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1. US20070130465 - VIRTUAL SUBSCRIBER IDENTIFIER SYSTEM AND METHOD

Note: Text based on automatic Optical Character Recognition processes. Please use the PDF version for legal matters

Claims

1. A subscriber terminal in a communication network, comprising:
virtual subscriber identifier generation means for generating a virtual subscriber identifier;
subscriber identity mapping data generation means coupled to said virtual subscriber identifier generation means, said subscriber identity mapping data generation means being adapted to generate a subscriber identifier to the real identifier of said subscriber; and
communication means communicatively coupled to the identifier service provider, said communication means being adapted to communicate with other subscriber terminals using said virtual subscriber identifier via the identifier service provider.
2. The subscriber terminal of claim 1, wherein said virtual subscriber identifier generation means generates the virtual subscriber identifier as a hash value of a public key or a hash value of a combination of a public key and a number.
3. The subscriber terminal of claim 2, wherein said public key is an incomparable public key or an anonymous public key.
4. The subscriber terminal of claim 1, wherein said subscriber identity mapping data comprises and real identifier of the subscriber and said virtual subscriber identifier corresponding therewith, and said subscriber terminal further comprises subscriber identity registering means coupled to said subscriber identity mapping data generation means, said subscriber identity registering means being adapted to register said subscriber identity mapping data with said identifier service provider.
5. The subscriber terminal of claim 4, further comprises magic word generation means coupled to said subscriber identity registering means, said magic word generation means being adapted to generate a magic word corresponding to said virtual subscriber identifier, said magic word being registered by said subscriber identity registering means in association with said subscriber identity mapping data for checking validity of use of the virtual subscriber identifier.
6. The subscriber terminal of claim 1, wherein said subscriber identity mapping data generation means includes a secret data generation unit for generating a secret data corresponding to said real identifier of the subscriber such that said identifier service provider can discover said real identifier of the subscriber from said secret data, and said subscriber identity mapping data comprises said secret data.
7. The subscriber terminal of claim 6, wherein said secret data generation unit generates said secret data by encrypting said real identifier of the subscriber with a public key of the identifier service provider, and said subscriber identity mapping data generation means generates said subscriber identity mapping data as a certificate data incorporating said secret data.
8. A method for a subscriber to communicate with peers over a communication network while preserving said subscriber's privacy, comprising:
generating a virtual subscriber identifier;
generating a subscriber identity mapping data used for an identifier service provider to associate said virtual subscriber identifier to the real identifier of said subscriber;
informing at least one peer of said virtual subscriber identifier; and
communicating with said peer using said virtual subscriber identifier via the identifier service provider, wherein the real identifier of the owner of said virtual subscriber identifier is determined by said virtual subscriber identifier based on said identity mapping data.
9. The method of claim 8, wherein said virtual subscriber identifier is generated as a hash value of a public key or a has value of a combination of a public key and a number.
10. The subscriber terminal of claim 9, wherein said public key is an incomparable public key or an anonymous public key.
11. The method of claim 8, wherein said subscriber identity mapping data comprises said real identifier of the subscriber and said virtual subscriber identifier corresponding therewith, and wherein said method further comprises registering said subscriber identity mapping data with said identifier service provider.
12. The method of claim 11, further comprising generating a magic word corresponding to said virtual subscriber identifier, said magic word being used by said identifier service provider for checking validity of use of the virtual subscriber identifier, and wherein
said registering comprises registering said magic word in association with said subscriber identity mapping data with said identifier service provider; and
said informing comprises informing said peer of said magic word in association with said virtual subscriber identifier.
13. The method of claim 8, wherein said generating a subscriber identity mapping data comprises generating a secret data corresponding to said real identifier of the subscriber such that said identifier service provider can discover said real identifier of the subscriber from said secret data, and said informing comprises informing said peer of subscriber identity mapping data in association with said virtual subscriber identifier, wherein subscriber identity mapping data comprises said secret data.
14. The method of claim 13, wherein said secret data is generated by encrypting said real identifier of the subscriber with a public key of the identifier service provider, and said subscriber identity mapping data is generated as a certificate data incorporating said secret data.
15. A communication server for forwarding a communication in a communication network, comprising:
subscriber identity mapping data storage means for storing subscriber identity mapping data, said identity mapping data being used for an identifier service provider to associate a virtual subscriber identifier generated by a subscriber to the real identifier of said subscriber;
subscriber identity determination means coupled to said subscriber mapping data storage means, wherein in response to a communication request including said virtual subscriber identifier as target from a peer of said subscriber, said subscriber identity determination means determines the real identifier of the owner of said virtual subscriber based on said subscriber identity mapping data; and
communication forwarding means coupled to said subscriber identity determination means, said communication forwarding means being adapted to forward the communication between said peer and the terminal of said determined subscriber.
16. The communication server of claim 15, wherein said subscriber identity mapping data is received from said subscriber and comprises said real identifier of the subscriber and said virtual subscriber identifier corresponding therewith, and said subscriber identity mapping data storage means stores a dataset in which said virtual subscriber identifier is associated with said real identifier of said subscriber.
17. The communication server of claim 16, further comprising subscriber identity mapping data confirmation means for checking availability of the virtual subscriber identifier generated by said subscriber, and generating registration confirmation notification to said subscriber.
18. The communication server of claim 16, wherein
said subscriber identity mapping data storage means further stores a magic word received from said subscriber in association with said subscriber identity mapping data;
said communication server further comprises magic word checking means for checking whether the magic word received from said peer conforms to that stored in association with subscriber identity mapping data; and
said communication forwarding means forwards the communication between said peer and said subscriber's terminal only if the magic word received from said peer conforms to the stored magic word.
19. The communication server of claim 15, wherein
said subscriber identity mapping data is received from said peer and comprises a secret data corresponding to the real identifier of the subscriber; and
said subscriber identity determination means comprises a decryption unit for decrypting said secret data to discover said real identifier of said subscriber.
20. The communication server of claim 19, wherein said decryption unit decrypts said secret data with a private key of said communication server.
21. The communication server of claim 15, further comprising a call back notification unit for sending a call back notification to the subscriber.
22. The communication server of claim 15, further comprising a message leaving unit for storing the message left by said peer and informing said subscriber of said message.
23. A method for forwarding a communication in a communication network, comprising:
receiving subscriber identity mapping data, said identity mapping data being used for associating a virtual subscriber identifier generated by a subscriber to the real identifier of said subscriber;
storing said subscriber identity mapping data in a memory;
receiving a communication request from a peer of said subscriber, said communication request including said virtual subscriber identifier as target;
determining the real identifier of the owner of said virtual subscriber identifier from said subscriber identity mapping data; and
forwarding the communication between said peer and said subscriber's terminal.
24. The method of claim 23, wherein said subscriber identity mapping data is received from said subscriber and comprises said real identifier of the subscriber and said virtual subscriber identifier corresponding therewith, and said storing comprises storing a dataset in which said virtual subscriber identifier is associated with said real identifier of said subscriber.
25. The method of claim 24, further comprising checking availability of the virtual subscriber identifier generated by said subscriber, and generating registration confirmation notification to said subscriber.
26. The method of claim 24, further comprising:
receiving a magic word corresponding to said virtual subscriber identifier from the subscriber;
storing said magic word in association with said subscriber identity mapping data;
receiving a magic word from said peer; and
comparing the magic word received from said peer with the magic word stored,
wherein the communication is forwarded only if the magic word received from said upper conforms to the stored magic word.
27. The method of claim 23, wherein said subscriber identity mapping data is received from said peer and comprises a secret data corresponding to the real identifier of the subscriber, and the method further comprising:
decrypting said secret data to discover said real identifier of said subscriber.
28. The method of claim 27, wherein said decrypting comprises decrypting said secret data with a private key.
29. A method for communication over a communication network while preserving privacy, wherein the network comprises at least one subscriber terminal, at least one peer of the subscriber terminal and an identifier service provider coupled to said subscriber terminal and said peer, the method comprising:
said subscriber terminal generates a virtual subscriber identifier and a subscriber identity mapping data used for said identifier service provider to associate said virtual subscriber identifier to the real identifier of said subscriber, and informs said peer of said virtual subscriber identifier;
said peer generates a communication request including said virtual subscriber identifier as target, and sends the request to said identifier service provider; and
said identifier service provider determines the real identifier of said subscriber from said subscriber identity mapping data, and forwards the communication between said upper and said subscriber terminal.
30. The method of claim 29, wherein said virtual subscriber identifier is generated as a hash value of a public key or a has value of a combination of a public key and a number.
31. The method of claim 30, wherein said public key is an incomparable public key or an anonymous public key.
32. A system for communication by virtual identifiers over a communication network, comprising at least one subscriber terminal, at least one peer and a communication server coupled to said subscriber terminal and said peer, wherein said subscriber terminal comprises
virtual subscriber identifier generation means for generating a virtual subscriber identifier;
subscriber identity mapping data generation means coupled to said virtual subscriber identifier generation means, said subscriber identity mapping data generation means being adapted to generate a subscriber identity mapping data used for an identifier service provider to associate said virtual subscriber identifier to the real identifier of said subscriber, and
communication means communicatively coupled to the identifier service provider, said communication means being adapted to communicate with other subscriber terminals using said virtual subscriber identifier via the identifier service provider, and
said identifier service provide comprises
subscriber identity mapping data storage means for storing said subscriber identity mapping data; and
subscriber identity determination means coupled to said subscriber mapping data storage means, wherein in response to a communication request including said virtual subscriber identifier as target from said, said subscriber identity determination means determines the real identifier of the owner of said virtual subscriber identifier based on said subscriber identity mapping data, and
communication forwarding means coupled to said subscriber identity determination means, said communication forwarding means being adapted to forward the communication between said peer and the terminal of said determined subscriber.
33. The system of claim 32, said virtual subscriber identifier generation means generates the virtual subscriber identifier as a hash value of a public key or a hash value of a combination of a public key and a number.
34. The subscriber terminal of claim 33, wherein said public key is an incomparable public key or an anonymous public key.
35. A manufactured article having a machine readable medium with instructions recorded thereon which, when executed by one or more processors, causes the processor to:
generating a virtual subscriber identifier and a subscriber identity mapping data used for associating said virtual subscriber identifier with the real identifier of a subscriber;
informing at least one peer of said virtual subscriber identifier; and
communicating with said peer using said virtual subscriber identifier via said identifier service provider, wherein the real identifier of the owner of said virtual subscriber identifier is determined by said virtual subscriber identifier based on said identity mapping data.
36. A manufactured article having a machine readable medium with instructions recorded thereon which, when executed by one or more processors, causes the processors to:
receiving subscriber identity mapping data, said identity mapping data being used for associating a virtual subscriber identifier generated by a subscriber to the real identifier of said subscriber;
storing said subscriber identity mapping data in a memory;
receiving a communication request from a peer of said subscriber, said communication request including said virtual subscriber identifier as target;
determining the real identifier of the owner of said virtual subscriber identifier from said subscriber identity mapping data; and
forwarding the communication between said peer and said subscriber's terminal.