Current Hostname Practice Considered Harmful

The information below is for an old version of the document
Document Type Expired Internet-Draft (intarea WG)
Authors Christian Huitema  , Dave Thaler 
Last updated 2016-04-15 (latest revision 2015-10-13)
Stream Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)
Expired & archived
pdf htmlized bibtex
Additional Resources
- Mailing list discussion
Stream WG state WG Document
Document shepherd No shepherd assigned
IESG IESG state Expired
Consensus Boilerplate Unknown
Telechat date
Responsible AD (None)
Send notices to (None)

This Internet-Draft is no longer active. A copy of the expired Internet-Draft can be found at


Giving a hostname to your computer and publishing it as you roam from network to hot spot is the Internet equivalent of walking around with a name tag affixed to your lapel. The practice can significantly compromise your privacy, and should stop. There are several possible remedies, such as fixing a variety of protocols or avoiding disclosing a hostname at all. This document studies another possible remedy, which is to replace the static hostnames by frequently changing randomized values. This idea obviously needs more work.


Christian Huitema (
Dave Thaler (

(Note: The e-mail addresses provided for the authors of this Internet-Draft may no longer be valid.)