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Versions: 00 01

Internet-Draft                                       Ammar J. Salih

Title:            IP-LOC
Expires:          May 14, 2013
Intended status:  Proposed Standard
Filename:         draft-add-location-to-ipv6-header-00.txt

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                     Adding GPS location to IPv6 header


 This document describes IP-LOC, a proposed extension which suggests
adding GPS coordinates to IPv6 header.

The current method of determining location of IP traffic is through
IP address registration database, which is not very accurate as it
depends on how the ISP registers its IP subnets, that is normally
done in a country/city format.

It also assumes that in the future, GPS capability will be added to
the router itself (just like smart phones) and packet marking and
classification based on geo-location will be required.

QoS, firewall and routing based on geo-location will be highly
required when mobile routers move from one geo-location to another
which has different policy.

Benefits of adding GPS location to IPv6 header (IP-LOC)

Web Services: getting more accurate locations will enhance many
services provided by the web, like Targeted Advertising (for
example, I would get Ads regarding restaurants available in my
neighborhoods instead of all restaurants in the city), another good
example would be preferred language, my language will be detected
more accurately based on my area rather than my country, as there
are many countries with more than one popular language, not
mentioning that many ip registrations does not even reflect the
traffic originating country.


Information accuracy and control: Nowadays, locations are assigned
to IP addresses without user awareness or control, every time a
user performs ip-lookup query the response would be different based
on how the ISP has registered this IP subnet, IP-LOC suggests
making locations more accurate and controllable through OS and
network devices, exactly like IP addresses (user can change his/her
IP address, but router can also modify the header information - in
case its required).


Routing: Policy based routing, based on geo-location, like routing
predefined traffic through certain server or path, for different
purposes (security, manageability, serviceability like choosing
call agent language for VoIP calls, or routing traffic to specific
cashing or proxy server based on country .. etc)


Copyright law: It happens when certain media/web content is not
available to certain countries due to copyright law, the current
method of determining locations is not accurate, on the other
hand, If layer-7 application to be used then the user might be able
to manipulate the location field, in this case (if its required in
future) the ISP can tag traffic with country/city more accurately
as traffic passes through ISP boarder routers.


Flexibility and Compatibility: Currently, many applications do not
share same mechanisms to obtain location or location-related data,
like detecting language, for example, if a VoIP user called in to a
customer call center, the VoIP softswitch might not support http
requests in order to detect customer language and redirect the call
to the proper agent, so although http and VoIP signaling protocols
work at the same application layer, they can not always share the
same mechanism, a lower layer mechanism is necessary to obtain the
location data.


Maps, navigation, emergency calls and many other services will be
also enhanced with accurate locations.

Current arguments against this idea:

Adding GPS position to every IPv6 header would add a lot of

Response: It does not have to be in every IPv6 header, only when
there is location update, also the host should have the option of
not sending location updates.


What about privacy?

Response: User should have the option of not sending location
updates. User should also have the ability to set location to all
zeros, in this case no router will modify the location field and
user loses the location-based services.

If it is router-to-router link, then no need to be worried about
privacy as such information usually configured on a separate


A good alternative would be to create aplication layer protocols
that could request and send GPS positions

Response: layer-7 location request will not be detected by layer-3
devices (Routers), I am assuming that in the future, GPS capability
will be added to the router itself (just like smart phones),
features like packet marking and classification based on
geo-location will be required to enforce the new geo-location


For location-based routing protocols: Why would you want this?
Geographical location is not actually that important a metric for
routing; what you care about there is *topological* location, how
far I am away from you in terms of hops or latency

Response: For shortest path maybe yes, hops or latency is
important, not for policy-based routing, in our case you might want
to do location-based routing, like, routing VoIP traffic coming from
French speaking users (in multi-language country like Canada) to a
French speaking call agent.


For geolocation-based ACLs: you have the problem that if the
geolocation is attached by the endpoint, then it can not be
trusted, since the endpoint would lie to get past the ACL.  If it
is attached by a router, the ACL needs to have proof that the
router attached it (and not the endpoint), which means that you
would need a signed geolocation header

Response: You could have the router modify the location field
anyways, just like L3 QoS fields, if you do not trust the host, so
no need for encryption or security, additionally,  ACL is not only
for security, it could be used for routing, QoS ..etc, so the host
will not always has the motivation to manipulate the location


Why can not you simply implement rules related to geo-locations
statically on the network device (router, firewall .. etc)?

Response: To enforce new geo-location policies automatically, lets
assume that a mobile router (like a mobile BTS in a GSM network)
moved from city-x to city-y, and according to city-x regulations,
VoIP calls over GSM network is allowed, but city-y regulations do
not allow that. Now the topology may reflect same network metrics
in both cities but there is no rule that triggers configuration
change based on geo-location.


For copyright law enforcement, GPS precision is certainly excessive
for this purpose, given that copyright regimes apply at the level
of the nation state, not the GPS co-ordinate

It can vary from one location to another, please have a look at the
boarder between Netherlands and Belgium

On the other hand, user should have the option of not sending
location update by setting all zeros in the location field, telling
the ISP routers not to do so as well, in that case the user
protects his/her privacy but loses the benefits of location-based
services, and in case user chooses to let the ISP routers tag
his/her packets with location updates then accuracy can be tweaked,
it could be based on your physical connection like mobile tower
your connected to, or even less accurate like the city (or even
country) your are connecting from. In a way that allows the
implementation of copyright law without compromising user privacy.


What do you think?

Authors' Addresses/Contact Information:

Ammar J. Salih
Baghdad, Iraq

Phone: +964 770 533 0306
Email: ammar.alsalih@gmail.com

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