Initiating trustworthiness

May 09 2018

According to The NGI Study draft final report, the universal "neutrality principal" that lies at the heart of the Internet allows everyone to use the Internet to its full potential without holding back. It is essential for democratic ownership of the digital society. It can be achieved only with the use of trustworthy technologies that can be relied upon by all users of the Internet. This can be done by the identification and deprecating existing non-trustworthy elements and creating new trustworthy components. This requires applying severe scrutiny to key 'commodity' protocols and widespread implementations. The core networking components need to be clean without defects or backdoors. The built-in security of core networking components may be the only line of defence for many applications and services on top of the network.

For now, especially in case of critical or vulnerable applications, the security and integrity of the network should not be treated as axiomatic and additional measures need to be taken with the costs and additional efforts associated. This way the NGI will help to create security transparency, meaning that users will be able to adequately grasp their overall security situation. The amount of suspect technologies we cannot avoid to rely on ultimately needs to be reduced to zero. This is a very significant but unavoidable task if future contamination is to be prevented. It requires a structured long-term approach where step by step core technologies are either proven to be secure (possibly after improvements) and can remain in use, or are replaced with better solutions. The urgency of this effort cannot be overestimated, given the high economic and social stakes. The end result should be a growing set of essential internet technologies which can be fully trusted as building blocks for any purpose.

The list of reliable (best practise) technologies should be actively maintained during the NGI. This is considered a pivotal aspect of the NGI initiative. This will help NGI to significantly improve security transparency, which means that users will have better understanding of their overall security situation on the Internet.

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