Freedom on the Internet and why every NREN should care
Keywords: Internet Freedom, Ethics, Innovation, Internet Governance, NRENs
Freedom is not something that is comes naturally. It is something one has to fight for, sometimes literally. Online this is no different. The almost unlimited freedom that the Internet seems to offer is under constant threat. We do have to fight to keep the Internet open, accessible and trustworthy. This is a prerequisite for researchers, students, scholars and teachers all over the world and Universities and research networks (NRENs) have a responsibility in this.
The current Internet supports what Vint Cerf calls: permissionless Innovation. This innovation is organized in a multitude of ways depending on whether we look at infrastructure, services, devices or apps. The combination of opportunities in each of these allows for almost unlimited innovation freedom.
Still it is not just positive news on the Internet, with respect to freedom. That very freedom is under multiple threats. Commercial companies threaten it by invading our privacy. Criminals threaten it by stealing identities. Governments threaten it by limiting our access or by using it for spying on us. These threats affect how we (can) use the Internet.
Such issues need to be taken seriously to preserve the freedom on the Internet. This requires that we re-invent Internet Governance on a global scale. The discussions on the new Internet governance have been accelerated by the Snowden revelations and more recently the threat by the US Government to take back the IANA contract.
It is important for NRENs to be aware of the Internet governance discussions and to be aware of the on-going process in this matter. NRENs should participate more in the relevant Internet Governance fora (such as IETF, IGF, ICANN) to assure that the interest of NRENs are well represented. This requires involvement in debates on safety, surveillance, privacy etc. Not issues that are top-of-mind for most NRENs. However a wrong outcome of those discussions could severely impact the effectiveness of NRENs globally.
Erik Huizer is CTO at SURFnet, the Dutch national academic and research network. He is currently the acting CEO for GÉANT, Europe's leading collaboration on e-infrastructure and services for research and education.
For over 30 years he has been involved in education and research networking, Internet standardization and Internet governance. For his contributions to the Internet he has been inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame in 2014.
In 2015 he was honored with the title of Dutch ICT personality of the year.
Until 2015 he served as part-time professor Internet Applications at University of Utrecht. He remains a research associate at this university.
He has been teaching at various developing countries workshops on Internet policy and technology. He is a TEDx speaker.
Next Generation Distributed Environments for Global Science Research: Services, Architecture, and Technologies
International Center for Advanced Internet Research
Twenty first century scientists are encountering unprecedented opportunities as well as deeply complex challenges as they increasingly utilize new knowledge discovery techniques based on exploring hidden patterns in exabytes of globally distributed data. Scientific data generation is growing exponentially, and this growth will further accelerate as new major instrumentation is implemented. At the same time, new, highly sophisticated analytic techniques for big data based investigations are being created. The challenges that arise from this global scale research are being addressed through the creation of powerful, innovative globally distributed computational science platforms, such as the Global Research Platform (GRP). These platforms provide next generation services. architecture, techniques, and technologies for world-wide data intensive scientific research. These platforms provide exceptional suport for caputuring, managing, indexing, analyzing, storing, sharing, visualizing and transporting exescale data. The innovations being developed for these platforms include those related to heterogeneity, virtualization, segmentation, open infrastructure, orchestration,sliceability, multi-level resource abstraction and programmability, granulated customization, fluid data distribution, and AI/Deep Learning.
Joe Mambretti is Director of the International Center for Advanced Internet Research at Northwestern University, which is developing digital communications for the 21st Century. The Center, which was created in partnership with a number of major high tech corporations, designs and implements large scale services and infrastructure for data intensive applications (metro, regional, national, and global). He is also Director of the Metropolitan Research and Education Network (MREN), an advanced high-performance network interlinking organization providing services in seven upper-midwest states. With its research partners, iCAIR has established multiple major national and international network research testbeds, which are used to develop new architecture and technology for dynamically provisioned communication services and networks, including those based on lightpath switching and high performance 100 Gbps paths. He is also Director of the StarLight International/National Communications Exchange Facility in Chicago, based on leading-edge optical technologies, the PI for a National Science Foundation (NSF) project developing an international Software Defined Network Exchange (SDX), the PI of the NSF-funded International Global Environment for Network Innovations (iGENI), PI of NSF funded StarWave, a multi-100 Gbps communications exchange facility, the PI of several research projects directed at creating 100 Gbps services, network testbeds, and facilities, the PIs of multiple national and international testbed networks, the PI of an initiative NSF funded GENI project that developed the world’s first Software Defined Networking Exchange (SDX) prototype, and co-PI of the Chameleon NSFCloud testbed. He is the author of multiple published scholarly articles and the co-editor of “Grid Networks: Enabling Grids With Advanced Communications Technology,” published by Wiley.