Re: [Add] My principles for discovery

Vittorio Bertola <> Wed, 25 March 2020 07:33 UTC

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Date: Wed, 25 Mar 2020 08:32:57 +0100 (CET)
From: Vittorio Bertola <>
To: Martin Thomson <>,
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Subject: Re: [Add] My principles for discovery
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> Il 25/03/2020 05:36 Martin Thomson <> ha scritto:
> As I raised this in the meeting, I think that it's only fair that I include what I think the principles should be.
> In short, I believe that any entity that you interact with should be able to present their views on what resolver you should use.  Client policy will then dictate which - if any - of those is used.

I don't necessarily disagree with the approach, but there is a question to which I need a very convincing answer first.

"Any entity you interact with" already has a way to tell you - even force you - to use a name server they control to effect resolution of their domain names. It's called "authoritative name server".

It seems to me that the model that especially draft-pauly is proposing - i.e. every destination pointing the client to a resolver that the destination controls - is functionally equivalent, in terms of who gets to see which information, to eliminating the concept of an external resolver and having the end-user device implement and run a full resolver on its own.

This, as per Tommy's reply to the question I made at IETF 106, would increase privacy because the resolution process would not provide data to any other party than the "final destination", which would anyway get it when the following HTTPS connection happens. (The fact that the two sets of data are actually the same has been challenged yesterday in the Jabber chat, but that's another discussion.)

I assume that this is also what you are envisaging, since the alternative - every destination pointing the client to a resolver which they don't control, but with which they have commercial or other agreements - opens up the potential for much heavier security threat, centralization and surveillance scenarios than it is ever possible today, so I would expect it to be ruled out much like other out-of-same-origin practices.

So - why do we need to develop all this complex machinery just to let destinations indicate some kind of resolver that does the same thing that their authoritative already does? What's the difference with just implementing a full resolver in the client?

Vittorio Bertola | Head of Policy & Innovation, Open-Xchange 
Office @ Via Treviso 12, 10144 Torino, Italy