August 4th, 2005

IETF Day Four

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Nakayama-sensei from Tokyo University shared a very pleasant story with me this morning.

They runs a popular site called Live Eclipse that keeps track of eclipse schedule. The site also have an Japanese IDN 日食中継.jp which they publise concurrently.

On the last eclipse, 9th April, they have over 2m hits in a single day. The interesting part is 15.8%, or over 400k of the hits comes from the IDN name 日食中継.jp. This is very surprising because the data we have in the past shows very little (less then 1%) utilization of IDN. This maybe the coming of age for IDN :-)

(Please bear in mind that 15.8% resolution is despite the fact that IE still don’t have IDN support – Michel told me it will be in IE 6 beta 2 ie in IE 7 release.)i-am-sorry-for-my-president-small.jpgI also got a t-shirt (see pic on right) today from Pete Risnick (thanks!). It basically say “We are sorry that our President is an idiot. We didn’t vote for him.” (see related) in several language :-) hahahaha.

We all know which president the t-shirt referring to, don’t think it would be a good idea to wear it around in Singapore tho. Especially not right now with the election of the president is going on. ;-)

Today is a slow day – the only meeting that interest me is MASS or basically DKIM which is derived from Yahoo! DomainKey. The goal of DKIM is to provide a mechanism to validate an email comes from the said domain with minimal changes for end-users (ie no client upgrades) (with the hope of cos, to provide a tool against spam and phishing).

The problem is that identification technology != antispam or antiphishing (See my previous post). A technical study by the security area comes to the same conclusion. As such, people concern that (1) DKIM may promise to solve a problem it cannot hope to solve (2) the damage DKIM may bring to the email system esp. with uncertain benefits.

All these are valid concerns. However, in my opinion, while DKIM may not be the silver bullet to solve spam problem, the ability to authenticate email is a piece of the puzzle. More generally, forgery is a bad thing and anything we can deploy to reduce it is a good thing. So regardless whether it can actually stop spam or phishing, we should proceed with it.

(btw, my nitpick on the DKIM is the lack of attention on IDN. And it may also affects our work on Internationalized eMail Address.)

Anyway, after two hours, a little progress was made and looks like a working group wont be charter until Yahoo publishes their Intellectual Property statement on DomainKey (the only IPR known related to DKIM) in Sept.

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