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An IETF specification for cryptographic hyperlinking
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Hashlinks - Cryptographic Hyperlinks

When using a hyperlink to fetch a resource from the Internet, it is often useful to know if the resource has changed since the data was published. Cryptographic hashes, such as SHA-256, are often used to determine if published data has changed in unexpected ways. Due to the nature of most hyperlinks, the cryptographic hash is often published separately from the link itself.

This specification describes a data model and serialization formats for expressing cryptographically protected hyperlinks. The mechanisms described in the document enables a system to publish a hyperlink in a way that empowers a consuming application to determine if the resource associated with the hyperlink has changed in unexpected ways.

While mechanisms such as RFC6920, Resource Integrity Proofs and Magnet Links exist, they have a number of shortcomings such as implementation complexity, a focus on narrow use cases, and no clear extensibility or upgrade path.

This specification attempts to preserve the good parts of RFC6920, standardize the good parts of Magnet Links and Resource Integrity Proofs while ensuring that implementation complexity is kept to a minimum.

You can view an HTML version of the specification here:

We encourage contributions meeting the Contribution Guidelines. While we prefer the creation of issues and Pull Requests in the GitHub repository, discussions often occur on the public-credentials mailing list as well.

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