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Theme fund: NGI0 PET
Start: 2019-06
End: 2022-10

ARPA2 LDAP Middleware

Privacy enhancing middleware

Some protocols are far better known than others. Everyone will recognise the HTTP protocol we use to transfer web pages. LDAP is not as well known, but it is also a key technology we use on a daily basis - in fact it shapes how most organisations are organised online. LDAP is a proven technology but can be cumbersome to work with, and as a result it has seen little innovation in recent years.

This project develops a number of innovatie middleware components from the ARPA2 project. This includes a privacy enhancing middleware for LDAP (LEAF), which allows to do attribute filtering and selectively transforming of LDAP; SteamWorks, which allows for responsive large scale configuration and trust delegation; and Lillydap, a library that can be used to easily add LDAP to any application. The project also delivers on (broad)er deployability of these building blocks, by providing tools for distropackaging the innovative solutions produced by the project.

Why does this actually matter to end users?

Privacy is a matter of control. When you want to protect your privacy, it does not mean you never tell anyone anything, it means you want to be in control of who you share your personal information with. On the internet a lot of control is taken away from you. The technology that lets you connect to networks all around the world and find information anywhere it is stored is built around identification, both of its users and the virtual places they visit. Unfortunately, many crucial networking standards and protocols were not designed with user privacy in mind, let alone giving them any sense of control over who can see what they do online. This vacuum has been filled with all sorts of tracking and tracing schemes that can make detailed profiles of people, which can then be (mis)used for commercial or even criminal gain.

Remaking the internet to be secure and private by design is what the ARPA2 project has been doing for several years by using and extending existing security standards and developing identity management solutions for users. Technology developed in the ARPA2 project simplifies and centralizes encryption and integrates state of art authentication and security standards, among other things. These tools help build an internet that "treats its end users as full-blown citizens, and not as milking cows", as the ARPA2 developers explain on their website. Just like other ARPA2 initiatives this project makes existing and proven internet technology more interoperable and usable to better protect users online data and identity on the internet.

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This project was funded through the NGI0 PET Fund, a fund established by NLnet with financial support from the European Commission's Next Generation Internet programme, under the aegis of DG Communications Networks, Content and Technology under grant agreement No 825310.