Re: [Secdispatch] [Smart] New Version Notification for draft-lazanski-smart-users-internet-00.txt

Stephen Farrell <stephen.farrell@cs.tcd.ie> Sun, 14 July 2019 10:26 UTC

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To: Kathleen Moriarty <kathleen.moriarty.ietf@gmail.com>, Dominique Lazanski <dml@lastpresslabel.com>
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From: Stephen Farrell <stephen.farrell@cs.tcd.ie>
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Date: Sun, 14 Jul 2019 11:25:53 +0100
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Subject: Re: [Secdispatch] [Smart] New Version Notification for draft-lazanski-smart-users-internet-00.txt
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Hiya,

On 14/07/2019 03:06, Kathleen Moriarty wrote:
> It's a good start toward broadening
> the conversation on the Internet threat model and I do agree that is
> necessary.

FWIW, I don't agree that this is a good start.

ISTM that this draft is far too opinionated, for example
claiming that "IETF attendees are privacy-focused", (how
does the author know?), claiming it "unthinkable" that
something isn't done, and that "Internet security research
and technical development must accept the reality of all
the security issues in the Internet ecosystem" (though
I'm not sure I can parse that last quote at all).

Towards the end we get: "Endpoints have changed over the
last 10 years, but assumptions about endpoints in the IETF
hasn't changed in that time" - I don't know how the
author knows what assumptions may or may not be made
by IETF participants (not "attendees" of course).

And perhaps most oddly, this bold assertion: "Further, it
is imperative that new conclusions and recommendations
from a revisited threat model are backed up by research, case
studies and experience - rather than bold assertions." ;-)

The list of breaches and botnets is fine, but not much
use without any analysis of how those happened. We need a
good bit more work to figure out whether any changes to
protocols or protocol design are actually warranted or
useful in the face of these kinds of incident. (Hence
the oddity of the bold assertion above.)

Lastly, ISTM important, if any discussion here is to
be worthwhile, to recognise from the start that existing
IETF consensus positions in this space are not likely to
be discarded - those were arrived at after a lot iterations
of a lot of debate by well-informed IETF participants.
(Despite what some may claim;-) So I reckon the right
discussion to have is about how to extend and not discard
the 3552 threat model. Any other attempted changes would
seem to me to require a shift in deployments from 2-party
to multi-party protocols, which is unrealistic, or to
require magical trust in middleboxes, which would be plain
silly and seems highly unlikely to be something for which
IETF consensus would be established.

> Also - is this a request to present at SecDispatch?

I hope not. This draft is IMO clearly not ready for that.
An initial discussion about threat models and how to
approach this kind of work at saag may be worthwhile (and
I think Jari has asked the sec ADs for such a slot).

Cheers,
S.