Deutsche Telekom launched its developer program called developer garden which offers several telecom services by providing APIs.
One of these services is an IP location service that allows to resolve an IP address, if it comes from Deutsche Telekom's access network, to location information. While the retrievable location information is quite coarse it is still useful. My favorite use case is to restrict online banking to the country I live in or to the region or city I live in. This restriction would make online banking a little bit safer, although I know this is no silver bullet.
Anyway, it is a good thing that the location information is not too accurate. I don't want any server to locate me. Viewed from the privacy angle even country or region/city information might be too much already.
What I would like is user-centric location information. The Internet Service Provider should allow me - the user - to retrieve my location information to the accuracy that I accept. I can then hand this information over to the online shop, bank, news site, or whatever...
Today I have put this new IP location service and a security token server together. I wrote an iplocation_sts that offers Information Cards that contain location information. And I wrote an iplocation_rp that extracts this information from the security token. And it works! Yeah! Although I don't expect this to be the killer application which will make me rich or boost my career :-/ ... still I like it nevertheless.
How does it look?
You visit the Identity Provider with your Information Card enabled browser e.g. Firefox 3 with openinfocard. You create an account and an Information Card that you download and install into your selector.
Now you visit the relying party, click on the icon as directed...
... and choose the installed location-card. This sends the token request to the IdP's tokenservice which retrieves the remote-address of the client (or its proxy :-(), generates the SAML assertion, ...
that finally is send to the relyingparty.
Now it is clear that I live in the region "Berlin" and that the country code is "de". Correct.
Currently this is all installed only on my local machine but if Chuck installs the required libs on xmldap.org then you can play with it (if the access provider your ISP uses is Deutsche Telekom).
IdentityServer & Heidelberg on Channel9
2 days ago