Re: [arch-d] Time to reboot RFC1984 and RFC2804?

Christian Huitema <> Sun, 11 October 2020 22:50 UTC

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To: John C Klensin <>, Brian E Carpenter <>
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From: Christian Huitema <>
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Subject: Re: [arch-d] Time to reboot RFC1984 and RFC2804?
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On 10/11/2020 2:20 PM, John C Klensin wrote:

> It seems to me that we (very broadly defined) may be headed into
> a period in which:
> (1) We are forced into a choice between encryption and other
> technical privacy protections against attacks (borrowing the
> 7258 language) by individuals and attacks by governments
> (including law enforcement), especially governments who have
> jurisdiction over the sender, receiver, or other.  The default
> if we don't choose and make the distinction clear to others may
> be "neither".
> and/or 
> (2) We are forced into a choice between an open and global
> Internet and one that is very fragmented with security and
> privacy protective only within mutually-isolated more local
> networks.  We would have either no communication among those
> local networks or content filtering, application-level, gateways
> at politically selected boundaries.  Refusing to chose might
> result in both bad outcomes.

There may be something else. The government actions typically operate
through application providers acting as gatekeepers, as in "Facebook,
please provide me a clear-text version of these messages". If there are
just a few platforms managing a large share of the communications,
governments merely have to lean onto these platforms to obtain what they
want. And if a company is running a big communication business, it will
come to terms with local governments in order to protect that business.
If the IETF wants to protect individual freedoms, then it might want to
focus on distributed architecture for communication services.

-- Christian Huitema