Pervasive Monitoring is an Attack
draft-farrell-perpass-attack-00

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Network Working Group                                         S. Farrell
Internet-Draft                                    Trinity College Dublin
Intended status: BCP                                       H. Tschofenig
Expires: May 24, 2014                                  November 20, 2013

                   Pervasive Monitoring is an Attack
                  draft-farrell-perpass-attack-00.txt

Abstract

   The IETF has consensus that pervasive monitoring is a technical
   attack that should be mitigated in the design of IETF protocols,
   where possible.

Status of this Memo

   This Internet-Draft is submitted in full conformance with the
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   This Internet-Draft will expire on May 24, 2014.

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1.  It's an Attack

   [[Note: This draft is written as if IETF consensus has been
   established for the text.]]

   The technical plenary of IETF 88 [IETF88Plenary] discussed pervasive
   monitoring and participants had strong agreement that this was an
   attack and one that should be mitigated where possible via the design
   of protocols that make pervasive monitoring significantly more
   expensive or infeasible.  Such pervasive surveillance requires the
   monitoring party to take actions that are indistinguishable from an
   attack on Internet communications.  This Best Current Practice (BCP)
   documents that consensus.

   For the purposes of this BCP "pervasive monitoring" means very
   widespread privacy-invasive gathering of protocol artefacts including
   application content, protocol meta-data (such as headers) or keys
   used to secure protocols.  Other forms of traffic analysis, for
   example, timing or measuring packet sizes can also be used for
   pervasive monitoring.  A fuller problem statement with more examples
   and description can be found in [ProblemStatement].

   Note that the term "attack" is used here in a techincal sense that
   differs somewhat from the natural English usage.  In particular, the
   term, when used technically, implies nothing about the motivation of
   the bad-actor mounting the attack, who is still called a bad-actor no
   matter what one really thinks about their motivation.  We also use
   the term in the singluar here, even though pervasive monitoring in
   reality may require a multi-faceted set of co-ordinated attacks.

   The motivation behind pervasive monitoring is not particularly
   relevant for this document, but can range from non-targeted nation-
   state surveillance, to legal but privacy-unfriendly purposes by
   commercial enterprises, to illegal purposes by criminals.  The same
   techniques can be used in each case, regardless of motivation, and we
   cannot defend against the most nefarious actors while allowing
   monitoring by other actors no matter how benevolent some might
   consider those.  As technology continues to advance rapidly
   techniques that have been shown to work but were once only accessible
   to nation-state actors become accessible to non-nation-state actors,
   so mitigating this threat is not only relevant when considering
   nation-state bad actors.

2.  And we'll work to Mitigate the Attack

   The IETF also have consensus to, where possible, work to mitigate the
   technical parts of the pervasive monitoring attack, in just the same

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   way as we do with any other protocol vulnerability.

   There are various ways in which IETF protocols can be designed in
   order to mitigate pervasive monitoring, but those will change over
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