[Wg-mwp] Invitation to participate Workshop #40

Wout de Natris denatrisconsult at hotmail.nl
Fri Sep 21 05:50:01 EDT 2018

Dear colleagues,

Over the past months we have discussed varies topics including pilots. One proposed pilot for 2018, coming directly out of the work leading up to the Strengthening Cooperation report, has become as a workshop in Paris. The Internet Engineering Task Force works on renewed internet Protocols. This impacts all other stakeholders in one way or another. See the full information below.

Through this email I would like to invite you to actively participate, by looking at this topic from your respective organisations or stakeholder group and ask those questions to the IETF creating meaningful, two way interaction between stakeholders and add value to the IGF itself. Feel free to disseminate the invite to others to whom this workshop could be of value.

Looking forward to your responses.

Kind regards,


This is an invitation on behalf of the Internet Society, the Internet Engineering Task Force and the Internet Architectural Board to participate in a workshop at the upcoming Internet Governance Forum on Monday 12 November from 12.00 till 13.30 at the UNESCO building in Paris. (Workshop #40 Internet mega trends’ impact on the Internet’s architecture) My contribution is to organise and moderate the session on behalf of these organisations. And to reach out to you.

Below you will find, necessarily extensive, information on the session which I hope will not deter you as this workshop is not about the technical solutions as such but about you and your organisation. How do altered or new Internet Protocols affect your organisation? How does the (implementation of these) protocols impact investment, production, policy, regulation, the choice of end users in products, human rights, etc.?

These questions are the rationale behind this session. The IETF, represented by its chair, former chair and a project lead, presents current protocol processes that will change the way the Internet works as we know it, explains why these changes are necessary and is open to interaction with you. The presenters are there to answer your questions, take in your comments and are open to future interaction in these processes.

As said, below three topics are introduced. Also some questions are added, the IETF would like to hear your answers to. This sessions uses the IGF as a conduit between different stakeholder groups who do not always, even never meet but are interdependent ever more in the digital society.

If you could let me know whether you are able to attend or attend remotely, the IGF offers this option, I would be much obliged. Please send me your questions to the IETF representatives in advance, so that some coordination is allowed for.

Registration for the IGF is mandatory. Entry is free. You can register here, but please do so on 3 November latest : https://www.intgovforum.org/multilingual/content/igf-2018-registration.

More information on the workshop itself is found here: http://www.intgovforum.org/multilingual/content/igf-2018-ws-40-internet-mega-trends-impact-on-the-internet%E2%80%99s-architecture

The following topics are presented and debated.

Rising use of encryption in the Internet’s core protocols

Over the last several years the impetus to “harden” the Internet’s core protocols by improving their cryptographic properties, expanding the use of encrypted modes, or removing unencrypted modes altogether has greatly accelerated. These changes have been designed into new or updated versions of protocols used for every major application in use on the Internet today -- web browsing, email, voice and video, and messaging -- as well as into the core building blocks we all use to establish network connectivity and locate content online. Far from being an academic exercise, these design changes and new initiatives have seen extremely wide deployment, in some cases fundamentally changing the mix of traffic on the network from predominantly unencrypted or insecure to predominantly encrypted using modern security technologies.

Transitioning from a predominantly unencrypted network to a predominantly encrypted one has engineering and operational impacts that are wide-ranging. In their original designs, numerous network-based capabilities such as spam filtering, performance monitoring, and attack detection relied on access to unencrypted content. As the percentage of encrypted traffic increases and the cryptographic properties of Internet protocols continue to be strengthened, the process of adaptation in these kinds of functions is ongoing.

In this part of the session we’ll provide an overview of the efforts to “harden” core Internet protocols, we’ll discuss the design strategy that has allowed secure communications to flourish, we’ll highlight some of the impacts this shift continues to have on the way that people experience the Internet and the overall Internet security landscape.

Questions for discussion:
•             What are some of the key areas of Internet engineering where further security improvements remain pressing? Are there aspects of the network that haven’t benefited from the trends described above?
•             Designing new protocols is great, but that doesn’t address vulnerabilities in existing deployed systems and technologies that don’t implement the latest protocols. What is being done about legacy insecurity?
•             It seems as though the encryption trend and the consolidation trend may be mutually reinforcing, for example in the case of the initial deployments of DNS over HTTPS. How do you approach that kind of trade-off?

A recent discussion topic has been the role of smaller vs. larger players in the Internet ecosystem. It appears that on many key areas the large players are gaining significant roles, though more research on this topic would be welcome.-

In general, an efficient market such as the Internet tends to enable winners to take large market shares. Efficiencies of scale help this process further. The network effect, however, has a potentially even more pronounced impact. The network effect means that each additional user in a network adds to the value of the network for all users in the network. As a result, the value of services provided by a large provider can be bigger than the value of those provided by a smaller provider.

There is an important distinction between different applications of the network effect, however. Consider e-mail and a social media application, for instance. For e-mail, interoperability between different domains and servers allows anyone to use email with each other, increasing the value of the e-mail application. However, most popular social media applications are closed systems, where there is no interoperability for the application with other systems. As a result, the network effects acrue to the large individual social media systems rather than the users of any system as in e-mail.

One of the fundamental design principles of today’s Internet was "permissionless innovation", the idea that a network could be simple but still powerful enough that essentially any application could be built on top of it, without a need to arrange any special support from anyone else for the application. This is what enables the end-to-end principle to work, and allows free development of innovative applications over a common network. But once the network is powerful enough, does it become possible to build complex applications that do not need to be similarly open or standardised?

But there are also technical issues. For instance, due to speed of light any low-latency service fundamentally needs to be distributed throughout the globe, in data centre networks that only the largest providers can build. Or how the biggest entities can deal with denial-of-service attacks the small entities can not. It seems like that additional advantages can be gained with the growth AI- and machine learning -based technologies.

One of the key questions is whether we are seeing developments that are driven by economic factors or whether fundamental reasons or lack available technology drives particular models. For instance, centralised solutions might desirable due to business incentives, or they might be necessary because there is no distributed, collaborative solution. Are the technical solutions — such as better support for federation — that would help the smaller entities gain similar scale advantages as the large ones already get today?

Additional reading:


Shift from device-centric to service-centric networking

Nowadays, in our daily routines we interact, through Internet, with a wide range of services, such as on-line shopping and audio/video streaming. Those services present requirements such as low-latency and strong security features.  Additionally, they are offered through heterogeneous devices. As an exemplification scenario, we could have a smart home environment, where we have heterogeneous devices with different capabilities (services), e.g. an end-user  can turn on-off a light-bulb, increase the volume of a TV, or send a command to a coffee-machine through a smartphone.

Furthermore, the devices communicate themselves based on available services. In some scenarios, it is important to detect devices with similar capabilities to facilitate collaboration between devices or administer them together. For example, we could have a smart home environment of alerting an end-user in case of fire, thus, we have to identify all the appliances that are able to perform any type of alert even if they are not explicitly designed for that goal. This can be performed by searching devices similar to an alarm device. Hence, similar devices can be replaced by each other to execute a specific task. In this case, we are focusing on detecting devices that offer the same type of services (capabilities) independently of the underlying platform.

The above scenarios are examples of service-centric-networking. "Service-centric networking (SCN) is a new networking architecture which aims at supporting the efficient provisioning, discovery and execution of service components distributed over the network" [1], focusing on giving people access to the services they need regardless of which device they are using or where they are located in the network. As an interoperability exemplification, we could take the example of the Web of Things structure[2] whose core-stone is an interface named "Thing Description", which describes devices based on theirs properties, actions and events that are available. This allows the devices to interact with another devices or end-users independently of the device underlying implementation.

A key challenge to model SCN networks topology (services topology) is to define how to apply the policies that accomplish an efficient service delivery. For example, audio services needs a low latency or firmware update service at night requires high bandwidth but can tolerate latency. These services are under the same network topology but have different needs on network resources.

Following the policies, we have to identify the correct network resources requirements, such as the types of flows, load-balancing involved in the service session, then select a path (bidirectional) that fulfils the service goal. Consequently, an efficient routing decision is needed based on the service goal independently of the network topology, and in this way route the session to the lowest cost service instance. All these challenges must be covered with the appropriated security mechanisms. Respect to management, as mentioned previously, the devices offering the same kind of services can be grouped and managed together optimizing this functionality.

Open Questions:
- How should we model a service topology?
- Which would be the correct network resources to considerate in this matter?
- How could we perform the routing based on services?
- How we could group devices that offer the same services to be managed together?

[1] Griffin, David, et al. "Service-centric networking." Handbook of Research on Redesigning the Future of Internet Architectures. IGI Global, 2015. 68-95.
[2] https://w3c.github.io/wot-thing-description/

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De Natris Consult

Kamerlingh Onnesstraat 43                                                        Tel: +31 648388813

2014 EK Haarlem                                                                          Skype: wout.de.natris

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