[Din] DINRG Workshop (Interim Meeting) on the Centralization in the Internet

Dirk Kutscher <ietf@dkutscher.net> Tue, 04 May 2021 19:04 UTC

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Subject: [Din] DINRG Workshop (Interim Meeting) on the Centralization in the Internet
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# DINRG Workshop (Interim Meeting) on the Centralization in the Internet

We are planning an online workshop for the start of June that is 
intended to enable a principled discussion on Centralization in the 
Internet and its root causes.

## Motivation
The networking community generally seems to agree that the Internet 
consolidation and centralization trend has progressed rapidly over the 
last few years, bringing impactful societal and economical consequences. 
To counter that trend, multiple studies and activities have been 
launched to decentralize the Internet and the Web (for example see 
https://blog.mozilla.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/IHPbriefs_decentralization_March_2017.pdf, 
https://solidproject.org/, and https://www.decentralizedweb.net/, plus 
various Blockchain-inspired approaches).

When the internet started as a completely decentralized system 40 years 
back, at that time perhaps few people, if any, could have foreseen where 
it is today. How did we get from there to here? What is driving 
aggregation and centralization in the Internet? What are the 
implications for industry actors and technology as well as for 
users/consumers?

We believe that a good understanding of this question could make a good 
first step towards understanding whether it is possible/feasible, and if 
so, how, to steer the Internet away from centralization.

## Objectives
The objective of this workshop is to start an open discussion on the 
above question to help clearly characterize centralization in the 
Internet and to discuss its root causes. That is, before jumping to 
discussing various potential solutions, we suggest taking a step back 
and discussing how we got from there to here, and what were the driving 
forces and enablers at each stage.

We believe that a sound and evidence-based understanding is of key 
importance for devising any effective form of remedy and action plan. In 
particular, we would like to foster an understanding on the relationship 
of architectural properties and economic developments. For example,
* whether any architectural features, or lack of them, made an impact on 
the internet ecosystem developments and business models; and
* from a retrospective view, was there anything that might have been 
done differently, to have an impact on the course the Internet has 
taken?

This is a complex problem with many relevant factors (technical and 
economic) and historic developments, so we would like to invite 
contributions on all of these aspects to this first workshop which may 
likely lead to further in-depth follow-up discussion. A result of this 
workshop could indeed be a more substantiated agenda for more focused 
future research in DINRG.

## How to Contribute
**Please send a message until May 16th EOB to dinrg-chairs@irtf.org** if 
you are interested to contribute to the workshop. We ask that you 
include a 1-page abstract (no special formatting requirements) of your 
intended contribution that would help us to to categorize inputs and to 
have a record of the different perspectives in the workshop proceedings 
(DINRG meeting material).

## Format
* DINRG online interim meeting, with open participation
* 3 hours duration with one break
* Lightning talks on different aspects of the problem
* Ample time for discussion

## Logistics
* Date and time: Thursday, June 3rd 2021 1900 UTC, 21:00 CEST / 05:00 
AEST (Fri) / 12:00 PDT / 09:00 HST (tentatively)
* Duration: 3 hours with a break in the middle
* MeetEcho (Online as an IRTF DINRG meeting) -- details TBA on DINRG 
list