Principles for the Involvement of Intermediaries in Internet Protocols
draft-thomson-tmi-00

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Author Martin Thomson 
Last updated 2020-07-12
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Network Working Group                                         M. Thomson
Internet-Draft                                                   Mozilla
Intended status: Informational                              13 July 2020
Expires: 14 January 2021

 Principles for the Involvement of Intermediaries in Internet Protocols
                          draft-thomson-tmi-00

Abstract

   This document proposes a set of principles for designing protocols
   with rules for intermediaries.  The goal of these principles is to
   limit the ways in which intermediaries can produce undesirable
   effects and to protect the useful functions that intermediaries
   legitimately provide.

Discussion Venues

   This note is to be removed before publishing as an RFC.

   Discussion of this document takes place on the IAB Model-T list
   (modelt@iab.org), which is archived at
   https://mailarchive.ietf.org/arch/browse/model-t/
   (https://mailarchive.ietf.org/arch/browse/model-t/).

   Source for this draft and an issue tracker can be found at
   https://github.com/martinthomson/tmi
   (https://github.com/martinthomson/tmi).

Status of This Memo

   This Internet-Draft is submitted in full conformance with the
   provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79.

   Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
   Task Force (IETF).  Note that other groups may also distribute
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   Drafts is at https://datatracker.ietf.org/drafts/current/.

   Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six months
   and may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other documents at any
   time.  It is inappropriate to use Internet-Drafts as reference
   material or to cite them other than as "work in progress."

   This Internet-Draft will expire on 14 January 2021.

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Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2020 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents (https://trustee.ietf.org/
   license-info) in effect on the date of publication of this document.
   Please review these documents carefully, as they describe your rights
   and restrictions with respect to this document.  Code Components
   extracted from this document must include Simplified BSD License text
   as described in Section 4.e of the Trust Legal Provisions and are
   provided without warranty as described in the Simplified BSD License.

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2
   2.  What is Meant by Intermediary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
   3.  Intermediation Is Essential . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
   4.  Intermediation Is Useful  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
   5.  Intermediation Enables Scaling Of Control . . . . . . . . . .   5
   6.  Incentive Misalignment at Scale . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
   7.  Forced and Unwanted Intermediation  . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
   8.  Contention over Intermediation  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
   9.  Proposed Principles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
     9.1.  Prefer Services to Intermediaries . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
     9.2.  Deliberately Select Protocol Participants . . . . . . . .   9
     9.3.  Limit Capabilities of Intermediaries  . . . . . . . . . .   9
       9.3.1.  Limit Information Exposure  . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
       9.3.2.  Limit Permitted Interactions  . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
       9.3.3.  Costs of Technical Constraints  . . . . . . . . . . .  11
   10. Applying Non-Technical Constraints  . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11
   11. The Effect on Existing Practices  . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11
   12. Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  12
   13. IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  13
   14. Informative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  13
   Appendix A.  Acknowledgments  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  16
   Author's Address  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  16

1.  Introduction

   The Internet owes much of its success to its application of the end-
   to-end principle [E2E].  The realization that efficiency is best
   served by moving higher-level functions to endpoints is a key insight
   in system design, but also a key element of the success of the
   Internet.

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   This does not mean that the Internet avoids a relying on functions
   provided by entities in the network.  While the principle establishes
   that some functions are best provided by endsystems, this does not
   exclude all intermediary functions.  Some level of function in the
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