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Strengthening the Internet

Security and trustworthiness are preconditions to the Internet’s use and growth.

Interested in an update on what the Strong Internet Projects have been up to so far in 2020? Watch the recording of our Update Call!

Promoting the Internet way of networking

Both state and market-driven centralization are risks to the decentralized Internet way of networking. Centralization encourages single points of failure and moves away from the open and voluntary set of standards and practices that have sustained the Internet as a source of innovation and economic growth. These systemic risks to the global Internet’s future, and to the Internet Society’s core vision, require a broad and sustained response.

This project will articulate and promote aggressively a positive vision for the decentralized “Internet way of networking.” This encompasses the unchanging properties that describe how the Internet is built and operated, even as technologies and uses evolve.

Our work will include engaging with the Internet Society community, as well as connecting and collaborating with partners and like-minded organizations around the world. We will focus on key regulatory initiatives, which present the greatest risk, and where highlighting ill-considered proposals can most clearly influence regulation and legislation in the future.

Internet Way of Networking

Internet Way of Networking

Securing Global Routing (MANRS)

Ensuring Internet traffic is reliably routed around the world is a critical building block for a trustworthy, global Internet. Based on common network operational practices in place today, the global Internet routing system does not have sufficient security controls to prevent the injection of false routing information, including impersonation of networks.

The Mutually Agreed Norms for Routing Security (MANRS) initiative overcomes this collective problem by establishing a security baseline of concrete actions for network operators. These actions are supported by a growing and visible community of more than 200 networks around the world that have adopted them.

The main work streams for MANRS in 2020 aim to grow the community adopting MANRS, mobilize a broader set of external communities with awareness of MANRS, improve measurement of routing security, build capacity among network engineers, and drive global adoption by conducting tailored outreach that aligns with region-specific routing communities.

Mutually Agreed Norms for Routing Security (MANRS)

Mutually Agreed Norms for Routing Security (MANRS)

Increasing Time Security

Accurate time is essential for the trustworthiness of the Internet. Many general security mechanisms, such as the setup of encrypted channels and digital signature creation and verification, depend on accurate time information. Yet, time information on the Internet is not securely communicated because of flawed technical protocols, a dearth of available implementations and services, and insufficient deployment and operational practices.

This project will stimulate the implementation of secure network time protocols, raise awareness to promote adoption, and build capacity to decrease the cost and risk of deployment. We will work with the relevant partner organizations and communities to evolve the time security specifications, encourage multiple interoperable implementations, and support the analysis of performance and security characteristics of these implementations. We will encourage the automated deployment and successful operation of time security mechanisms and best practices. Additionally, we will measure the state of deployment of time security to track its progress.

Time Security

Time Security

Leading by Example with Open Standards and Protocols

The Internet has been built on open, freely available standards with the Web being one of the most successful and widely adopted ways to use the Internet; however, there is relatively little in terms of functioning, publicly accessible demonstration servers, environments, or documentation that shows clearly how to set up a website using a comprehensive set of the open standards, security settings, and privacy practices supported by the Internet Society.

This project will demonstrate and document the operational details of implementing open standards and best practices for secure web servers, and translate them into easy-to-access and use resources that allow others to do the same. It specifically targets small-to-medium sized organizations and enterprises, which make up a large portion of the web ecosystem but often do not have the resources or expertise available to easily implement the latest open protocols and best practices.

Reference implementations of web servers that reflect the Internet Society’s long-time support of open standards will serve as a resource and model for others. Equally important will be repositories of guides and tutorials in a variety of formats that describe how others may undertake similar deployments. And, to further promote adoption of these approaches, this project anticipates engaging with many communities and channels related to website development.

Open Standards Everywhere

Open Standards Everywhere

Extending Encryption

Effective encryption is key to secure online communications for everything, from financial transactions to healthcare. It is a foundational component upon which a trustworthy Internet is built.

The Internet Society is in a unique position to address the threat to encrypted communications posed by both governments and the private sector. As a trusted technical voice with a deeply connected community, we will bridge the gap between policymakers and the technical community by building and activating a global advocacy movement. In particular, we will articulate a compelling narrative of the dangers of weakening encryption technologies.

As specific threats to encryption arise, we will work with local partners, Special Interest Groups, Chapters, and Organization Members to mitigate them. Proactively, and working with members and partners, we will promote the implementation and use of end-to-end encryption.

Encryption

Encryption

Would you like to get involved in any of our Stronger Internet projects?

Strengthening the Internet News

Call for a Buy European Tech Act
Tech.eu logo
In the News 16 October 2020

Call for a Buy European Tech Act

tech.eu
‘Backdoors to encryption are bad,’ civil society group tells Five Eyes, India, Japan. Again.
MediaNama logo
In the News 14 October 2020

‘Backdoors to encryption are bad,’ civil society group tells Five Eyes, India, Japan. Again.

MediaNama
Coalition Pokes Five Eyes on Call for Backdoors
DarkReading logo
In the News 13 October 2020

Coalition Pokes Five Eyes on Call for Backdoors

DarkReading
Five Eyes renew calls for backdoors in security products
sc-media-logo
In the News 12 October 2020

Five Eyes renew calls for backdoors in security products

SC Media
Africa’s cyber insecurity risk
iAfrikan logo
In the News 12 October 2020

Africa’s cyber insecurity risk

iAfrikan
Amazon’s Latest Gimmicks Are Pushing the Limits of Privacy
wired-magazine
In the News 11 October 2020

Amazon’s Latest Gimmicks Are Pushing the Limits of Privacy

Wired
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Images:

  • Leading image: Nontsokolo Gladys Sigcau of Zenzeleni Networks singing at the 4th annual Summit on Community Networks in Africa at the University of Dodoma, Tanzania on 30 October 2019. © Internet Society / Nyani Quarmyne / Panos Pictures

  • Internet Way of Networking image: AIS 2019 Hackathon, Kigali, Uganda, June 2019. © Internet Society / Victor Ndonnang