Message from the IETF Chair – July 2016

By: Jari Arkko

Date: July 6, 2016

line break image

We had a great IETF 95 meeting in Buenos Aires with a lot of topics and many participants. We had approximately 500 people following the event remotely and more than 50 presentations offered remotely. We even had a steering group member participate remotely. And this is as it should be: while face-to-face meetings are very important for networking, people should also be able to attend over the Internet. After all, we are the Internet Engineering Task Force.

Another remarkable aspect of IETF 95 was that it was our first meeting held in South America. We saw slightly more than 1,000 participants on-site, about 140 people from the region. I was very happy to see such strong and active local participation.

The meeting was cohosted by LACNIC and the Internet Society—thank you for stepping up to support this meeting! I was happy to see many local sponsors, too, including IPLAN, CABASE, .AR, and NIC.BR. And my thanks to the other sponsors as well: Neustar, Level 3, Comcast–NBC Universal, Huawei, A10 Networks, and ICANN.

For a summary of the meeting in video form, see

Technical Topics

Two meetings on the growth of encrypted traffic stood out: (1) LURK, which was on building a distributed system that allows Content Data Networks (CDNs) to employ HTTPS/TLS while not releasing a copy of the private keys to the CDNs; and (2) ACCORD, which was about whether better queuing algorithms or more information about traffic flow priority would be useful for better scheduling of radio resources in mobile networks.

The Internet of Things is another active and interesting area. Low-power wide-area networks were discussed in the LPWAN BoF, and some IoT-related Working Groups, including CORE and ROLL, have completed their initial batches of work and are now looking at new work.

This meeting also saw the first official meeting of the Thing-to-Thing Research Group (T2TRG) at the IETF. This active Research Group is focusing on device-to-device communications and has met twice before the meeting. At the technical plenary, we heard a report from the recent IAB workshop on semantic interoperability problems (page 8).

There was also plenty of work on Internet security. One of the most interesting topics was the work on TLS 1.3, specifically the discussions about its super-efficient 0-roundtrip initialization mode and under what conditions replay attacks can be avoided in that mode.

IETF Hackathon

This was a wonderful experience, both in terms of what got worked on and the people who participated. There were more than 30 new participants, including more than 10 who were new to the IETF. See Charles Eckel’s article on page 21. And thank you to Huawei, our new sponsor for all of this year’s IETF Hackathon events.

I very much enjoyed Ole Troan’s new project on adding source address routing to Vector Packet Processing (VPP). There was also work on DNS privacy, big data, and many other things.

Admin Stuff

During the meeting, we announced that the IETF is creating an ombudsperson team to help handle any harassment concerns. For more about this team and how to report harassment, see

Finally, Alia Atlas gave a talk at the plenary on challenges and opportunities associated with the IETF’s changing environment. For example, our participation and funding models are changing as more participants attend remotely.

¡IETF 95 se concluyo! ¡Gracias a LACNIC, Internet Society, Buenos Aires, y a todos participantes!