At the 88th meeting of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), held on November 3th through 8th, engineers discussed reactions to pervasive surveillance, taking a step against the activities of the NSA by agreeing to improve the security of Internet protocol.
For the sake of clarity, the IETF is the world’s premier open Internet standards-development body which aim is to make the Internet work better by producing high quality, relevant technical documents that influence the way people design, use, and manage the Internet.
One of the ongoing concern for the IETS is internet security and ensuring the global Internet is a trusted platform for billions of users. As Jari Arkko, Chair of the IETF, said “Internet security has many facets, and the IETF is focused on ensuring that the technical Internet protocols that it develops provide a strong foundation for privacy and security.”
The hot topic at the Vancouver meeting was security. In particular, discussions were focused on how standards may need to be updated or adapted to ensure the Internet remains a trustworthy platform for communications and collaboration.
“The Internet has been turned into a giant surveillance machine,” said Bruce Schneier, a security and crypto expert who started the debate in the IETF about “pervasive monitoring”, “this is not just about any particular country or individual action. We need to work broadly to fix the problems of today and tomorrow.”
In fact, everyone is well aware of the fact that their email, phone calls and other personal data have been monitored for a decade by the NSA. And from the recent findings, it has appeared that the phone companies and the IT giants have collaborated.
All this represents an attack on the Internet and having this in mind, the IETF is taking action to develop the technical specifications to improve the privacy and security of the Internet. “However, said Russ Housley, Chair of Internet Architecture Board, others need to take on the non-technical aspects that are part of a comprehensive response to mass surveillance on the Internet.”, clearly referring to the action that Governments should take to protect their citizens’ s privacy.