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Cooperation Working Group Minutes RIPE 81

Wednesday, 28 October, 14:00-14:45
WG co-Chairs: Johan (Julf) Helsingius and Achilleas Kemos
Scribe: Gergana Petrova
Status: Final

1. Introduction

Achilleas and Julf opened the session and approved the minutes from RIPE 80. They also invited people to approach them if they are interested in becoming a third chair of the Cooperation WG, as they would like to train an eventual successor. 

2. Sovereignty as a Regulatory Trend in Russia

Maxim Burtikov, RIPE NCC

This presentation is available here: 

Patrick Tarpey, OFCOM asked if Russian services block services like TOR or VPNs running on non-standard ports and if the Russian regulator requires the blocking X.509 CRLs or OCSP, or other SSLD-related infrastructure? 

Maxim replied that VPNs are being used. The content blocking regulation has been in place for more than six years and especially in the beginning there was a lot of information how to use VPNs. Still, using VPNs requires at least some technical skills, so it is not widespread. In addition, from time to time the government does have initiatives to regulate the use of VPNs.

Alexander Isavnin, OYL llc, thanked the RIPE NCC for looking into regulatory developments outside the EU. He commented that unfortunately governments do not like to cooperate with the industry, Russia being a top example of this. A lot of laws are not executable because of technical limitations. He urged the RIPE community and the global Internet community to cooperate against technically inexecutable regulations.

Maxim answered that first and foremost we need to change our old mentality and the way we see inclusiveness and openness happening. There is a perception that a bottom-up dialogue is not happening. However, in the case of the Russian legislation for example, RIPE NCC’s feedback was included in the official input from industry to government. Of course, some of it was not taken into account and did not become part of the final legislation, yet some of it was actually taken into account. This is why we need better cooperation. We need to continue the dialogue and providing technical knowledge and expertise. 

Following up on Alexander’s first point, Daniel Karrenberg, RIPE NCC, reiterated that the RIPE community is bigger than the EU and the RIPE NCC always strives to pay attention to regulatory developments in the entire service region. He encouraged everybody to speak up and to bring discussion, even on national issues, to the Cooperation WG mailing list.

The ISOC Internet Impact Assessment Toolkit

Andrei Robachevsky, Senior Director, Technology Programmes, ISOC

This presentation is available here:

Pelle Wecksell, Swedish National Police, asked if Andrei wants a completely open Internet with no rules or if there are regulations that can be safe?

Andrei answered that the IWN framework is not anti-regulatory. It does not focus on regulation although ISOC plans to expand on that in the future. He explained that the framework is a tool a regulator can use to check if their regulation is impeding in any way the foundations and other facets of the Internet.

Sia Saatpoor, Logius, asked how we can adapt the architecture of the Internet so that the division and seclusion of the Internet does not prevail. 

Andrei explained that the question goes beyond the scope of the framework. If you fragment the Internet on a technical basis it will cause all sorts of problems. The mission of the Internet Society is preserving an open, globally connected, secure Internet traffic. Unfortunately, the framework does not describe the Internet of today, but that's what we should strive for.

4. Regulation or Self-Regulation?

Peter Koch, DENIC and Marco Hogewoning, RIPE NCC

Peter recalled the EU net neutrality conversation at the Cooperation Working Group in 2016. That year BEREC, the Board of European Regulators for Electronic Communications, worked on their guidelines for the interpretation of the regulation. The regulation mentioned often the fact that Carrier Grade NAT prevents users from providing services under a fixed address. It mentioned IPv6 as well, both as a solution and concerning its unavailability to end users. Some of the assessments of the national regulators concerning the necessity of access to IPv6 might be interesting to the RIPE community. The net neutrality regulation looks at IPv6 from a consumer protection point of view, not from infrastructure or security or market or competition (when it comes to ISP’s ability to survive) angle.

Marco added that at the time people wondered if the net neutrality regulation is the way to motivate IPv6 deployment. He explained European regulators generally follow the mantra “Stimulate when you can, regulate when you must.” Should EU net neutrality regulation should play a role in motivating people to deploy IPv6? First, using regulation means equating IPv4 to IPv6, as according to net neutrality, all traffic flows are equal. If a regulation states that IPv6 must be used in order not to violate net neutrality, where does that leave IPv4? Is an IPv6-only network with NAT64 enough? What about other forms of NAT or other middleware that have impact on performance. The current technology-neutral wording of the regulation might be better. Secondly, we should look at it from an enforcement point of view – how to explain to a judge that not implementing IPv6 is a violation of net neutrality.

Peter added evaluating a potential regulation’s impact on the fundamental properties of the Internet is very much in line with Andre’s talk. He added that enforcing things through regulation creates a compliance culture, which doesn’t always achieve the desired goal. He asked the RIPE community what we can add to bring a broader focus and enhance the understanding at various levels. The report estimates that there is already 25% IPv6 penetration, dismissing access issues. 

Marco added that once we start talking about ways to regulate, the RIPE community, which traditionally advocates self-governance and the multi-stakeholder model, enters difficult waters. Saying regulation is a must implies we admit that self-governance is failing. The best engagement is to give no reason for engagement. If we all deployed IPv6 we wouldn’t be having any conversations about it now.

Peter recommended that we continue the discussion with regulators, while still leaving space for self-regulation and self-governance in the deployment of IPv6. He mentioned that in some cases regulation is not all bad if it provides a level playing field and we should ask the RIPE community if that level playing field is something of interest.

Achilleas mentioned that the EU Commission has also offered financial incentives for deploying IPv6. He encouraged continuing the discussion through blogs and also on the Cooperation WG mailing list.

Alexander encouraged the RIPE community to come together and fight for our interests in order to avoid technically unsound regulation. We need to think of examples of good self-regulation.