Message from the IETF Chair

By: Jari Arkko

Date: April 17, 2016

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Perhaps the uppermost thing on my mind is how friendly and welcoming Japan was. I thoroughly enjoyed the incredibly well-working network, the wireless that covered all the way to the Ferris wheel, the ceremonies, the food, the modern facilities, and the long list of supporters for our meeting. Thank you!

We had a very good turnout in terms of participation: more than 1,300 participants on site at the end of the week.


Our third IETF Hackathon had 70–95 participants (depending on whether you count official registrations or the number of t-shirts handed out). It drew new participants to the IETF and a coder who was only 16 years old. That said, as with the overall meeting, the number of participants is not the key metric of success. What matters is the work that gets done and whether that work brings improvements to the Internet. This year’s Hackathon focused largely on key Internet issues, including the privacy of metadata and ability to easily build networks. I also was impressed with how people learned. For example, although one team failed to do what they wanted, that failure had a lesson in it and later in the week the working group in question realized that they have to change their approach. Well done!

Each of the ten teams made a significant contribution. Notable examples are the DNS security and privacy team (DPRIVE), which led a professional and systematic approach to securing the DNS infrastructure and eliminating metadata leakage, and the HOMENET team, which had an impressive demo involving multiple platforms ranging from routers to iPhones.

Birds of a Feather Sessions

Our one Birds of a Feather (BoF) this meeting, Internet Storage Sync (ISS), focused on synchronization protocols for Internet-based storage services. The origins of this topic are in academic research on optimized synchronization mechanisms, protocols that can improve the efficiency of other, widely used protocols. The BoF itself emphasized the prospect of broader synchronization protocol interoperability. I believe that this is of key interest and potentially very useful, particularly for enterprise customers and third-party application developers who would benefit from the ability to more easily switch between providers. It is also necessary to obtain interest from service providers, perhaps initially from the smaller players. ISS BoF members will search for that interest, especially from the industry. Join the mailing list at

Working Groups

The Domain Name System Operations (DNSOP) Working Group (WG) meeting covered the impacts of the recent .onion allocation and issues in the RFC 6761 process that specifies that such allocations can be made, but not when those allocations are appropriate. The discussion will continue, hopefully with appropriate interest from other parts of the IETF. The first goal is to define exactly what the problem is with RFC 6761. It is unlikely that many other allocations will be made before that process is reevaluated and redesigned.

The increase in YANG data models continued; the current count is 160 drafts. Benoit Claise and his colleague Jan Medved have produced a dependency graph tool that shows the dependencies between the drafts (see

The security area (SAAG) WG had several local presenters. I particularly enjoyed the presentation on the security analysis of IPv6 transition technologies and the report from the workshop on impacts of encryption in mobile networks.

The DISPATCH WG talked about opportunistic security for RTP flows.


We had one combined plenary instead of separate technical and administrative ones. It appears to be a reasonable starting point for future arrangements, although there’s a lot to improve still, such as shortening the presentations part even more.

Before the plenary, we were fortunate to preview of “A Net of Rights,” a short film produced by members of the proposed Internet Research Task Force research group on human rights protocol considerations (HRPC).


Because both the W3C TPAC meeting and the OpenStack Summit were in Japan the previous week, we were able to visit and be visited by key individuals from these organizations. Having the IETF meeting in a similar area and time frame as other meetings may be useful in the future.

Once again, we saw many new participants—nearly three hundred! We also had visitors from the Internet Society Policy and Fellowship to the IETF programmes, under-scoring that participation at the IETF is a collaborative project, a working group that you care for and contribute to. I’m hoping to see these new participants involved in projects that are important to them.

There were many remote participants, including presenters. For example, Jürgen Schönwälder held an hour-long discussion in the LMAP WG via Meetecho. We also learned from remote connection issues. For example, I didn’t set up backup jabber channels to be monitored appropriately during the plenary. I apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused.

What’s Next?

We will continue work over the Internet in the coming months, and then meet in person 3-8 April in Buenos Aires, where our host will be LACNIC. This will be the first meeting in South America and only the second meeting held south of the equator.

Finally, the Buenos Aires IETF Hackathon is 2-3 April, so be sure to be on site early!

For More Information

For more detailed information, see The information page for the Buenos Aires meeting can be found at