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10 Aug 2017

Supporting new DNS RR types with dnsextlang, Part II Internet
Yesterday's
article introduced my DNS extension language, intended to make it easier to add new DNS record types to DNS software. It described a new perl module Net::DNS::Extlang that uses the extension language to automatically create perl code to handle new RRTYPEs. Today we look at my second project, intended to let people create DNS records and zone files with new RRTYPEs.

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posted at: 19:17 :: permanent link to this entry :: 0 comments
Stable link is https://jl.ly/Internet/extlang2.html

08 Aug 2017

Supporting new DNS RR types with dnsextlang, Part I Internet

The Domain Name System has always been intended to be extensible. The original spec in the 1980s had about a dozen resource record types (RRTYPEs), and since then people have invented many more so now there are about 65 different RRTYPEs. But if you look at most DNS zones, you'll only see a handful of types, NS, A, AAAA, MX, TXT, and maybe SRV. Why? A lot of the other types are arcane or obsolete, but there are plenty that are useful. Moreover, new designs like DKIM, DMARC, and notorously SPF have reused TXT records rather than defining new types of their own. Why? It's the provisioning crudware.

While DNS server software is regularly updated to handle new RRTYPEs, the web based packages that most people have to use to manage their DNS is almost never updated, and usually handles only a small set of RRTYPEs. This struck me as unfortunate, so I defined a DNS extension language that provisioning sytems can use to look up the syntax of new RRTYPEs, so when a new type is created, only the syntax tables have to be updated, not the software. Paul Vixie had the clever idea to store the tables in the DNS itself (in TXT records of course), so after a one-time upgrade to your configuration software, new RRTYPEs work automagically when their description is added to the DNS.

The
Internet draft that describes this has been kicking around for six years, but with support from ICANN (thanks!) I wrote some libraries and a sample application that implement it.

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posted at: 23:15 :: permanent link to this entry :: 0 comments
Stable link is https://jl.ly/Internet/extlang.html

17 May 2017

Registered your DMCA contact address yet? Internet

It is not much of an exaggeration to say that the Digital Millenium Copyright Act of 1998 makes the Internet as we know it possible. The DMCA created a safe harbor that protects online service providers from copyright suits so long as the follow the DMCA rules.

One of the rules is that the provider has to register with the Copyright Office, to designate an agent to whom copyright complaints can be sent. The original process was rather klunky, send in a paper form that they scan into their database, along with a check. This year there is a new online systems, and as of December they will no longer provide the old paper database. So if you are a provider (run web servers, for example) and want to take advantage of the safe harbor, you have to register or re-register.

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posted at: 23:50 :: permanent link to this entry :: 0 comments
Stable link is https://jl.ly/Internet/dmcareg.html

13 Apr 2017

M3AAWG Offers some Sensible Password Advice Internet
M3AAWG is a trade association that brings together ISPs, hosting providers, bulk mailers, and a lot of infrastructure vendors to discuss messaging abuse, malware, and mobile abuse. (Those comprise the M3.) One of the things they do is publish best practice documents for network and mail operators, including two recently published, one on
Password Recommendations for Account Providers, and another on Password Managers Usage Recommendations. Since I'm one of M3's senior technical advisers, I helped write them, but I think they're pretty good anyway.

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posted at: 23:42 :: permanent link to this entry :: 0 comments
Stable link is https://jl.ly/Internet/maawgpwd.html

01 Apr 2017

Human rights and regular Internet users Internet

Human rights are a topic that came up several times at the IETF meeting that just ended. There's a Human Rights Research Group that had a session with a bunch of short presentations, and the featured two talks at the plenary asking Can Internet Protocols Affect Human Rights? The second one, by David Clark of MIT was particularly good, talking about "tussle" and how one has to design for it or else people will work around you. You can watch it here.

Although his talk was a lot better than most of the human rights stuff I've heard in technical fora, the rest of the discussion had the same old problem: true believers obsessing about a very narrow set of issues.

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posted at: 18:45 :: permanent link to this entry :: 0 comments
Stable link is https://jl.ly/Internet/userrights.html

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