Pervasive Monitoring is an Attack

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Document Type Active Internet-Draft (individual in gen area)
Last updated 2013-12-12 (latest revision 2013-12-03)
Stream IETF
Intended RFC status Best Current Practice
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Stream WG state Submitted to IESG for Publication
Document shepherd Sean Turner
IESG IESG state In Last Call (ends 2013-12-31)
Consensus Boilerplate Unknown
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Responsible AD Jari Arkko
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IANA IANA review state IANA OK - No Actions Needed
IANA action state None
Network Working Group                                         S. Farrell
Internet-Draft                                    Trinity College Dublin
Intended status: BCP                                       H. Tschofenig
Expires: June 6, 2014                                   December 3, 2013

                   Pervasive Monitoring is an Attack


   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
   provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79.

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   This Internet-Draft will expire on June 6, 2014.

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Farrell & Tschofenig      Expires June 6, 2014                  [Page 1]
Internet-Draft      Pervasive Monitoring is an Attack      December 2013

1.  It's an Attack

   [[Note (to be removed before publication): This draft is written as
   if IETF consensus has been established for the text.]]

   The technical plenary of IETF 88 [IETF88Plenary] discussed pervasive
   monitoring.  Such pervasive surveillance requires the monitoring
   party to take actions that are indistinguishable from an attack on
   Internet communications.  Participants at that meeting therefore
   expressed strong agreement that this was an attack that should be
   mitigated where possible via the design of protocols that make
   pervasive monitoring significantly more expensive or infeasible.
   This Best Current Practice (BCP) formally documents that consensus,
   having been through an IETF last call.

   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, correlation, timing or measuring packet sizes can also be
   used for pervasive monitoring.

   The term "attack" is used here in a technical sense that differs
   somewhat from common English usage.  In common English usage, an
   "attack" is an aggressive action perpetrated by an opponent, intended
   to enforce the opponent's will on the attacked party.  In the
   Internet, the term is used to refer to a behavior that subverts the
   intent of a communicator without the agreement of the parties to the
   communication.  It may change the content of the communication,
   record the content of the communication, or through correlation with
   other communication events or attempts, reveal information the
   communicator did not intend to be revealed.  It may also have other
   effects that similarly subvert the intent of a communicator.
   [RFC4949] contains a more complete definition for the term "attack"
   as used here.  We also use the term in the singular here, even though
   pervasive monitoring in reality may require a multi-faceted set of
   coordinated attacks.

   In particular, the term "attack", when used technically, implies
   nothing about the motivation of the actor mounting the attack.  The
   motivation behind pervasive monitoring is not 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
   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 them to be.  As technology
   advances, techniques that were once only available to extremely well

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