Report of the 2004 IAB Messaging Workshop
RFC 4417

Document Type RFC - Informational (February 2006; No errata)
Last updated 2015-10-14
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Network Working Group                                    P. Resnick, Ed.
Request for Comments: 4417                                           IAB
Category: Informational                              P. Saint-Andre, Ed.
                                                                     JSF
                                                           February 2006

               Report of the 2004 IAB Messaging Workshop

Status of This Memo

   This memo provides information for the Internet community.  It does
   not specify an Internet standard of any kind.  Distribution of this
   memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2006).

Abstract

   This document reports the outcome of a workshop held by the Internet
   Architecture Board (IAB) on the future of Internet messaging.  The
   workshop was held on 6 and 7 October 2004 in Burlingame, CA, USA.
   The goal of the workshop was to examine the current state of
   different messaging technologies on the Internet (including, but not
   limited to, electronic mail, instant messaging, and voice messaging),
   to look at their commonalities and differences, and to find
   engineering, research, and architectural topics on which future work
   could be done.  This report summarizes the discussions and
   conclusions of the workshop and of the IAB.

Resnick & Saint-Andre        Informational                      [Page 1]
RFC 4417                 IAB Messaging Workshop            February 2006

Table of Contents

   1. Introduction ....................................................3
   2. Methodology .....................................................4
   3. Issues ..........................................................5
      3.1. Authorization ..............................................5
      3.2. Multiple Communication Channels ............................6
      3.3. Negotiation ................................................8
      3.4. User Control ...............................................9
      3.5. Message Transport ..........................................9
      3.6. Identity Hints and Key Distribution .......................10
   4. Recommendations ................................................11
      4.1. Authorization .............................................11
      4.2. Multiple Communication Channels ...........................12
      4.3. Negotiation ...............................................13
      4.4. User Control ..............................................13
      4.5. Message Transport .........................................14
      4.6. Identity Hints and Key Distribution .......................16
   5. Security Considerations ........................................16
   6. Acknowledgements ...............................................16
   Appendix A.  Participants .........................................17
   Appendix B.  Pre-Workshop Papers ..................................18

Resnick & Saint-Andre        Informational                      [Page 2]
RFC 4417                 IAB Messaging Workshop            February 2006

1.  Introduction

   Current email infrastructure is a mixture of facilities to accomplish
   its task of end-to-end communications through a relay mesh.  That
   mixture has come about as requirements have changed over the years.
   Discussions recur over the years, often including complaints that
   some desired features of email (such as internationalization,
   efficient encoding of structured data, trusted communication) are
   ill-served by the current infrastructure, or that some of the current
   infrastructure seems to be adversely affected by current problems on
   the Internet (most recently including problems such as spam, viruses,
   and lack of security infrastructure).  For many years, the daunting
   task of revamping email infrastructure has been considered, with
   justifiably little enthusiasm for taking on such a task.  However,
   there has been some recent informal discussion on the kinds of things
   that would be desirable in a "next generation" email.

   At the same time, other messaging infrastructures (including those
   associated with "instant messaging" and "web logging") are currently
   being deployed that appear to address many of the above desired
   features and outstanding problems, while adding many features not
   currently considered part of traditional email (like prior-consent-
   based acceptance of messages).  However, each of these technologies
   (at least in their current deployment) seem to lack some of the
   features commonly associated with email (such as selective and
   partial message delivery, queued multi-hop relaying, offline message
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