Denver, CO (Sept. 21 2011): The Broadband Internet Technical Advisory Group (“BITAG”), an organization created to develop consensus on broadband network management practices and other related technical issues that can affect users’ Internet experience, is pleased to announce the completion of its first Technical Review and publication of its first Technical Report, on the subject of DNS Whitelisting. The Report can be found on the main page of the website at www.bitag.org.
DNS Whitelisting is intended as a means to smooth the global transition of Internet addressing from IPv4 to IPv6, to enable domains to gradually add IPv6 traffic, and/or to protect users from IPv6-related technical impairments. In DNS Whitelisting, Internet web sites or domains selectively return IPv6-related resource names from Domain Name System (“DNS”) servers. The authoritative server hands out different answers depending upon who is asking; for networks on the whitelist, requesters receive IPv4 and IPv6 DNS records, and for those not on the whitelist, requesters receive only IPv4 DNS records. This practice can have the effect of disabling a network (and as a consequence that network’s users) from accessing the domain’s content over IPv6.
The possibility has been raised that the practice of whitelisting could be abused to accomplish non-technical objectives that could be viewed by some as anti-competitive, discriminatory, or violative of some other public policy objective.
Dale Hatfield chaired the Whitelisting Review, and Jason Livingood, Executive Director of Internet Systems Engineering at Comcast and a Member of the Board of Trustees of the Internet Society (ISOC), was the lead editor of the Report.
About BITAG. BITAG is a non-profit, multi-stakeholder organization focused on bringing together engineers and technologists in a Technical Working Group (TWG) to develop consensus on broadband network management practices and other related technical issues that can affect users’ Internet experience, including the impact to and from applications, content and devices that utilize the Internet.
BITAG’s mission includes: (a) educating policymakers on such technical issues; (b) addressing specific technical matters in an effort to minimize related policy disputes; and (c) serving as a sounding board for new ideas and network management practices. Specific TWG functions also may include: (i) identifying “best practices” by broadband providers and other entities; (ii) interpreting and applying “safe harbor” practices; (iii) otherwise providing technical guidance to industry and to the public; and/or (iv) issuing advisory opinions on the technical issues germane to the TWG’s mission that may underlie disputes concerning broadband network management practices.
BITAG TWG reports focus primarily on technical issues. While the reports may touch on a broad range of questions associated with a particular network management practice, the reports are not intended to address or analyze in a comprehensive fashion the economic, legal, regulatory or public policy issues that the practice may raise.
About BITAG’s Technical Review Process. BITAG’s core substantive work is performed through its Technical Working Group (TWG), which was formed with the core principles of being: technically driven, balanced, open, efficient, independent, and flexible. The TWG reviews technical issues brought to it through Review Requests submitted by both Members and non-Members, or through a majority weighted vote of the TWG engineers themselves. Each individual Review is taken up by a Committee of the TWG that is composed of engineers and other technical folks representing a broad cross section of the Internet ecosystem. TWG Committees generally operate on a consensus basis, with backstop weighted voting procedures so that when consensus cannot be achieved, each Member category has an equal say in the work product regardless of the composition of the Committee. Finally, BITAG was structured to work as expeditiously as possible, with each Committee operating under a 120-day “shot clock” to complete the respective Review and attendant technical report.
BITAG welcomes any questions, comments or suggestions. Please contact our Executive Director, Dale Hatfield, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or our Program Director, Kaleb A. Sieh, at email@example.com. Also, for additional information please see our website at www.bitag.org.