Monthly Archives: October 2013

Welcome to IETF-88!


The IETF-88 meeting is starting next week in Vancouver. Vancouver is a long-time IETF favourite city, as this will be our fifth time there. And we were there just last year. Vancouver works well for the IETF, and I’m very happy to return again!

Our host in Vancouver is Huawei (see also the announcement). I am very happy that Huawei is supporting this meeting of the growing and diverse IETF community! We also have Hyatt Regency Vancouver as the welcome reception sponsor, Telus as the connectivity sponsor, and National Cable & Telecommunications Association as a sponsor. Many thanks to our host and the sponsors; we could not have a quality meeting without your strong support.

And what a meeting we will have! There will be many interesting discussions:

  • The most visible discussion will be on our efforts in improving the security of the Internet, in light of reports about pervasive monitoring. Is there something we engineers can do? I wrote about the meetings on that topic in another article.
  • The transport area meeting will discuss the evolution of transport protocols in the Internet.
  • A Birds-of-a-Feather (BoF) session will look at potential new work on geo-networking (GEONET). The initial use case grew out of transport systems, but geo-networking as a concept is more widely applicable.
  • Our work on putting real-time communications in browser continues in the RTCWeb and MMUSIC working groups.
  • There is a lot of work around the Internet of Things, including a number of newly established working groups such as 6LO or 6TISCH.
  • There is renewed interest on source routing and a desire to determine if the previously difficult security problems with source routing could be solved. This is on the agenda for the newly formed SPRING working group.
  • The Service Function Chaining (SFC) BoF will examine routing packets via service nodes that may be in data centers and not on the normal path of packets. This could support network function virtualization and enable rich per-packet processing.
  • The HTTPBIS working group continues its work to define HTTP 2.0.
  • And many other working groups, with over 100 meetings during the week.

The Bits-N-Bites event will take place on Thursday evening with exhibitor tables, free food, and free drink. Attendance optional, but the events are always fun! The Bits-N-Bites sponsors are A10 NetworksDynComcast, and Huawei and others are also signing up. Thanks for making this event possible!

I look forward to the meeting in Vancouver. I would like to welcome you all to the meeting! And if you have not signed up yet, you can still register.

Jari Arkko, IETF Chair

Future Identifiers

When I visited the ICANN meeting last summer, they were about to launch a set of panels to advice themselves about strategic topics in coming years. Those panels are now operational. I promised to join one of them, on identifier technology innovation. More information about the panel and its members can be found here; you’ll also recognise a few other IETFers.

The topic for this effort is future evolution of DNS and other identifiers, including relevant security and management aspects. The viewpoint is primarily to look at this from ICANN’s angle, but of course the matter is interesting to us others as well. And the panel is not a place to develop new technology — IETF and other places are.  But the panel should develop an understanding of where the technology is going, either because of an already started evolution or because something new is needed. And perhaps we at the IETF should also understand the same things. Hence this article.

I have some ideas on what some of these trends might be. But what do the rest of you think? Where is identifier technology going, and what new things are on the horizon?

Just to get you started, one obvious trend for me is the way end users identify material on the Internet. This keeps changing rapidly, e.g., through search engines and social media. And new “identifier” spaces are created all the time in different contexts, just consider hashtags as one small example. In other words, applications evolve much faster than underlying networking or domain name technology.

But there are also some technology developments. For instance, identifier-locator split mechanisms, e.g., HIP or LISP. Or new security technology, such as DANE which promises to employ DNSSEC for setting up security for applications. Or information centric networking (ICN) that uses identifiers for data rather than devices. What kind of effect do these technologies have? What other technical developments are relevant?

And there are also many remaining challenges that may need further innovation, for instance in the areas of IDN or DNSSEC or the underlying security solutions.

But these are just initial thoughts. What does your crystal ball say about the future of identifier technology? Tell us what you think on the IETF list.

Jari Arkko

Plenary on Internet Hardening

As I mentioned in “Security and Pervasive Monitoring” article in September, the IETF community has expressed concerned about the large-scale monitoring of Internet traffic. We are dedicating time to discuss this issue in the upcoming meeting in Vancouver next week.  This topic will be the focus of our Technical Plenary from 9:00 – 11:30 am PST (5:00 – 7:30pm UTC) on Wednesday, November 6, 2013.

This plenary session is hosted by the Internet Architecture Board, and we are pleased to be joined by security researcher Bruce Schneier who will be outlining what we know and what we do not know about recent revelations of pervasive monitoring across the Internet. He will be followed by Brian Carpenter summarizing earlier debates within the IETF around privacy and security.  Security Area Director Stephen Farrell will then speak about the discussion to date on the “Perpass” mailing list and outline potential activities the IETF can pursue.  An open microphone time will follow which we can expect to bring lively debate.

If you are unable to attend the technical plenary in person, we have several methods of remote participation, including live audio streams, Jabber chat rooms and conferencing sessions. On Twitter, we are live-tweeting with the #IETF88 hashtag. Additionally, we will be offering a live video stream of the technical plenary.  Our goal is to enable many more people to hear about the work going on within the technical community to address these important issues.

To stay up-to-date on the video live stream and other news about the technical plenary, if you use social media we would encourage you to join the Technical Plenary event on Facebook or on Google+ (and feel free to share them). You also can, of course, join the perpass list or IETF main discussion list.

I’m looking forward to a productive discussion in Vancouver, in the Technical Plenary and in the Perpass Birds-of-a-Feather session (also Wednesday). A number of other meetings also touch on this topic, such as the security area open meeting (SAAG, Thursday), the applications area open meeting (APPSAWG, Monday), HTTP 2.0 working group meeting (HTTPBIS, Monday and Tuesday), and the TLS working group meeting (TLS, Tuesday). The complete list of hardening-related topics in other sessions is here. I encourage you all to join us in the work to make the Internet more secure!

Jari Arkko, IETF Chair

P.S. The full agenda of the entire IETF meeting is here. The agenda is also available with UTC times for those of you who follow it over the network.

P.P.S. I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in setting up the remote participation facilities. Thank you! The most recent addition is the live video streaming, by Edward McNair and the VeriLAN team, Dan York, Glen Barney, Steve Young, Ray Pelletier, Greg Wood and others.


I visited the RIPE meeting and IGF meetings recently, and wanted to post two speeches that I held in these events.

RIPE NCC is one of five Regional Internet Registries (RIRs). RIPE meetings are held two times a year, and draw several hundred people from ISPs and other involved parties, mostly within Europe. At RIPE I talked about pervasive monitoring, the upcoming IETF-88 program around that topic, and the kinds of technical things that are being discussed. I also made a call for working on more secure Internet and not just reacting to a particular event. The discussion in the RIPE community was lively, bringing up both technical points as well as the need to address surveillance issues also at political level (outside our technical organisations, of course). Here is the presentation and the video. The video includes the ensuing discussion.

IGF, Internet Governance Forum, holds a meeting once a year, and draws about two thousand people from technical, governmental, private sector, and civil society circles. I gave an opening address among several others. The other opening addresses were from other Internet organisations as well as political representatives. I wanted to highlight the need to understand Internet’s fast changing nature when considering governance aspects, as well as talk again about the pervasive monitoring topic. My speech is here.

I hope to be able to write more about what was going on at the IGF once the meeting is over.

Jari Arkko, IETF Chair