Internet Protocol

Internet Protocol / Featured Blogs

The Early History of Usenet, Part III: File Format

When we set out to design the over-the-wire file format, we were certain of one thing: we wouldn't get it perfectly right. That led to our first decision: the very first character of the transmitted file would be the letter "A" for the version. Why not a number on the first line, including perhaps a decimal point? If we ever considered that, I have no recollection of it. more

The Early History of Usenet, Part II: Hardware and Economics

There was a planning meeting for what became Usenet at Duke CS. We knew three things, and three things only: we wanted something that could be used locally for administrative messages, we wanted a networked system, and we would use uucp for intersite communication. This last decision was more or less by default: there were no other possibilities available to us or to most other sites that ran standard Unix. Furthermore, all you needed to run uucp was a single dial-up modem port. more

The Early History of Usenet, Part I: The Technological Setting

Usenet -- Netnews -- was conceived almost exactly 40 years ago this month. To understand where it came from and why certain decisions were made the way they were, it's important to understand the technological constraints of the time. Metanote: this is a personal history as I remember it. None of us were taking notes at the time; it's entirely possible that errors have crept in, especially since my brain cells do not even have parity checking, let alone ECC. Please send any corrections. more

Unpublished Autobiographical Essay of Steve Lukasik on His Accomplishments at ARPA

Around 2014, as Stephen (Steve) J. Lukasik proceeded well into his 80s, he began to consider ways to capture the enormous sweep of activities and history in which he was a key figure. Indeed, that sweep was so broad and often compartmentalized, and his output so prolific, that even his closest associates only knew of slices of his accomplishments. So he began sorting through his career and produced this autobiographical essay on his accomplishments at ARPA that is being made posthumously available now. more

The Director

On Thursday, Stephen J. Lukasik passed away peacefully at the age of 88. He was the legend in a field with no peer. For nearly half a century, he shaped the development of national security and network technology developments at a level and extent that is unlikely ever to be matched. For a great many of us in that arena from the 1960s past the Millennium, he was the demanding visionary leader who set the policies and directions, framed the challenges, approved and funded the projects, and questioned the results. more

Watch Live Tonight – 2019 Internet Hall of Fame Ceremony

Tonight (27 Sep 2019) you can watch the 2019 Internet Hall of Fame induction ceremony streaming live out of Costa Rica. Eleven individuals from six countries will be inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame (IHOF) today. The 2019 class of inductees have expanded the Internet's reach into new regions and communities, helped foster a greater understanding of the way the Internet works, and enhanced security to increase user trust in the network. more

DoH Creates More Problems Than It Solves

Unlike most new IETF standards, DNS over HTTPS has been a magnet for controversy since the DoH working group was chartered on 2017. The proposed standard was intended to improve the performance of address resolutions while also improving their privacy and integrity, but it's unclear that it accomplishes these goals. On the performance front, testing indicates DoH is faster than one of the alternatives, DNS over TLS (DoT). more

DNS-over-HTTPS: Privacy and Security Concerns

The design of DNS included an important architectural decision: the transport protocol used is user datagram protocol (UDP). Unlike transmission control protocol (TCP), UDP is connectionless, stateless, and lightweight. In contrast, TCP needs to establish connections between end systems and guarantees packet ordering and delivery. DNS handles the packet delivery reliability aspect internally and avoids all of the overhead of TCP. There are two problems this introduces. more

DoT and DoH Guidance: Provisioning Resolvers

As part of a larger effort to make the internet more private, the IETF defined two protocols to encrypt DNS queries between clients (stub resolvers) and resolvers: DNS over TLS in RFC 7858 (DoT) and DNS over HTTPS in RFC 8484 (DoH). As with all new internet protocols, DoT and DoH will continue to evolve as deployment experience is gained, and they're applied to more use cases. more

Recalibrating the DoH Debate

At the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) it is time we accept the wide range of drivers behind (and implications of) standards and for stakeholders to start listening to each other. A protocol recently released by the IETF, DNS over HTTPS (DoH), is at the centre of an increasingly polarised debate. This is because DoH uses encryption in the name of security and privacy and re-locates DNS resolution to the application layer of the Internet. more