Key Object Concepts


An Identity is the persona of a peer contact, be they the representation of a real person or representative entity (much like a corporation is a legal entity but not a real person). An Identity maps to a single Peer Contact although a Peer Contact can have multiple Identities.

Asserted Identity

An Asserted Identity is an identity that can be verified through an identity service as being the legal owner of the persona rather than a fraudulent representation. In other words, a validated asserted identity can be trusted that they are whom they claim to be. Different levels of identity assertion can be claimed for any given identity starting with no provable assertion at all and moving anywhere from weak to strong verification depending on the identity validation service types available.

Identity Lookup Server

A server that looks up and returns the Peer Contact associated with an Identity or a set of Identities and can return the public profile information for Peer Contacts.

Identity Signing Service

A service that provides the Asserted Identities for the various personae that are owned within a particular service offering.

Identity Provider

Any service offering that grants Identity personas, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or other 3rd parties that offer their own Identities.

Peer Contact

A Peer Contact is the representation of a single point of contact on the Internet regardless of the personas represented by the peer contact. A peer contact can exist at zero or more Peer Locations at any given time.


A Peer is the single instance of a peer client application on the Internet, which registers a single Peer Contact in the Peer Domain at a particular Peer Location.

Peer Location

A Peer Location is the representation of where a peer is located. A Peer can only exist at a single location but the Peer Contact for the Peer can register at multiple Peer Locations.

Peer URI

A Universal Resource Identifier (URI) starting with “peer:” offering the ability to locate a specific peer resource, protocol and request type within a peer domain.

Peer Domain

A Peer is always connected to a Peer Domain and the domain is the organization responsible for managing the connected peers.

Peer Finder

A Peer Finder is a rendezvous server that keeps track of connected peers at their peer locations since they are connected in a dispersed fashion through a peer domain. A peer finder will utilize a database (typically distributed) to facilitation the introduction of peer communication on the same domain or across domains.


A Bootstrapper is the introductory server where peers first go to be introduced to one (or more) Peer Finders. Peers should attempt to connect to introduced Peer Finders in order to gain entry to the Peer Domain. Once a Peer is connected to a Bootstrapped Network, the Peer should no longer require communication back to the Bootstrapper unless access to previously introduced Peer Finders are no longer accessible.

Bootstrapped Network

A Bootstrapped Network is the representation of the entire peering network that was introduced from a Bootstrapper.

Public Peer File

A file that contains a cryptography public key for secure conversations, information required to locate the Peer Contact within a Peer Domain, information to authorize a connection to that Peer by another Peer and public Identities associated to a peer. Any Peer without the correct Public Peer File for another Peer Contact will be unable to connect to that peer. A directory service can host and offer these Public Peer Files between peers but without this file no communication is possible between peers (thus allowing for “unlisted” peers).

Private Peer File

A file that contains a private key to be the pair of a public key inside the Public Peer file that is used by a Peer to be used to establish secure communications between Peers. The Private Peer File is encrypted and can only be decoded with the correct key.

Peer Pair

A file pairing consisting of both a Public Peer File and a Private Peer File.

Provisioning Service

A service that provides account creation and account profile maintenance.

Peer Service

Any additional services offered to peers are done through what is called a Peer Service. Examples of such services are those that perform identity assertion, TURN or future services like video conferencing mixers.