Technical Considerations for Internet Service Blocking and Filtering (RFC7754)
Original Publication Date: 2016-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2016-Mar-04
Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)
R. Barnes: AUTHOR [+5]
The original design goal of the Internet was to enable communications between hosts. As this goal was met and people started using the Internet to communicate, however, it became apparent that some hosts were engaging in communications that were viewed as undesirable by certain parties. The most famous early example of undesirable communications was the Morris worm [Morris], which used the Internet to infect many hosts in 1988. As the Internet has evolved into a rich communications medium, so too have mechanisms to restrict communications viewed as undesirable, ranging from acceptable use policies enforced through informal channels to technical blocking mechanisms.
Internet Architecture Board (IAB) R. Barnes Request for Comments: 7754 A. Cooper Category: Informational O. Kolkman ISSN: 2070-1721 D. Thaler E. Nordmark March 2016
Technical Considerations for Internet Service Blocking and Filtering
The Internet is structured to be an open communications medium. This
openness is one of the key underpinnings of Internet innovation, but
it can also allow communications that may be viewed as undesirable by
certain parties. Thus, as the Internet has grown, so have mechanisms
to limit the extent and impact of abusive or objectionable
communications. Recently, there has been an increasing emphasis on
"blocking" and "filtering", the active prevention of such
communications. This document examines several technical approaches
to Internet blocking and filtering in terms of their alignment with
the overall Internet architecture. When it is possible to do so, the
approach to blocking and filtering that is most coherent with the
Internet architecture is to inform endpoints about potentially
undesirable services, so that the communicants can avoid engaging in
abusive or objectionable communications. We observe that certain
filtering and blocking approaches can cause unintended consequences
to third parties, and we discuss the limits of efficacy of various
Status of This Memo
This document is not an Internet Standards Track specification; it is published for informational purposes.
This document is a product of the Internet Architecture Board (IAB) and represents information that the IAB has deemed valuable to provide for permanent record. It represents the consensus of the Internet Architecture Board (IAB). Documents approved for publication by the IAB are not a candidate for any level of Internet Standard; see 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 http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc7754.
Barnes, et al. Informational [Page 1]
RFC 7754 Blocking and Filtering Considerations March 2016
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