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Port 25 Blocking, or Fix SMTP and Leave Port 25 Alone for the Sake of Spam?

Larry Seltzer wrote an interesting article for eWeek, on port 25 blocking, the reasons why it was being advocated, and how it would stop spam. This quoted an excellent paper by Joe St.Sauver, that raised several technically valid and true corollaries that have to be kept in mind when blocking port 25 -- "cough syrup for lung cancer" would be a key phrase... Now, George Ou has just posted an article on ZDNET that disagrees with Larry's article, makes several points that are commonly cited when criticizing port 25 blocking, but then puts forward the astonishing, and completely wrong, suggestion, that worldwide SPF records are going to be a cure all for this problem. Here is my reply to him... more

IPv6: Extinction, Evolution or Revolution?

For some years now the general uptake of IPv6 has appeared to be "just around the corner". Yet the Internet industry has so far failed to pick up and run with this message, and it continues to be strongly reluctant to make any substantial widespread commitment to deploy IPv6. Some carriers are now making some initial moves in terms of migrating their internet infrastructure over to a dual protocol network, but for many others it's a case of still watching and waiting for what they think is the optimum time to make a move. So when should we be deploying IPv6 services? At what point will the business case for IPv6 have a positive bottom line? It's a tough question to answer, and while advice of "sometime, probably sooner than later" is certainly not wrong, it's also entirely unhelpful as well! more

Internationalizing the Internet

One topic does not appear to have a compellingly obvious localization solution in the multi-lingual world, and that is the Domain Name System (DNS). The subtle difference here is that the DNS is the glue that binds all users' language symbols together, and performing localized adaptations to suit local language use needs is not enough. What we need is a means to allow all of these language symbols to be used within the same system, or "internationalization". more

Introductory Remarks from Innovation '08

Here's my opening remarks from Media Access Project's Innovation '08 in Santa Clara this morning. A DVD will be available shortly. This was a lively discussion, with Google and Vuze on the case. Good morning and welcome. My name is Richard Bennett and I'm a network engineer. I've built networking products for 30 years and contributed to a dozen networking standards, including Ethernet and Wi-Fi... I'm opposed to net neutrality regulations because they foreclose some engineering options that we're going to need for the Internet to become the one true general-purpose network that links all of us to each other, connects all our devices to all our information, and makes the world a better place. Let me explain. more

A Fundamental Look at DNSSEC, Deployment, and DNS Security Extensions

In looking at the general topic of trust and the Internet, one of the more critical parts of the Internet's infrastructure that appears to be a central anchor point of trust is that of the Domain Name Service, or DNS. The mapping of "named" service points to the protocol-level address is a function that every Internet user relies upon, one way or another. The ability to corrupt the operation of the DNS is one of the more effective ways of corrupting the integrity of Internet-based applications and services. If an attacker can in some fashion alter the DNS response then a large set of attack vectors are exposed. ...The more useful question is whether it is possible to strengthen the DNS. The DNS is a query -- response application, and the critical question in terms of strengthening its function is whether it is possible to authenticate the answers provided by the DNS. DNSSEC provides an answer to this question. more

Bad Journalism, IPv6, and the BBC

Here's a good way to frighten yourself: Learn about something, and then read what the press writes about it. It's astonishing how often flatly untrue things get reported as facts. I first observed this back in 1997 when I was a Democratic lawyer in the U.S. House of Representatives working on the (rather ridiculous) campaign finance investigation. (The investigating committee's conspiracy-minded chairman was famous for shotgunning pumpkins in his backyard in order to figure out exactly how Hillary snuffed Vince Foster)...More recently, I've seen the same discouraging phenomenon in reporting on technology and, in particular, the Internet. more

Why the Opus Codec Matters - Even if You Don't Care About Audio

What makes the Opus codec so interesting? Why is there such a buzz about Opus right now? If you are not in telecom or doing anything with audio, why should you even remotely care about Opus? In a word... Innovation! And because Opus has the potential to let us communicate with each other across the Internet with a richer and more natural sound. You will be able to hear people or music or presenters with much more clarity and more like you are right there with them. more

A Closer Look At The Controversy Over The Internet's Birthday! You Decide

Internet users welcomed the New Year this year with a controversy that reaches to the roots of the Internet itself. January 1, 1983 was the day computer systems on the ARPANET were required to switch over to the TCP/IP protocol. This year marks the 20th anniversary of that event.

Several news stories appeared on the Internet before or on January 1, 2003 heralding January 1, 2003 as the twentieth birthday of the Internet. Other news stories questioned calling this date the birthday of the Internet. To have the date of the Internet's birthday be the subject of a controversy is appropriate, given the nature and history of the Internet. In its early development, the Internet grew and flourished because researchers were encouraged to debate their differences. In this environment, collaborative work thrived. more

Twenty Myths and Truths About IPv6 and the US IPv6 Transition

After hearing over 350 presentations on IPv6 from IPv6-related events in the US (seven of them), China, Spain, Japan, and Australia, and having had over 3,000 discussions about IPv6 with over a thousand well-informed people in the IPv6 community, I have come to the conclusion that all parties, particularly the press, have done a terrible job of informing people about the bigger picture of IPv6, over the last decade, and that we need to achieve a new consensus that doesn't include so much common wisdom that is simply mythical. There are many others in a position to do this exercise better than I can, and I invite them to make a better list than mine, which follows. more

Papers Now Available Publicly for W3C/IAB "Strengthening the Internet" Workshop

Want to read a wide range of views on how to strengthen the security and privacy of the Internet? Interested to hear how some of the leaders of the open standards world think we can make the Internet more secure? As I wrote about previously here on CircleID, the W3C and the Internet Architecture Board (IAB) are jointly sponsoring a workshop on "Strengthening The Internet" (STRINT) on February 28 and March 1 in London just prior to the IETF 89 meeting happening all next week. more

It's About Connectivity Not The Internet!

I've been trying to avoid writing about the Internet as such. With as "At the Edge" I'm looking at larger issues but can't escape writing more directly about the Internet. It seems as if everyone wants a say in Internet policy without distinguishing between technical and social issues. Today the term "The Internet" or, for many simply "Internet" is more of brand than a term for a specific technology and its implications. It has become too easy to talk about the Internet in lieu of understanding. We also see the converse -- a failure to recognize "Internet" issues. more

RFC 1918 Address Space: Why It Was Needed then and How It Will Change in IPv6!

Recently, my firm has seen a lot of interest come from Enterprises seeking IPAM/DNS tools. We predicted that IPv6 adoption and the need for automation software/tools would follow the Internet ecosystem's supply chain starting with Service Providers consisting of ISPs, I/PaaS, ASPs, then content providers (mostly a service really), then Enterprises, followed by SMBs & Consumers. While good for business, it has also forced us to revisit and think thru many TCP/IP protocol standards... more

SiteFinder vs. Engineers: Our Mistake Is Ignorance

We, as the Internet engineering community, have made a great mistake. Actually, it wasn't even one large mistake, but a series of small ones. Engineers are busy people, and most of us work under the constraints of the organizational entities we serve (be it ISPs, non-internet corporates, or even non-profits). Few of us have time for politics; even fewer have the desire and motivation for politics, and those of us who do try usually end up facing a brick wall of stubbornness, lack of understanding of the underlying technical issues, or just a deaf ear. more

A Balkanized Internet Future?

Joi Ito has an important post [also featured on CircleID] on how the internet is in danger of becoming balkanized into separate "internets". He's not the only person who's concerned. Greg Walton worries about Regime Change on the Internet. My friend Tim Wu, a law professor specializing in international trade and intellectual property, has written an article for Slate: The Filtered Future: China's bid to divide the Internet... more

Addressing the Future Internet

What economic and social factors are shaping our future needs and expectations for communications systems? This question was the theme of a joint National Science Foundation (NSF) and Organisation for Economic Co Operation and Development (OECD) workshop, held on the 31st January of this year. The approach taken for this workshop was to assemble a group of technologists, economists, industry, regulatory and political actors and ask each of them to consider a small set of specific questions related to a future Internet. Thankfully, this exercise was not just another search for the next "Killer App", nor a design exercise for IP version 7. It was a valuable opportunity to pause and reflect on some of the sins of omission in today's Internet and ask why, and reflect on some of the unintended consequences of the Internet and ask if they were truly unavoidable consequences... more