IETF113 Conference Report: Friday March 25, 2022

Final day of the 113th IETF meeting, in Vienna Austria. The IETF is looking to make a clear contribution to the problem of hyper-aggressive measurement of user activities on the Internet and the many misuses thereof. To do so, the IETF recognizes that some measurement is important but that many desirable measurements require data most people consider sensitive. It also recognizes that aggregated measurements often provide the most value, rather than individual ones. [Read More]

IETF113 Conference Report: Thursday March 24, 2022

Day four of the 113th IETF meeting, in Vienna Austria. Privacy Pass - originating at Cloudflare in 2017 as a solution to user frustration with CAPTCHA - has been in full swing as an IETF activity since mid-2020. Privacy Pass allows a client to solve some form of validity check (a CAPTCHA, a puzzle, a user-pass authentication) to then receive some number of tokens to be used at websites accepting Privacy Pass, thus eliminating the need to do a CAPTCHA at each site. [Read More]

IETF113 Conference Report: Wednesday March 23, 2022

Day three of the 113th IETF meeting, in Vienna Austria. Messaging Layer Security (MLS) is (finally) closing in on Last Call at protocol Draft 14 and architecture Draft 7 (which will be taken forward together). Sometimes referred to as the TLS for messaging systems, Messaging Layer Security creates a uniform secure group discussion protocol, scalable to very large groups and providing similarly uniform security guarantees across providers. The near completion of the architecture and protocol drafts, and commencement of interoperability testing has prompted the Working Group to dust off the Federation draft as the next object of their affection. [Read More]

IETF113 Conference Report: Tuesday March 22, 2022

Day two of the 113th IETF meeting, in Vienna Austria. The crisis in Ukraine is on everyone’s mind, lending immediacy to the work of the Global Access to the Internet for All (GAIA) Research Group. While past and continuing work has focused on Internet access for the world’s population (especially those disadvantaged by economics, distance, mobility, and social constraints) the situation in Ukraine resulting from military activities give cause for both concern and hope. [Read More]

IETF113 Conference Report: Monday March 21, 2022

It’s opening day at the 113th IETF meeting, the first in-person meeting in two years due to the COVID pandemic and being held in Vienna Austria. We’re focusing on standards activities of importance to the Internet Freedom community. New work is brought to the IETF via Birds-of-a-Feature sessions and also each technical area’s Dispatch Working Group. The Application area often sees the most unique and interesting ideas and this meeting was no exception. [Read More]

IETF113 Hackathon Project

This post begins a daily blog, live from IETF113 in Vienna Austria, March 19-25, 2022 (first in-person meeting after six remote-only meetings during the COVID pandemic). The Hackathon event kicks off IETF and, at this meeting, we picked up work originally done by one of our teammates implementing version 5 of Internet Draft HTTP Transport Authentication. HTTP Transport Authentication is designed to authenticate such protocol flows in a manner that does not reveal any information to an attacker during failure cases. [Read More]

IETF: Year End Review 2021

In terms of potential impact on Internet Freedom, it’s been a banner year at the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). QUIC (featuring the improved privacy and security of TLS1.3) reached Proposed Standard status, with implementations and rollouts from every major vendor on both server and client, and with multiple open source toolkit options for developers. Encrypted Client Hello for TLS1.3 gained traction via the DEfO project that, through pull requests, makes a huge privacy enhancement easily available to the major security library (OpenSSL) underpinning the Internet’s most important service engines (nginx, apache, lighttpd, haproxy on the server, even curl on the client). [Read More]

IETF112 - Meeting Update (November 2021)

The 112th meeting of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) took place November 8-12, 2021 - as a virtual event for the sixth time in succession due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s a summary of the work I found important to the Internet Freedom community. Privacy Preserving Measurement While we often (rightly) focus on unwanted surveillance of targeted individuals by nation-states and other bad actors, the Internet’s surveillance economy presents a major threat to personal privacy and freedom for all users of the Internet, as Mozilla so aptly describes on this wiki page. [Read More]

The IETF and Internet Freedom

It seems useful to clarify the relationship between the near-term work of keeping the Internet open on a daily basis - work that dominates the efforts of the Internet Freedom community - and the long term work of the industry on crafting operational standards for the same network. Those involved in Internet Freedom are typically focused on the “problems of today”, creating solutions using existing technologies offering immediate effect. Often, it’s hard to tell if Internet standards are helping, hurting, or just in the way. [Read More]