mnot’s blog

Design depends largely on constraints.” — Charles Eames

Monday, 21 June 2021

How the Next Layer of the Internet is Going to be Standardised

A big change in how the Internet is defined - and who defines it - is underway.

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Thursday, 18 February 2021

No news is... a sign of a stagnating Internet

Today, Facebook shut off the news in Australia – all of it, and much more besides. For example, when I tried to post a link to this blog entry on Facebook, they responded:

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Friday, 28 August 2020

RFC8890: The Internet is for End Users

The Internet Architecture Board (IAB) has published RFC8890, The Internet is for End Users, arguing that the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) should ground its decisions in what’s good for people who use the Internet, and that it should take positive steps to achieve that.

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Monday, 29 June 2020

What limits legal access to cloud data in Australia?

The Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Act 20181 has proven controversial both before and after passage,2 with considerable debate about its industry assistance framework and its potential for systemically weakening encryption on the Internet - a framing emphasised by the explanatory memorandum which introduced the legislation as ‘measures to better deal with the challenges posed by ubiquitous encryption.’3 Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Act 2018 (Cth). ↩ See, eg, Stilgherrian, ‘What’s actually in Australia’s encryption laws? Everything you need to know’ ZDNet (online, 10 December 2018) https://www.zdnet.com/article/whats-actually-in-australias-encryption-laws-everything-you-need-to-know/. ↩ Explanatory Memorandum, Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Act 2018 (Cth), 2 [1]. ↩

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Thursday, 5 December 2019

On RFC8674, the safe preference for HTTP

It’s become common for Web sites – particularly those that host third-party or user-generated content – to make a “safe” mode available, where content that might be objectionable is hidden. For example, a parent who wants to steer their child away from the rougher corners of the Internet might go to their search engine and put it in “safe” mode.

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Sunday, 13 October 2019

How Multiplexing Changes Your HTTP APIs

When I first learned about SPDY, I was excited about it for a number of reasons, but near the top of the list was its potential impact on APIs that use HTTP.

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Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Moving Control to the Endpoints

The introduction of encrypted DNS is a natural step in the process of securing the Internet, but it has brought a considerable amount of controversy, because it removes a means of control for network operators -- including not only enterprises but also schools and parents. The solution is to move control of these services to the endpoints of communication -- for example, the users’ computers -- but doing so has its own challenges.

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Thursday, 6 December 2018

Eight #aabill Predictions

As I write this, the Australian Senate is in the final stages of passing the Assistance and Access Bill 2018 (with some but not all amendments).

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Thursday, 6 December 2018

Australian Assistance and Access Bill 2018: Amendments

In a great hurry, Australia’s house of representatives today passed the controversial Assistance and Access Bill 2018. However, there were some last-minute amendments slipped in. Currently, it’s being debated in the Senate.

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Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Designing Headers for HTTP Compression

One of the concerns that often comes up when someone creates a new HTTP header is how much “bloat” it will add on the network. This is especially relevant in requests, when a little bit of extra data can introduce a lot of latency when repeated on every request.

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