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Internet Governance and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Part 1: Foundations

One could think that the authors of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) -- adopted in 1948 -- had the Internet in mind when they declared in Article 19: "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers." All human beings are entitled to certain rights, and it makes no difference if they choose to exercise them in a town square or an Internet chatroom. more

More Privacy for Domain Registrants – Heightened Risk for Internet Users

A recent exchange on CircleID highlighted a critical need for data to inform the debate on the impact of ICANN's post-GDPR WHOIS policy that resulted in the redaction of domain name registrant contact data. A bit of background: in my original post, I made the point that domain name abuse had increased post-GDPR. A reader who works with a registrar (according to his bio) commented: "Can you back up that statement with data? Our abuse desk has actually seen a reduction in abuse complaints." more

The Crypto Wars Resume

For decades, the US government has fought against widespread, strong encryption. For about as long, privacy advocates and technologists have fought for widespread, strong encryption, to protect not just privacy but also as a tool to secure our computers and our data. The government has proposed a variety of access mechanisms and mandates to permit them to decrypt (lawfully) obtained content; technologists have asserted that "back doors" are inherently insecure. 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

Business Email Compromised (BEC) Scams Explode Under the GDPR Implementation

Business email compromised (BEC) attacks targeting American companies are exploding, with an increase of over 476% in incidents between Q4 2017 and Q4 2018. Up as well is email fraud with companies experiencing an increase of over 226%. These highly targeted attacks use social engineering to identify specific company employees, usually in the finance department and then convince these employees to wire large sums of money to third-party banking accounts owned by the attackers. 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

What's in Your DNS Query?

Privacy problems are an area of wide concern for individual users of the Internet -- but what about network operators? Geoff Huston wrote an article earlier this year concerning privacy in DNS and the various attempts to make DNS private on the part of the IETF -- the result can be summarized with this long, but entertaining, quote. more

Facebook, Privacy, and Cryptography

There has long been pressure from governments to provide back doors in encryption systems. Of course, if the endpoints are insecure it doesn't matter much if the transmission is encrypted; indeed, a few years ago, I and some colleagues even suggested lawful hacking as an alternative. Crucially, we said that this should be done by taking advantage of existing security holes rather than be creating new ones. more

Not So Private Thoughts at IETF 105

At IETF 105, held in Montreal at the end of July, the Technical Plenary part of the meeting had two speakers on the topic of privacy in today's Internet, Associate Professor Arvind Narayanan of Princeton University and Professor Stephen Bellovin of Colombia University. They were both quite disturbing talks in their distinct ways, and I'd like to share my impressions of these two presentations and then consider what privacy means for me in today's Internet. more

Move Fast and Regulate Things

The international community is converging on one notion at least: that Facebook cannot be prosecutor, judge and jury of its own achievements and transgressions. The calls to regulate social media companies first came from various legislative bodies, then from civil society and national policymakers, then from the CEO of Facebook itself, "to preserve what is best about [the Internet]." If some scepticism followed that was natural enough – was the company sincere in calling for more regulation? more