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What Your ISP (Probably) Knows About You

Earlier this week, I came across a working paper from Professor Peter Swire - a highly respected attorney, professor, and policy expert. Swire's paper, entitled "Online Privacy and ISPs", argues that ISPs have limited capability to monitor users' online activity. The paper argues that ISPs have limited visibility into users' online activity for three reasons: (1) users are increasingly using many devices and connections, so any single ISP is the conduit of only a fraction of a typical user's activity; (2) end-to-end encryption is becoming more pervasive, which limits ISPs' ability to glean information about user activity; and (3) users are increasingly shifting to VPNs to send traffic. more»

Reflections on NANOG 66

The North American Network Operators Group (NANOG) continues to be one of the major gatherings on network operators and admins, together with the folk who work to meet the various needs of this community. Their program committee produces a program that never fails to provide thought provoking interest. Here are my reactions to some of the presentations I heard at NANOG 66, held in San Diego in February. more»

On the Internet Everyone is Connected to Everyone Else - Right?

We tend to make a number of assumptions about the Internet, and sometimes these assumptions don't always stand up to critical analysis. We were perhaps 'trained' by the claims of the telephone service to believe that these communications networks supported a model of universal connectivity. Any telephone handset could establish a call with any other telephone handset was the underlying model of a ubiquitous telephone service, and we've carried that assumption into our perception of the Internet. On the Internet anyone can communicate with anyone else - right? more»

The World is in Need of Transformative Solutions

The world has changed significantly since 2000, when the countries of the world adopted the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). While strong economic growth in the developing world has helped lift millions out of poverty, global population growth, modern lifestyles and consumption are now stretching the limits of the planet's resources. During this time, technological advances in information and communication technologies (ICT) have radically transformed the way people communicate and lead their lives; now ICT can play a vital, transformative role in helping to put the world on a more sustainable path. more»

Behind the Curtain: Making IPv6 Work

Wouldn't it be nice if turning on IPv6 really was 'press one button and the rest is magic' easy? For some things, it is. If you're talking about client-side, enabling an IPv4-only home service on DSL or fibre really can be this simple, because all the heavy lifting is being done inside your ISP: you're not enabling IPv6 in the network, you're turning on the last mile. It was knocking at your door and you just had to let it in. more»

Busting 3 Popular and Misleading Terms in Telecom

"Philosophy is a battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of our language." (-Ludwig Wittgenstein) The words we use to describe telecoms networks often contain hidden metaphors and meanings that lead us into wrong thinking. Here are three examples... Why misleading? The word "best" implies both benevolent and optimal intentionality: the network is going to do the "right" thing for its users, and it will maximise the "rightness" in some way. more»

IPv6 and DNSSEC Are Respectively 20 and 19 Years Old. Same Fight and Challenges?

A few weeks ago I came across an old interview of me by ITespresso.fr from 10 years back entitled "IPv6 frees human imagination". At the time, I was talking about the contributions IPv6 was expected to make and the challenges it had to face. After reading the article again, I realized that it has become a little dusty (plus a blurred photo of the interviewee :-)). But what caught my attention the most in the interview was my assertion: "If IPv6 does not prevail in 2006, it's a safe bet that it will happen in 2007". Wow! more»

Are Telcos Becoming Slum Landlords?

In the 1950s and 60s, large numbers of immigrants came to London from the Caribbean and other Commonwealth countries. They had few resources, yet needed somewhere to live. Many fell prey to exploitative landlords. These unscrupulous rentiers packed tenants into formerly swanky parts of town, which then became slums. This process even birthed a new word in British English - "Rachmanism" - to define the archetypal unethical treatment as practised by one notorious landlord. more»

The Real Reason Why Network 'Neutrality' Is Impossible

In "Net Neutrality: Discrimination, Competition, and Innovation in the UK and US", Alissa Cooper and Ian Brown explore the relationship between two broadband regulatory regimes and their practical outcomes. The paper is of (paradoxical) interest as it (unintentionally) demonstrates how policy is being made without sufficient understanding of packet network performance. This paper contains many common fallacies about performance. These fallacies are fuelling misdirected conflicts over broadband regulatory policy. The underlying (false) assumption is that 'neutral' (aka 'non-discriminatory') networks exist. more»

Performance Test White Paper for SDN Controller Issued

Recently, BII-Global SDN Certified Testing Center (SDNCTC EN | CH) issued the Performance Test White Paper for SDN Controller (hereinafter Whitepaper) at China Future Network and Development Innovation Forum, which truly fills the vacuum in SDN controller performance testing at home. It, by means of elaborate results from the open-source controller tests, provides reliable analysis report to all corners within the industry, which has been highly thought of and widely supported by experts both at home and broad. more»

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