Over the past week or so I’ve been to TrustyCon, Jeffrey Carr’s town-hall debate on Privacy v National Security and Georgetown’s conference on International Engagement on Cyber. All these conferences had trust as a major focal point. Trust in the internet. During the course of the last nine months in particular that trust has been eroded and replaced with suspicion. How do we fix this?
Overall, I really enjoyed some great discussions at these events. The town-hall debate did the best job at getting people from all sides to the table, which is something we need to see more of.
Most of the current debate is centered around what governments are doing. There’s surprisingly little debate about the data collection companies are doing, such as for targeted advertising. Europe’s laws are generally a lot more strict in that regard. Especially with the surge in mobile advertising it would be timely for the US to start looking more closely at this issue as well.
I was happy to also hear the issue of BCP 38 (and 84) come up at multiple events. Both BCPs deal with the issue of source address spoofing, which enable large-scale reflection DDoS attacks. Both these BCPs are over a decade old, but implementation out in the field is still lagging behind greatly. Asymmetric DDoS attacks have been causing a lot of problems lately and the problems need fixing. There’s no performance or privacy impact, so a greater push for these practices would be more than welcome.
What should concern all of us is that these non-invasive solutions may be overlooked in favor of more drastic measures to address some of these problems.
The internet is a vast, complex creature. Its openness is crucial for the world’s continued innovation. Restoring trust is going to be a very long and complicated process. There won’t be any quick fixes. Let’s not take short cuts.