Trust Over IP — A complete architecture for Internet-scale digital trust

Satish Mohan
May 5 · 4 min read
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Businesses prosper in regulatory environments which provide a solid foundation for legal and social contracts. As more businesses undertake digital transformation, ease of doing business also includes secure and scalable ways to exchange information. The Trust over IP (ToIP) framework is a formal structure which enables integration with cryptography routines and existing local and national regulations. The design and implementation of the ToIP stack is oriented towards scalability in the availability of services for an individual citizen. As such, it continues to include the utility infrastructure and frameworks provided by distributed ledgers, blockchain and distributed ID systems.

The Internet is designed as a network of networks, where the interconnections between each network are facilitated through the TCP/IP stack. The ToIP-enabled Internet is a digital trust ecosystem of digital trust ecosystems, where the interconnections between each digital trust ecosystem are facilitated through the ToIP stack. The boundaries of each digital trust ecosystem are determined by the governance framework(s) under which its members are operating.

This allows the ToIP-enabled Internet to reflect the same diversity and richness it has today, but with a new ability to form and maintain trust relationships of any kind — personal, business, social, academic, political — at any distance. These trust relationships can cross trust boundaries as easily as IP packets can cross network boundaries today.

Dhiway’s Verifiable Data Exchange platform was developed to address the topic of data governance and provenance at a large scale. Today businesses are evolving through a maturity model of digital transformation where a key concern is to be able to manage digital records of the actual resources being distributed through a complex and often global supply chain. Co-mingling of business and customer data have often been part of spectacular breaches and resulting data dumps on the dark web. Enabling a set of identity, verification and provenance models to this digital transformation helps the customer gain more trust in the systems and raises the volume of transactions. Verification and provenance are the 2 basic building blocks of a transaction processing workflow which involves entities interacting with each other over the public internet. At Dhiway we believe that by contributing to emerging global standards around digital wallets, verifiable credentials and identity models we will be able to bring about significant positive change in how humans interact with systems.

The Trust over IP (ToIP) Foundation is hosted by The Linux Foundation and is intended to provide a robust common standard that gives people and businesses the confidence that data is coming from a trusted source, allowing them to connect, interact and innovate at a speed and scale not possible today. The organizations which have provided support to the ToIP Foundation is a testament to the mission and potential of this approach. Dhiway joins the ToIP Foundation as one of the Founding Members.

Process automation has been a topic of discussion and implementation across the verticals of business. As more processes pivot towards the exchange of information in digital format, it is necessary to focus on the user experience for the consumer of these services. We already see the emergence and use of digital wallets to store credentials. In the near future, we will see more services which require sharing of personal information, attestations and claims in the digital form. Our experience of contributions to a number of open source projects has shown us that innovation needs to be nurtured and strengthened for deployment as stable, scalable and supported services. We see our participation in the ToIP Foundation from these two perspectives — bringing focused contributions to the standards creations and standards based approach; enabling businesses and individuals to gain benefit from the resulting work.

Our focus at Dhiway has been to enable transparent and standardized approaches to data governance. We believe that trust and transparency in digital interactions are built on the foundations of governance structure in which organizations can transform their existing process flows. This is the basis towards achieving efficiency. In these stressed economic times, businesses would be compelled to search for and adopt methods which help them achieve the desired results without much disruption and changes to the bottom line. By implementing data governance mechanisms, it is possible to put in place data ownership and rights management which are privacy-preserving. This is a critical aspect of gaining the trust of the customer. There are far too many business systems which focus on data as the asset to monetize. By making it possible to blend trust with consent our platform empowers the customer to self govern their data to manage identity information at a distributed and decentralized model. There are extensive conversations around rights — individual digital rights, rights on data, data protection and privacy. Our work continues to focus on the intersection of available regulations and helping frame choices in technology that lead to the desired outcomes.

The Dhiway mission to “create opportunities for a better life using ethical, privacy-preserving digital identity” is aligned with the goals of the Trust over IP Foundation. Together we want to ensure that self-governance of identity, privacy and security, data rights and access to services are not limited to only those who are interested in these aspects. We believe that these are fundamental requirements in life which should be available to all with similar experiences regardless of how they desire to interact with systems and implementations built around standards governed by the Trust over IP Foundation. We understand that we are setting ourselves a big target. Significant and impactful changes have only come about from steering towards such targets with a clear focus on outcomes and the changes we can catalyse around us. We look forward to joining with others who are like-minded in order to form the digital communes we would like to have.

Dhiway

Dhiway is building a verifiable data exchange platform — to…

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