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5 burning questions with new IETF Chair and Cisco Fellow Alissa Cooper

Michael Cooney | March 28, 2017
Cisco Fellow and new IETF Chair Alissa Cooper talks Internet challenges.

I can give you a view of the IETF’s position on privacy. We develop global standards and the goal is to offer building blocks that are not developed specifically for a particular jurisdiction. The IETF looks to build standards with some recognition of what the privacy impact would be but the technology needs to be used anywhere in the world. You could say privacy rules are changing and maybe rolling back in the US versus what’s going on in the European Union but standards are underlying that activity.

What are the IETF’s greatest technological challenges at this point in the internet’s history?

Certainly, developing standards technology around areas such as IoT, NFV and SDN will continue. IoT is a challenge we are focusing on. For example, IoT security is an issue and continuing to assure IoT development will make the best use of IPv6 address spaces access technologies. IoT power considerations are also an issue. There is a significant challenge in the body of work around operations, orchestration and automation as well. Improving security standards is a big focus and there is always a large body of work being done to improve that.

Could you talk about a few key working groups, standards or technology you’d expect/hope to see get the most attention in the near future?

Sure. One of the hotter topics I expect will be around improving the transport layer to make the Web snappier and there has been a lot of work with the protocol QUIC to make that happen.

[Google developed QUIC, or Quick UDP Internet Connection and says it supports a set multiplexed connections over UDP, and was designed to provide security protection equivalent to TLS/SSL, along with reduced connection and transport latency. An experimental implementation is being put in place in Chrome by a team of engineers at Google. QUIC will employ bandwidth estimation in each direction into congestion avoidance, and then pace packet transmissions evenly to reduce packet loss. It will also use packet-level error correction codes to reduce the need to retransmit lost packet data.]

A lot of work is being done with the Transport Layer Security [Version 1.3] protocol and there should be an update coming soon on that. [TLS is a cryptographic security standard].

Another area that has gotten a lot of attention is Web RTC. [WebRTC is a free, open project that provides browsers and mobile applications with Real-Time Communications (RTC) capabilities via simple APIs].


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