What's up at RIPE73?

2016-10-21 News

By Monika Ermert, eLance Journalist - The RIPE73 meeting will take place in Madrid on 24-28 October 2016. Here’s a sneak preview of what will be discussed next week.

What administrators can do with their last /22 block of IPv4 addresses - and what they cannot do - is on the RIPE agenda once again. But the first post-IANA-transition meeting in Madrid next week will also look into accountability issues and will include talks on RIPE's relation with other bodies, from the ITU's Study Group 20 (ITU-T SG20) to E3C and cybersecurity issues.

The RIPE community meets in Madrid a short month after the transition of the IANA from US government to a private oversight model. And how did the first month of “independence” feel like? “It felt very much like the previous 24 years”, writes RIPE NCC CEO Axel Pawlik, since there was “no difference operationally”.

At the same time, the organisation heavily involved in all the transition work is certainly taking a deep breath. “We are relieved though that we are spared the political arguments, which would likely have been forthcoming had the transition failed”, Pawlik notes, pointing to address policy as the most important topic in Madrid.

Last edition on the fight over IPv4?

The address policy working group will again try to “fine-tune” IPv4’s last mile policy. After much controversy over what operators can and cannot do with the allocation of their /22 from RIPE's last /8 block, RIPE Board member Remco van Mook has capped some of the sharp rhetoric of the proposal.

But he insists that last-mile restrictions must apply “to all available IPv4 address space held by the RIPE NCC” and that, for example, final /22 allocations must be banned. At the same time, all Local Internet Registries (LIRs) should be reminded “that the LIRs should conserve whole or part of their final /22 allocation for interoperability purposes”. The summary policy document on all things transfers in RIPE, also under discussion in Madrid, would have to be updated if von Mook’s proposal is adopted.

The goodbye to IPv4 remains difficult, so the community is giving itself another 30-minute discussion on the consequences of the end of IPv4 during the Address Policy WG meeting. Measurements of the always glamorous trends on the IPv4 transfers markets will be presented by Ioana Livadariu, Simula Research Laboratory, Norway/Romania.

IPv6, a request from the ITU and for the Internet of Things

IPv6 has its own working group and will take a look at the steps and stats on some IPv6-only deployments (for email and at Microsoft), and the long way ahead to a less IPv4-world, for example in a Research Network like the Portugese RCTS. On a daily-basis, IPv6 accounted for 5% of RCTS’ total traffic on average, with occasional peaks of up to 15%, the RCTS noted in its study from last year.

An update on governments and IPv6 is given in the Cooperation working group on Thursday and both the Cooperation and the IPv6 WGs might want to discuss the liaison request from the ITU-T SG20. The RIPE NCC notified the ITU study group of its “concerns about the scope of the documents referenced in the liaison statement, specifically the draft Recommendation on a ‘Reference Model of IPv6 Subnet Addressing Plan for Internet of Things Deployment’ and the draft Recommendation on a ‘Reference Model of Protocol Suite for IPv6 Interoperable Internet of Things Deployments’. In particular, “the proposed Recommendation on IPv6 subnet addressing” was an issue that “must adhere to the policies set by the respective RIR communities, meaning that any normative specifications on IPv6 addressing should be developed through the open RIR community forums”, RIPE NCC noted. The letter was addressed on 15 October, right before the RIPE73 meeting.

In addition to the “hands off” notice, there seems to be a growing feeling at RIPE that they need to position themselves on IoT (see the BoF session on Thursday).

Cybersecurity and other policy issues

Another organisation that has stepped up its attention for what the RIPE operators do is making a come-back: the European Cyber Crime Center (E3C). Gregory Mounier of EUROPOL, European Cybercrime Centre EC3, will present in both the plenary (“WHOIS Accuracy and Public Safety”, sic!) and in the Anti-Abuse WG. The Abuse WG will also see one of the academic presentations resulting from RIPE's RACI project. Gabi Nakibly from the Israel Institute of Technology will talk on “Website-Targeted False Content Injection by Network Operators”.

There is more on Cybersecurity throughout the RIPE73 programme. For DNS operators, the plenary session devoted to Anycast and its effects on routing and DDoS is a must. In the Tuesday plenary, Annie Edmundson from Princeton will present a study on “transnational routing detours through surveillance states”. In the Cooperation WG, Joanna Kulesza (University of Lodz) will speak about “Cybersecurity Due Diligence – an ISP Perspective”.

Accountability and the RIPE community

Another general topic to be addressed by the RIPE community at RIPE73 will be accountability, dedicating a plenary talk and some discussions to it.

While underlining that the IP operator community were always very much avant-garde with regards to bottom-up self-regulation, it is worth noting that there are important processes that have never been codified, like the election/selection of WG Chairs or the election of the RIPE Chair. RIPE Chair Hans-Petter Holen now has prepared a document on the latter. With the IANA transition now over, there might be some time address some housekeeping issues.