Distributed registration and key distribution for online universities

  • Rolf Oppliger
  • Martin Bracher
  • Andres Albanese
Part of the IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology book series (IFIPAICT)


In this paper we focus on the role of universities in distance education and teleteaching. We argue that universities have to cooperate with commercial service providers to dis­seminate lectures to a wide audience, and that this cooperation requires new techniques with regard to the registration, validation, and certification of the parties involved, such as professors, service providers, and students. We also propose a technique that can be used in distance education and teleteaching to set up and run online universities. The technique has been named DiRK, an acronym derived from Distributed Registration and Key distribution. It can be used in a conferencing system, such as the Internet Multicast Backbone (MBone), to handle the registration of participants and the distribution of session keys in a decentralized and fully distributed way. DiRK is being prototyped in a session registration tool (srt) for the MBone. The srt will serve as a starting-point to evaluate and further enhance DiRK, as well as to develop similar tools that can be used in distance education and teleteaching to set up and run online universities.


Distance education teleteaching online universities Internet Multicast Backbone (MBone) participants registration validation key distribution 


  1. Deering, S. and Cheriton, D. (1985) Host Groups: A Multicast Extension to the Internet Protocol. RFC 966.Google Scholar
  2. Deering, S. (1989) Host Extensions for IP Multicast. RFC 1112.Google Scholar
  3. Deering, S. and Cheriton, D. (1990) Multicast Routing in Datagram Internetworks and Extended LANs. ACM Transactions on Computer Systems, 8 (2), 85–110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Deering, S. (1991) Multicast Routing in a Datagram Internetwork. Ph.D. thesis, Stanford University.Google Scholar
  5. Eriksson, H. (1994) MBONE: The Multicast Backbone. Communications of the ACM, 37 (8), 54–60.MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Macedonia, M. and Brutzman, D. (1994) MBone Provides Audio and Video Across the Internet. IEEE Computer, 27, 30–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Kumar, V. (1996) MBone: Interactive Multimedia on the Internet. New Riders Publishing, Indianapolis, IN.Google Scholar
  8. Oppliger, R. and Albanese, A. (1996) Distributed registration and key distribution (DiRK), in 12th International Conference on Information Security (IFIP SEC ’86).Google Scholar
  9. ISO/IEC 7498–2 (1989) Information Processing Systems — Open Systems Interconnection Reference Model — Part 2: Security Architecture.Google Scholar
  10. ITU-T X.509 (1987) The Directory — Authentication Framework.Google Scholar
  11. Zimmermann, P. (1995) The Official PGP User’s Guide. The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
  12. Zimmermann, P. (1995) PGP Source Code and Internals. The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rolf Oppliger
    • 1
  • Martin Bracher
    • 1
  • Andres Albanese
    • 2
  1. 1.University of BerneBerneSwitzerland
  2. 2.International Computer Science Institute (ICSI)BerkeleyUSA

Personalised recommendations