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Ca*net 4 Plans Customer Control of Lambdas

Regional Nets, Universities and Researchers to Be Able to Establish Wavelength Peering via Specially Tailored Switches

Making Telecom a Customer Owned Asset May Create Favorable Impact on What Appears To Be Surplus Fiber Infrastructure

New Tools May Enable Users to Solve Trust Problems & Build Communities

pp. 1 - 18

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Introduction

While we still have a global Internet and probably always will -- (at least in the sense of something defined as mail and web servers connected via DNS to the ICANN legacy root), it is now clear that technology is taking us far beyond this initial two dimensional Internet. It is giving us the ability to establish our own networks that may or may not be directly attached to the global internet.

We may now network all manner of devices running TCP/IP. As a result of this new ability, we will begin to create new, locally originating networks that grow and shrink on a dynamic ever changing basis in sync with the needs of those behind them. With access to wireless spread spectrum 802.11b devices and before long with access to wavelengths that are becoming more and more affordable, we will increasingly begin to build own physical networks.

However, with other technologies located at the content layer of the network, we can also use TCP/IP to set up and tear down inter-networked subsets of communications, along with communities of interests and content based on those interests. For some of us the global legacy Internet is now about to become a myriad of tribalized mini-internets. Many people may begin to drift in and out of these communities, using them like the UseNet of old to connect to others with whom they wish to do business. While the legacy Internet will capture the vast majority of available 'eyeballs' for the foreseeable future, we predict that many people will begin to spend portions of their time attached to all of these networks.

Larry Lessig bemoans (in his new book reviewed in this issue) the corporate propelled movement to "enclose" the Internet by means of walled gardens and other restrictions of expansively defined intellectual property. While this movement continues to press forward, we predict that there will be groups of people unable to do what they want within the realms of the old technology who will begin to experiment with new ways of communication.

The Canadians have a vision that has been lost in the free market purity of the United States' political environment. Consider the theme of the CANARIE's 7th Annual Advanced Networks Workshop being held this week in Toronto.

"Following the recent release of the National Broadband Task Force report, there is increased awareness that a national broadband infrastructure serving all Canadian communities will be critical to Canada's ability to innovate. Information technology infrastructure will be one of the most important vehicles for promoting innovation and improving Canada's productivity, leading to increased wealth and economic growth.

Community broadband networks, provincial networking initiatives and national research backbone networks, are all part of the same continuum of providing a national innovation infrastructure.

In the future, research, education and innovation will not be solely a product of universities and research centers. A national innovation infrastructure will allow all Canadians in our schools, communities and businesses, no matter how remote or how distant, to be full participants in developing and using innovative applications and services.

New concepts involving "grids" and "eScience" are coming to assume greater importance in many branches of science. Some of this work could allow students in our schools, and eventually members of the public, to participate in basic research that otherwise they could only read about, thereby engaging them directly in Canada's "innovation culture." See also : http://www.canarie.ca/advnet/workshop_2001/agenda.html

CA*net 4 is to be built in part on the premise that with huge amounts of fiber laid and very large amounts lit but still not fully utilized direct control of actual bandwidth can, for the first time, be placed into the hands of customers and then end users. According to Bill St. Arnaud: "Today networking is like computing was 40 years ago when the market was dominated by large mainframe computers. But in the 1970s the mini-computer came along followed by the PC which fundamentally changed our thinking of how to do computing. Computing became personal. The user was empowered to develop new applications and services that were not possible on a mainframe computer. With CA*net 4 we hope to move networking in the same direction as computing has gone in the last 30 years." Arnaud wants to turn the network itself into a customer owned and controlled asset.

"From day one we will be assigning ownership and control of individual wavelengths or STS channels to the GigaPOPs, universities and perhaps even individual researchers. They will be free to trade and swap amongst themselves and do what ever they want with those wavelengths. From day one we will also encourage these organizations to directly peer with each other and other international research networks using these wavelengths. But, initially the BGP optical peering will be done manually. Once OBGP is successfully implemented, it will allow theses organizations to automatically change the routing of the wavelengths and peering relationships without first contacting CANARIE. So rather than operating a traditional hierarchical IP network as many other research networks do today, CANARIE will only offer an aggregate IP network as an optional service for those organizations that don¹t need their own wavelengths."

When we asked his thoughts about the ways in which CA*net 4 might help the Internet build a viable business model for life after the current down turn, he replied: "I think the business and architecture model of the future will be of control and management moving increasingly closer to the edge, not only of the in terms of applications, but also in terms of control over the infrastructure. I think that one of the drivers for this will be as a consequence of the issues that of Larry Lessig has raised where content and distribution companies are trying to exert control over the Internet infrastructure to protect their intellectual property interests. Decentralization and minimizing control at the center will help thwart these challenges. We are already working on concepts with our industry and research partners to extend this concept of customer control of wavelengths all the way to the individual home. . . . .

In the future we see a physical network infrastructure that closely parallels Morpheus and other peer to peer networking paradigms. The end user will have a choice of whether they wish to subscribe any number of "walled garden" service providers. Or they may chose to physically connect to community networks to share files and data with high speed Gigabit wavelengths bypassing all traditional hierarchical service providers.

A lot of these concepts are still very speculative and unproven at this point in time. But what it does point out - is the critical role that research and education networks still play in the ongoing development of the Internet. . . . . Most importantly research and education networks will continue to play an absolutely critical role in exploring new concepts in networking which initially may appear very radical to the traditional telecom world.

Trust as Qualified Reliance on Information

by

Ed Gerck, pp 19 - 24

The trust definition and issues raised in Ed Gerck's essay have been discussed online since 1997 in several technical groups including the MCG and IETF's PKIX lists, and have also been presented in books and essays. Detailed and in-depth online discussions among the experts, as well as practical applications, have helped Gerck evolve and test these concepts over time. What has been missing is a summary and clarification of the arguments. This is what we present in the article on pages 19 - 24 of this issue.

Trust is a word that is commonly applied to many situations and consequently has many shades of meaning. This essay by Ed Gerck focuses on one precise set of coherent meanings: the concept of trust in the context of communication. More specifically, in the context of the engineering problem of Internet communications. Gerck defines trust as "that which is essential to a communication channel but cannot be transferred from a source to a destination using that channel." Thus, trust is considered something essentially communicable, but with specific rules for its communication. For example, self-assertions cannot induce trust. Client-server communication is not enough to induce trust. Gerck demonstrates why trust is needed and shows the interplay between trust and power. His exposition also discusses the induction (communication) of trust in heterogeneous environments, from human to machine, machine to machine, and machine to human.

The Future of Ideas

The Fate of the Commons in a Connected World

by Lawrence Lessig ­ A review, pp. 25 - 31

Lessig's book explains why and how corporate America has brought the seemingly uncontrollable Internet under its control. It was too successful and too ripe a target for ots own good. Turned commercial and subject to tremendous hype as the engine of and means for commerce for the 21st century, the Internet quickly became a strategic corporate target for the telecom, computing and media and content sectors. It was seen as the next great source of wealth and power. As such it had to be exploited and controlled.

Lessig "My central claim throughout [this book] is that there is a benefit to resources held in common and that the Internet is the best evidence of that benefit. As we will see the Internet forms an innovation commons. It forms this commons not just through norms but also through a specific technical architecture. The Net of these norms and this architecture is a space where creativity can flourish. Yet so blind are we to the possible value of a commons that we don¹t even notice the commons that the Internet is. And, in turn, this blindness leads us to ignore changes to the norms and architecture of the Net that weaken this commons. There is a tragedy of the commons that we will identify here; it is the tragedy of losing the innovation commons that the Internet is, through the changes that are being rendered on top," [Lessig, p. 23]

Here is his own description of the task he sets: "Changes threaten the power of those now in power; they will work in turn to protect themselves from the changes. In the balance of this book, I want to detail their work to change the Internet, and the legal culture surrounding it, to better protect themselves. Some of these changes are legal; some are technical; and some use the power of the market. But all are driven by the desire to assure that this revolution doesn't muck things up-for them. There's nothing immoral in this desire. This is not a battle between good and evil. Stockholders demand that management maximize its income; we shouldn't expect management to do anything different. But, even if this is "only business" to them, this does not mean it should be "just business" for us. [p. 146.]

Lessig summarizes with scholarly detail the war waged by the interests of corporate control on behalf of corporate profits against the physical , logical and content layers of the Internet. His conclusions are steeped in pessimism and anger. In our opinion he expressed them even more forcefully in a paper at a November 9-11 2001, Duke University Law School symposium. "If communism vs. capitalism was the struggle of the 20 th century, then control vs. freedom will be the debate of the 21 st century. If our question then was how best to control, our question now will become whether to control. What would a free resource give us that controlled resources don¹t? What is the value in avoiding systems of control?" [p. 178]

"We allow these changes, they don't just happen. We stand back as they occur, they don't happen in the night. We let them occur because most of us believe they should; control is good, better control is better, these systems of control are ways to make sure the better comes from the good. It is an attitude and blindness and a pathetic resignation that permits this change. So enamored we are with the invisible hand, so convinced we are of the genius of property, so blind we are to what makes innovation possible, that we allow the undoing of the most significant chance for something different that we have ever seen." [p. 190]

ICANN Annual Meeting Security Sideshow Fails to Upstage Completely the Nasty Question of an At-Large Membership,

pp. 31 -32

An article from ICB Toll Free news summaries the latest series of contortions by ICANN's leaders to explain why ICANN's secretive intellectual property cadre cannot afford to keep promises made to Congress by the likes of Esther Dyson and others. The sad and dismal on going story of the self-selected elete that pretends it still has a mission critical to the stability of the internet.

Interview/Article Highlights, pp. 33 - 38

Executive Summary, pp. 38 - 41

The United Kingdom Has its Own Local Loop Problem, pp. 41 ­42