[ Policy Updates and Analysis from the Internet Standards World
[ Provided by
[ The Center for Democracy & Technology's
[ Internet Standards, Technology, and Policy Project
Welcome to the first issue of the Standards Bulletin, a new publication from CDT's Internet Standards, Technology, & Policy Project.
Internet technical standards have a major impact on the Internet's uses and its future development, with broad implications for public policy and individual activities. Public awareness of and input into technical decision-making are needed to ensure that the Internet in its future evolution will continue to offer the freedom and empowerment we now enjoy. Public policy makers and policy advocates need to be more familiar with the development of Internet standards and the issues they bring to the fore.
Every six to eight weeks, the Standards Bulletin will provide updates and analysis about the organizations that design those standards and make other important technical decisions for the Internet, such as the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Our goal is to provide the public interest community with an introduction to the standards world, identify and track emerging issues, and raise familiarity with the often complex process of standards development.
Along with this Standards Bulletin, we are also pleased to be launching our Standards Project website, at http://www.cdt.org/standards/. This site contains news and alerts about public policy issues in the standards world, background information on the leading standards bodies, and information on the Standards Project. Over the coming months, we hope that the web site evolves into a very useful resource on public policy and the standards processes. We welcome any input from the community on these and other efforts to facilitate an end-user voice in standards development.
John B. Morris
Director, Internet Standards, Technology, and Policy Project of the Center for Democracy & Technology
A new working group at the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) is addressing serious issues concerning the privacy of sensitive "location" information used in a variety of emerging technologies. As new technologies expand wireless access to the Internet, a huge array of location-based services are in the works. Along with consumer uses, such services can provide increased security and enhanced emergency services. There are also on-going projects aimed at providing (or in some cases limiting) services and content based on the location of users with stationary Internet access.
Significant privacy and security concerns are raised by these location-based services. Although many location-based services will be optional and fully user-controlled, in some cases users will have little choice but to reveal sensitive location information. Even with user-approved services, there is a significant need to protect and limit the dissemination of location information.
In mid-2001, in recognition of the serious privacy and security issues raised by location based services, the Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG) of IETF decided to establish the "GEOPRIV" working group for the purpose of designing to protect the privacy of location information. As defined by its charter, the mission of the working group is to assess the
authorization, integrity and privacy requirements that must be met in order to transfer [location] information, or authorize the release or representation of such information through an agent.
In essence, the working group will create a specific format for the expression of location privacy and security preferences. The way those preferences are expressed and enforced will likely have a broad impact on user privacy and control. Although this effort has similarities to the P3P protocol of the World Wide Web Consortium, it will be tailored to some unique characteristics of location information. Critically, the new platform is expected to include default privacy requirements to be applied in the absence of any privacy rules created by a user.
The CDT Standards Project has been actively involved in the GEOPRIV working group since its first meeting in August 2001:
Following the July meeting, the Standards Project will continue to provide updates on the progress of the GEOPRIV working group effort. Under its current charter, the work of GEOPRIV is not expected to be completed until early 2003.
For more information:
GEOPRIV Charter: http://www.ietf.org/html.charters/geopriv-charter.html
"Framework for Location Computation Scenarios," Internet-Draft, November 2001: http://www.cdt.org/standards/draft-morris-geopriv-scenarios-00.txt (original text format), http://www.cdt.org/standards/draft-morris-geopriv-scenarios-00.pdf (PDF format)
"GEOPRIV Requirements," Internet-Draft, April 2002: http://www.ietf.org/internet-drafts/draft-cuellar-geopriv-reqs-02.txt (original text format), http://www.cdt.org/standards/draft-cuellar-geopriv-reqs02.pdf (PDF format)
considerationsdocument, the IAB recognized the importance of notice and consent when such systems are used, so that possible negative impacts are minimized. In an upcoming Standards Bulletin, we will provide an in-depth analysis of OPES.
CDT's original comments on OPES are at http://www.imc.org/ietf-openproxy/mail-archive/msg00828.html. The IAB's analysis of OPES is at http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc3238.txt. The charter of the OPES working group is at http://www.ietf.org/html.charters/opes-charter.html. The home page of the OPES working group is at http://www.ietf-opes.org/.
The Agenda and discussion of CRISP BOF can be found at http://www.ietf.org/ietf/02mar/crisp.txt.
The Charter of the IEPREP working group can be found at http://www.ietf.org/html.charters/ieprep-charter.html.
The home page of the W3C Patent Policy Working Group can be found at http://www.w3.org/2001/ppwg/.
The home page of IETF-54 home page can be found at http://www.ietf.org/meetings/IETF-54.html.
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Detailed information about online civil liberties issues may be found at http://www.cdt.org/, and more information about Internet standards and public policy can be found at http://www.cdt.org/standards/.
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Standards Bulletin 1.01 Copyright 2002 Center for Democracy and Technology