Anonymous Identifiers (alien) Concluded WG

Note: The data for concluded WGs is occasionally incorrect.

WG Name Anonymous Identifiers
Acronym alien
Area Security Area (sec)
State Concluded
Charter charter-ietf-alien-01 Approved
Dependencies Document dependency graph (SVG)
Personnel Chairs James Kempf
Pekka Nikander

Charter for Working Group

Privacy is becoming a more pressing issue in the Internet
architecture. There are several reasons for this, including new or
proposed legistlation in various countries, the Internet becoming more
ubiquitous and mobile, and changes in people's expectations.
Furthermore, there are many different perspectives on network-related
privacy, and some of these are based on different expectations with
respect to privacy in different countries and cultures.

The BOF has three distinct goals:

1. To initiate long-term architectural discussion on privacy within
the community. One possible outcome of this would be chartering of a
privacy research group at the IRTF. The goal of this work is to define
exactly what network-related privacy means and to understand the
breadth and depth of the problem.

2. To initiate shorter-term work to define how to implement and use
the existing protocols in such a way that the privacy-sensitive
information, such as a user's more-permanent network-layer identity,
is not unnecessarily revealed, thereby compromising their network
privacy. It is envisioned that a new working group crossing the
Security and Internet Areas might be a suitable forum for this work,
and that if such a working group is formed, it could also act as a
common discussion forum to help in co-ordinating protocol-specific
work; see the next item.

3. To briefly discuss some specific needs to modify existing
protocols, such as Mobile IP, in order to improve their privacy
properties. As a baseline, it is assumed that such work would probably
be best conveyed in existing working or research groups, such as MIP4,
MIP6 or MOBOPTS, whenever there is an active group for the protocol at

The focus of the proposed work will be on protecting communicating
parties' privacy against eavesdroppers and other third parties.
Therefore, unlinkability of various identifiers used in protocols is
an important matter; see below. Focus will be on the internetworking
layer (IP protocols) and layers close to it, with less attention paid
to specific applications or physical layer issues. While it is
necessary to understand link layer issues, proposals to change
existing link layer protocols or to define new link layer protocols is
explicitly out of scope.

Location privacy in the sense of keeping location related information,
such as the IP address, of a mobile host private from its active peers
is explicitly out of scope. However, location privacy in the sense of
keeping a given mobile user's location-related information private
from third parties, i.e. hosts and nodes with which the node does *not*
have active communication with, falls within the proposed scope.


Date Milestone