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

Vittorio Bertola <> Tue, 13 October 2020 11:01 UTC

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Date: Tue, 13 Oct 2020 13:01:54 +0200 (CEST)
From: Vittorio Bertola <>
To: John C Klensin <>, Stephen Farrell <>
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Subject: Re: [arch-d] Time to reboot RFC1984 and RFC2804?
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> Il 12/10/2020 21:27 John C Klensin <> ha scritto:
> FWIW, I have noticed that there is one big difference between my
> running my own servers for mail, storage, etc., and passing
> those off to a large cloud or virtual service providers.  If
> some governmental entity comes to that provider with sufficient
> legal documents or threats (of the sort you mention or of the
> use of force) and says "give me his files and records and don't
> tell him we asked", they presumably get them and I presumably
> don't find out.   If they come to me with the same request
> (putting aside whether I would be able to destroy everything and
> would have the nerve to do that), they presumably get the files
> but there is zero chance of keeping me from finding out about
> the request. 

There is also a second big difference: the government that has the right / the opportunity to access your data at a cloud provider may not be the same government that is able to come after you directly. Whether this is good or bad for you depends on the specific set of governments and on how much you like them.

> Sometimes that is important, sometimes not, but,
> where it is important, distributed architectures and protocols
> and operational arrangements that encourage highly distributed
> services are prerequisite.

On the other hand, the more your data are spread out, the more likely it is that someone somewhere has an opportunity to intercept them. Of course it depends whether you are spreading out entire copies or just subsets, whether each subset is enough to give away meaningful information about you, and so on. But something that strikes me is that the IETF community often seems to think that more distribution of data equates to more privacy, while the basic assumption of almost any privacy law is the exact opposite.

> Il 12/10/2020 23:51 Stephen Farrell <> ha scritto:
> I'll note in passing that rfc7258 defines PM in a way
> that I at least consider does encompass some of the
> mechanisms of surveillance capitalism, e.g. devices
> "calling home" with telemetry that relates to protocol
> artefacts in ways that can enable broad surveillance.
> Could be we could improve on that though.

Even if the IETF fully equated commercial surveillance to governmental surveillance, it would still be hard for many parties to accept the idea that the two things are the same or are similarly bad, or are always bad no matter what. Again, this is an assessment that depends on the specific situation and also, unfortunately, on one's political views of society, but I think that the IETF should develop a more nuanced approach to the topic.

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