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This program provides a forum to develop, synthesize and promote security and privacy guidance within the Internet technical standards community. While security and privacy have been each been explicitly and implicitly considered during the design of Internet protocols, there are three major challenges which face the community:
- most Internet protocols are developed as building blocks which may be used in a variety of situations. This means that the security and privacy protections each protocol provides are also necessarily piecemeal and that default requirements for use are commonly either missing or ill-understood.
- many security approaches have presumed that attackers have resources on par with those available to those secure the system. Pervasive monitoring, distributed networks of compromised machines, and the availability of cloud computing each challenge those assumptions.
- many systems breach the confidentiality of individuals' communication or request more than the minimally appropriate data from that communication in order to simplify the delivery of services or meet other requirements. When other design considerations contend with privacy considerations, privacy has historically lost.
This program seeks to consolidate, generalize, and expand understanding of Internet-scale system design considerations for privacy and security; to raise broad awareness of the changing threat models and their impact on the properties of Internet protocols; and to champion the value of privacy to users of the Internet and, through that value, as a contributor to the network effect for the Internet.