can an HTTP server determine identity of client?

Jim Davis (
Mon, 9 Nov 1992 15:08:24 -0500

It is clear that the HTTP protocol per se provides no means
for the server to determine the identity of the user on
the client machine, or even the name of the client machine.
But (I ask in all ignorance of Unix) is there another way
for the server to get this information, perhaps by making
calls to a lower level of the TCP/IP protocol?

I would like to make an HTTP server that provided differing
levels of access to those within and without Cornell.
I regret this must be so because some of the databases
we have here can not be released outside Cornell.