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Pervasive Monitoring Is an Attack (RFC7258) Disclosure Number: IPCOM000236725D
Original Publication Date: 2014-May-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2014-May-14
Document File: 12 page(s) / 13K

Publishing Venue

Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)

Related People

S. Farrell: AUTHOR [+2]


The IETF community's technical assessment is that PM is an attack on the privacy of Internet users and organisations. The IETF community has expressed strong agreement that PM is an attack that needs to be mitigated where possible, via the design of protocols that make PM significantly more expensive or infeasible. Pervasive monitoring was discussed at the technical plenary of the November 2013 IETF meeting [IETF88Plenary] and then through extensive exchanges on IETF mailing lists. This document records the IETF community's consensus and establishes the technical nature of PM.

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Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)                        S. Farrell Request for Comments: 7258                        Trinity College Dublin BCP: 188                                                   H. Tschofenig Category: Best Current Practice                                 ARM Ltd. ISSN: 2070-1721                                                 May 2014

                    Pervasive Monitoring Is an Attack


   Pervasive monitoring is a technical attack that should be mitigated    in the design of IETF protocols, where possible.

Status of This Memo

   This memo documents an Internet Best Current Practice.

   This document is a product of the Internet Engineering Task Force    (IETF).  It represents the consensus of the IETF community.  It has    received public review and has been approved for publication by the    Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG).  Further information on    BCPs is available in Section 2 of RFC 5741.

   Information about the current status of this document, any errata,    and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2014 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    ( 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.

Farrell & Tschofenig      Best Current Practice                 [Page 1]
 RFC 7258            Pervasive Monitoring Is an Attack           May 2014

 1.  Pervasive Monitoring Is a Widespread Attack on Privacy

   Pervasive Monitoring (PM) is widespread (and often covert)    surveillance through intrusive gathering of protocol artefacts,    including application content, or protocol metadata such as headers.    Active or passive wiretaps and traffic analysis, (e.g., correlation,    timing or measuring packet sizes), or subverting the cryptographic    keys used to secure protocols can also be used as part of pervasive    monitoring.  PM is distinguished by being indiscriminate and very    large scale, rather than by introducing new types of technical    compromise.

   The IETF community's technical assessment is that PM is an attack on ...