Active Resistance against Passive Surveillance

So I complain about a lull in the news about the more-or-less complete compromise of the Internet by the National Security Agency et al, and then this goes and happens.

One of my old standard interview questions for people applying for jobs with some responsibility for information security was “are you paranoid”? When the lighting was good, and my eyes bugged out just right, this could be a little scary. It’s time to retire this question, I think, because the answer would seem to be “no, I am clearly not paranoid enough”, unless the applicant shows up to the interview in a tin-foil hat.

Talk: The Open Internet Under Threat

I’ll be giving a talk to the Internet Society (ISOC) Switzerland Chapter at a meeting in Bern, at 18:30 on Tuesday 27 November, entitled “The Open Internet under Threat”. After my talk, Green National Councillor Balthasar Glättli will speak on Internet-related topics in Swiss national politics, so it promises to be a really interesting evening for Internet geeks and policy wonks alike! 

The End of the Free Pool

ICANN will hold a press conference in Miami on Thursday, presumably announcing the exhaustion of the IANA IPv4 address pool. This is when 102/8, 103/8, 104/8, 179/8, and 185/8 — each a block of 16 million addresses — will be handed out to the regional registries (RIRs), thereby ending the allocation of IPv4 address space at the first level of delegation.

I’m going to go ahead and predict right now that almost every journalist covering this event will get something subtle but essential wrong, and that the result will be fifteen minutes of panic followed by business as usual for everyone except those who understand the minutia of IP address allocation policy until we start seeing pressure at the lower levels of delegation.

As a disclaimer, I’m not actually one of those people who understands the minutia of IP address allocation policy, but you’re reading this on the Internet, so you’ve already proven yourself willing to believe things you read from random people who have no credibility whatsoever, and you certainly can’t do any worse with me than with the thirty-second blurb you might hear about this on your favorite cable news noisebox. So with that in mind, here’s what this actually means: