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Technical Considerations for Internet Service Blocking and Filtering (RFC7754)

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000245367D
Original Publication Date: 2016-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2016-Mar-04
Document File: 66 page(s) / 85K

Publishing Venue

Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)

Related People

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.

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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

 Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2016 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the    document authors. ...