIV framework [1] defines four primary network entities: a
   Location Generator, a Location Server, a Location Recipient, and a
   Rule Holder.  Three interfaces between these entities are defined,
   including a publication interface and a notification interface.

   GEOPRIV specifies that a 'using protocol' is employed to transport
   location objects from one place to another.  If the publication
   interface and notification interface are network connections, then a
   using protocol would be responsible for the transmission of the
   location object.  Location Recipients may request that a Location
   Server provide them with GEOPRIV location information concerning a
   particular Target.  The Location Generator publishes Location
   Information to a Location Server, which, in coordination with
   policies set by the Rule Maker, distributes the location information
   to Location Recipients as necessary.

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   The GEOPRIV requirements document shows three scenarios for the use
   of the GEOPRIV protocol.  In some of these scenarios (such as the
   third), a Location Recipient sends some kind of message to the
   Location Server to request the periodic transmission of location
   information.  The location of a GEOPRIV Target is likely to vary over
   time (if the Target is a person, or something similarly mobile) and
   consequently the concept of a persistent subscription to the location
   of a Target resulting in periodic notification is valuable to
   GEOPRIV.  In other scenarios, a Location Recipient may request a
   one-time notification of the geographical location of the Target.

   GEOPRIV places few requirements on using protocols.  However, it is
   clear from the description above that there must be some mechanism to
   allow Location Recipients to establish a persistent subscription in
   order to receive regular notification of the geographical location of
   a Target as their location changes over time.  There must also be a
   way for Location Generators to publish location information to a
   Location Server that applies further policies for distribution.

   This document adopts a model in which the using protocol is
   responsible for requesting subscriptions, handling publications, and
   sending notifications.  There are other models for GEOPRIV in which
   such operations might be built into location objects themselves.
   However, there is a significant amount of pre-existing work in the
   IETF related to managing publications, subscriptions and
   notifications for data sets that vary over time.  In fact, these
   concepts all correspond exactly to architectures for presence that
   have been developed in support of real-time communications
   applications such as instant messaging, voice and video sessions.

   Note that there are some GEOPRIV scenarios in which the Location
   Recipient does not actively request the location of a Target, but
   rather it receives an unsolicited notification of Target's location.
   This document focuses on the use of presence only for those scenarios
   in which the Location Recipient actively solicits location
   information.  It is however possible that many of these base
   operations of the subscription/notification framework of presence
   could be reused in for cases in which the Location Recipient is

3.  Presence Architecture for GEOPRIV

   The Common Profile for Presence [4] (CPP) defines a set of operations
   for delivery of presence information.  These primarily consist of
   subscription operations and notification operations.  A subscription
   creates a persistent connection between a 'watcher' (which
   corresponds to the Location Recipient of GEOPRIV) and a 'presentity'
   (which corresponds roughly to the GEOPRIV target).  When a watcher

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   subscribes to a presentity, a persistent connection is created;
   notifications of presence information will henceforth be sent to the
   watcher as the presence information changes.  CPP also supports
   unsubscriptions (terminating the persistent subscription) and fetches
   (one-time requests for presence information that result in no
   persistent subscription).

   CPP provides a number of attributes of these operations that flesh
   out the presence system.  There is a system for automatically
   expiring subscriptions if they are not refreshed at user-defined
   intervals (in order to eliminate stale subscriptions).  There are
   transaction and subscription identifiers used to correlate messages,
   and a URI scheme ("pres:") is defined to identify watchers and

   The IETF IMPP WG has also defined an XML data format for presence
   information called the Presence Information Data Format [6] (PIDF).
   PIDF is a body carried by presence protocols that contains presence
   information, including the current state of a presentity.  PIDF is
   discussed in more detail in Section 4.

   At a high-level, then, the presence architecture seems to have
   considerable applicability to the problem of delivering GEOPRIV
   information.  However, the CPP framework is an abstract framework -
   it doesn't actually specify a protocol, it specifies a framework and
   a set of requirements to which presence protocols must conform.
   Also, CPP does not define any concept similar to a Location Server.

   However, the IETF has standardized protocols that instantiate this
   framework, such as SIMPLE [7] and XMPP [8].  XMPP and SIMPLE both
   have architectural elements comparable to a Location Server: points
   where presentities register their availability, and where policies
   for distributing presence can be managed.  The presence community has
   also defined a policy protocol and schema set called XCAP [9] through
   which authorization policies can be provisioned in a presence server.

   In summary, like GEOPRIV, presence requires an architecture for
   publication, subscription, and notification for a mutable set of data
   associated with a principal.  Presence has already tackled many of
   the harder issues associated with subscription management, including
   subscription expiration, development of identifiers for principals,
   and defining document formats for presence information.  Rather than
   reinventing work that has been done elsewhere in the IETF, GEOPRIV
   has reused this existing work by specifying presence protocols as
   GEOPRIV using protocols.  Moreover, the existing foundational
   presence tools developed in IMPP, such as PIDF, have immediate
   applicability to the efforts underway in GEOPRIV to develop objects
   for sharing location information.

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4.  GEOPRIV Extensions to PIDF

   As was mentioned above, the presence architecture developed in the
   IETF IMPP WG has defined a format for presence information called
   PIDF.  PIDF is an XML format that provides presence information about
   a presentity - primarily, this consists of status information, but
   also optionally includes contact addresses (a way of reaching the
   presentity), timestamps, and textual notes with arbitrary content.

   PIDF is an extensible format.  It defines an XML element for
   representing the status of a presentity (the status element), and
   gives some guidance on how this element might be extended.  While the
   authors of PIDF viewed geographical location as a potential category
   of presence information, baseline PIDF defines no format for location

   PIDF meets the security requirements given in RFC2779 [3] (see
   especially 5.1, 5.2 and 5.3), which parallel the security
   requirements of the GEOPRIV location object given in the GEOPRIV
   requirements [1].  CPP and PIDF specify mechanisms for mutual
   authentication of participants in a presence exchange as well as
   confidentiality and integrity properties for presence information.

   So in short, many of the requirements of GEOPRIV objects map well
   onto the capabilities of PIDF.

5.  Security Considerations

   GEOPRIV information, like presence information, has very sensitive
   security requirements.  The requirements of RFC2779 [3], which are
   instantiated by CPP, PIDF and XCAP, in addition to the various
   derivative concrete presence protocols like XMPP and SIMPLE, map well
   onto the security requirements of the GEOPRIV protocol, as defined in
   the GEOPRIV requirements document and the GEOPRIV threat analysis
   [10] document.  Specifically, the presence security requirements call
   for authentication of watchers, integrity and confidentiality
   properties, and similar measures to prevent abuse of presence

6.  IANA Considerations

   This document introduces no considerations for the IANA.

7  Informative References

   [1]   Cuellar, J., Morris, J., Mulligan, D., Peterson, J. and J.
         Polk, "GEOPRIV requirements", RFC 3693, February 2004.

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   [2]   Day, M., Rosenberg, J. and H. Sugano, "A Model for Presence and
         Instant Messaging", RFC 2778, February 2000.

   [3]   Day, M., Aggarwal, S. and J. Vincent, "Instant Messaging /
         Presence Protocol Requirements", RFC 2779, February 2000.

   [4]   Peterson, J., "A Model for Presence and Instant Messaging", RFC
         3859, August 2004.

   [5]   Peterson, J., "Address Resolution for Instant Messaging and
         Presence", RFC 3861, August 2004.

   [6]   Sugano, H., Fujimoto, S., Klyne, G., Bateman, A., Carr, W. and
         J. Peterson, "CPIM Presence Information Data Format", RFC 3863,
         August 2004.

   [7]   Rosenberg, J., "A Presence Event Package for the Session
         Initiation Protocol (SIP)", RFC 3856, August 2004.

   [8]   Saint-Andre, P., "Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol
         (XMPP): Instant Messaging and Presence", draft-ietf-xmpp-im-22
         (work in progress), April 2004.

   [9]   Rosenberg, J., "The Extensible Markup Language (XML)
         Configuration Access Protocol (XCAP)",
         draft-ietf-simple-xcap-02 (work in progress), February 2004.

   [10]  Danley, M., Morris, J., Mulligan, D. and J. Peterson, "Threat
         Analysis of the GEOPRIV Protocol", RFC 3694, February 2004.

   [11]  Berners-Lee, T., Fielding, R. and L. Masinter, "Uniform
         Resource Identifiers (URI): Generic Syntax", RFC 2396, August

Author's Address

   Jon Peterson
   NeuStar, Inc.
   1800 Sutter St
   Suite 570
   Concord, CA  94520

   Phone: +1 925/363-8720

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Appendix A.  Acknowledgements

   Thanks to Randall Gellens, John Morris, Hannes Tschofenig, and Behcet
   Sarikaya for their comments.

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