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Mutually Agreed Norms for Routing Security (MANRS) Strengthening the Internet

Meet the MANRS Ambassadors

We’ve appointed four MANRS ambassadors in the areas of training, research, and policy. We’re excited to welcome Anirban Datta, Flavio Luciani, Boris Mimeur, and Sanjeev Gupta to the program, and can’t wait to benefit from their input and expertise.

Ambassadors are representatives from current MANRS participant organizations who provide mentorship, guidance, and feedback to others in the routing security community. With their wealth of experience and knowledge – and their passion and commitment – they help make the global routing infrastructure more robust and secure.

The MANRS Ambassadors Selection Committee, consisting of six representatives from the MANRS Advisory Group, assessed the applications and appointed four exceptional individuals.

They’ll receive a monthly stipend of US$1,500 for up to six months and together they’ll train people on good routing practices, analyze routing incidents, research ways to secure routing, and survey the global policy landscape. Ambassadors will also provide mentorship to the MANRS Fellows in their respective categories to help the Fellows to fulfill their obligations.

Four Amazing Ambassadors

Anirban Datta, training ambassador

Anirban works for Fiber@Home Global Ltd in Dhaka, Bangladesh. His role is to establish international links and points of presence in different parts of the world. He’s also involved with many Internet network operators’ groups (NOGs) and community-driven organizations like bdNOG, SANOG, and INNOG. As an instructor, he helps to improve the technical knowledge of the local community.

Flavio Luciani, training ambassador

Flavio Luciani has a master’s degree in computer engineering from Roma 3 University. He’s worked with Namex since 2008. He supervised the technical and infrastructural development of the Internet exchange point, firstly as a member of the technical staff and then, from March 2020, as Chief Technology Officer.

Boris Mimeur, research ambassador

Boris is the Vice-President of Engineering Operations at CENGN in Canada. He leads teams developing a secure hybrid cloud platform that enables test and validation for new products and technologies. In the last two years, Boris has supported the promotion of security in BGP routing through partnerships with multiple Canadian Telecom Service Providers. He’s also contributed to the development of the IXP/CXP for the Ottawa Gatineau region (OGIX).

Sanjeev Gupta, policy ambassador

Sanjeev is based in Singapore. He first heard about routing in the late 80s. He believed that every single router contacted every other router every 30 seconds and the idea of security never entered his mind. Since then, he’s learnt the hard way what happens when people announce routes to Google. Trying to figure out why traffic for your network is going to a small Vietnam Internet service provider via a European Tier 1, when you have no relationship with either, is frustrating at best.

The Internet Society supports this program as part of its work to reduce common routing threats and establish norms for network operations. Find out more and join MANRS today.

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Mutually Agreed Norms for Routing Security (MANRS) Strengthening the Internet

ISPs Should Strongly Consider MANRS to Fight Cybercrime: World Economic Forum Report

A World Economic Forum (WEF) report released today recommends that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) should strongly consider joining the Mutually Agreed Norms for Routing Security (MANRS) initiative to improve the security of the Internet’s global routing system.

Systemic security issues about how traffic is routed on the Internet make it a relatively easy target for criminals. MANRS helps reduce the most common routing threats and increase efficiency and transparency among ISPs on peering relationships.

The WEF Centre for Cybersecurity identifies four actionable principles as effective in preventing malicious activities from getting “down the pipes” from network providers to consumers in the report Cybercrime Prevention: Principles for Internet Service Providers, released today in Davos, Switzerland.

The principles were developed and tested over a year with leading ISPs around the world and multilateral organizations, including BT, Deutsche Telekom, Du Telecom, Europol, Global Cyber Alliance, Korea Telecom, Proximus, Saudi Telcom, Singtel, Telstra, and ITU, WEF says in a press release.

One of the principles is to “take action to shore up the security of routing and signalling to reinforce effective defence against attacks”, and MANRS, a global initiative supported by the Internet Society, is one of the recommendations to achieve the principle to secure the backbone of the Internet.

The other principles are: protect consumers by default from widespread cyberattacks and act collectively with peers to identify and respond to known threats; take action to raise awareness and understanding of threats and support consumers in protecting themselves and their networks; and work more closely with manufacturers and vendors of hardware, software, and infrastructure to increase minimum levels of security.

The set of principles focuses on the strategic actions that the ISPs should take to protect consumers from common online crimes, thereby helping to “clean up” the Internet on the whole, the report says.

Like a road network, the Internet has its own highways and intersections that consist of cables and routers. The navigation system that manages the flow of data around the network is called the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP). When you visited this website, BGP determined the path through which the site’s data would be transmitted to your device.

Criminals manipulate the ways in which traffic is routed on the Internet to launch attacks that bring down networks and services. Many such attacks are result of criminals violating the underlying assumptions relating to identity which are implicit in the routing, naming, and addressing systems on the Internet. Some attacks result in denial-of-service (DoS) that can damage both the reputation of affected organizations and their ability to conduct business operations.

MANRS helps ISPs to implement well-established industry best practices and technological solutions that can address the most common problems, including incorrect routing information, traffic with spoofed source IP addresses, and coordination and collaboration between networks.

The WEF report also says the MANRS Observatory is one of the model examples – along with BT’s Cyber Indes42 – to help better understand the positive impact of the principles and other such initiatives would contribute to making the case for wider adoption.

The WEF says they will now use its Platform for Shaping the Future of Cybersecurity and Digital Trust to drive adoption of the principles and seek to initiate a dialogue between public- and private-sector stakeholders on how governments can incentivize uptake and establish clearer policy frameworks and expectations.

Collaboration and shared responsibility are key to the success of MANRS. So far, 275 network operators and 45 Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) have signed on. By joining, these companies are working hard to secure the fabric of the Internet.

By working collaboratively, ISPs will be better placed to protect their customers and defend their own networks than if they work alone. Routing security is vital to the stability and resilience of the Internet. Join us to protect the Internet together.

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Community Networks Growing the Internet

Community Radio and Network Providers Join Force to Grow the Internet

Last month, more than 50 community radio and network providers from all across Asia-Pacific journeyed by road from Bengaluru, India’s tech capital, to IruWay, a rural research lab about 80km away.

As the traffic and indiscriminate honking outside the megacity faded, Internet signal also weakened, and at some point, there was no connection at all – something that could make Internet-dependent city dwellers queasy. But the participants traveling to attend the Community Network Exchange Asia-Pacific 2019 (CNX APAC) were undeterred. They have built or run radio or Internet networks for unconnected communities in many countries, including Bangladesh, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, the Philippines and Thailand.

The event gathered the two groups, community radio and network providers. It was a bid to get communities that have community radio stations in place to also set up community networks – so that villages unserved by mobile network operators or Internet service providers can access the Internet and the benefits it offers.

Community radio stations play an important role in providing information to rural communities throughout the world. They have expertise in setting up the infrastructure as well as creating local content, both of which are crucial to the success of community networks. It is why the event aimed to create opportunities for them to add Internet services to their repertoire.

The Internet Society is proud to co-organize the event, now in its third year, with partners including the Digital Empowerment Foundation and the Association for Progressive Communications. The three-day event took the theme of “Community Networks and the Internet of the People.” Besides IruWay, the event was also hosted by ProtoVillage, a rural community about 100 kilometers from Bengaluru in Andhra Pradesh, a neighboring state.

Participants took part in discussions on how they could combine the advantages of community networks and community radio to create an accessible Internet for everyone.

A demonstration of LibreRouter, an open-source hardware WiFi router designed for the specific needs of community networks, showed technological trends that could make last-mile access more effective and accessible. LibreRouter was created through a collaboration of the Internet Society Community Networks Special Interest Group and AlterMundi, with the support of Beyond the Net Funding Programme. (For more information, visit this page.)

A hands-on session let participants get their hands dirty and set up a real campus-wide network at ProtoVillage and its surrounding villages.

Community networks are built and operated by people in the community. They are the result of people working together, combining their resources. These community-led networks make use of readily available low-cost equipment. Often, the technology required to build and maintain the network is as simple as a wireless router.

They range from WiFi only to mesh networks and mobile networks that provide voice and short messaging services. While they usually serve communities under 3,000 people, some serve more than 50,000 users.

It was a decade ago when we launched Wireless for Communities (W4C), a joint initiative of the Internet Society and the Digital Empowerment Foundation, to connect rural and remote locations of India. Since then, W4C has deployed nearly 200 community networks in India. In parallel, community networks themselves have grown into a global movement, with projects in Brazil, Kenya, Nepal, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Senegal, and other countries.

The initiative connects underserved communities using readily-available, economical network equipment. The equipment is not specialized and expensive. The focus is on the local community being trained to manage, operate, and maintain the network. Our efforts have led to hundreds of networks being inspired and deployed providing access to tens of thousands of people.

When people connect to the Internet, they connect to opportunity. That is why we will continue to support community networks by working with our partners, and we look forward to future editions of CNX APAC.

The Internet is for everyone. Learn more about community networks and join the global movement to help close the digital divide!

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Shaping the Internet's Future

APAC Policy Survey 2019: Consolidation in the Internet Economy

The Internet is changing. Consolidation in the Internet economy, the topic of the Global Internet Report 2019, might be the source of ongoing shifts in its underlying infrastructure and the way users engage, among many other things.

Clearly, the growing presence of big Internet platforms can benefit the user by offering seamless Internet experiences, but it could also harm innovation, competition, and the Internet’s broader architecture, says the report, which marks the start of the Internet Society’s efforts to examine this issue.

The Internet in Asia-Pacific is no exception. A few corporations – including Facebook and Tencent in social networking, Google and Baidu in search, and Amazon and Alibaba in online shopping – dominate large parts of the Internet, benefitting people while raising similar questions about what it means for the Internet’s fundamental properties.

This year’s Survey on Policy Issues in Asia-Pacific, released today, helps deepen our understanding of the role that corporations play in shaping Internet use and user experience in the region and how they may impact future innovation on the Internet.

More than 1,300 people from 39 economies in the region took our online survey when we opened it to the public in July.

The results show a big majority of Internet users in APAC are heavy users of the products of companies like Facebook, Microsoft, and Alphabet (Google), and that almost all respondents depend in some way on their offerings for most of their online activities.

Almost half of the respondents say it will be either difficult or very difficult to find replacements for those products.

The respondents are concerned about security. They ranked it as their top concern when they choose an online service, followed by how easy it is to use and if it is free of charge.

In general, they have more trust in big companies than small ones. Yet, they expect future innovations on the Internet to come from not only big companies, but also new and emerging firms.

The survey shows that digital consolidation involves a complex set of issues. It helps inform us as we continue to delve deep into the topic of consolidation from different perspectives.

Thank you to many of you who took part in the survey. Please continue to share your views with us on our website or social media.

Read the full report and look back at past surveys: 201420152016, 2017, and 2018.

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Shaping the Internet's Future

Internet Society Asia-Pacific Policy Survey 2019 Now Open: Consolidation in the Internet Economy

The Internet Society recently embarked on a year-long effort to explore the trends of consolidation in the Internet economy, and I write to sincerely invite you to share your views with us in the Regional Policy Survey 2019, an annual exercise of the Asia-Pacific Bureau of the Internet Society.

Your input is very important to us. It will help us understand the issue from your perspectives and produce a report to be released later this year. Ultimately, your input will help us come up with technical and policy recommendations for policymakers with the aim of preserving the Internet’s properties that give us the critical abilities to connect, speak, innovate, share, choose, and trust.

Please take 5-10 minutes to complete the survey, which covers all Internet users in Asia-Pacific. To show our appreciation, we will be offering 2 tablet computers in a lucky draw, and the winners will be notified by email after the survey closes on July 31.

Read about the previous installments of the survey.

Thank you again for your time and input.

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About Internet Society

Asia-Pacific Chapters Advocacy Meeting: Local Actions, Global Goals

Earlier this month, 19 representatives from 14 local Chapters in Asia-Pacific gathered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for a two-day workshop to boost their capability in implementing the Internet Society 2019 Action Plan collaboratively and in a coordinated manner, and to maximize impact across the vast and fast-developing region.

Chapter leaders from Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Taiwan, and the Pacific Islands, among other places, spent a weekend together. They learned from each other and planned the collective implementation of the Action Plan that has four focus areas: connecting the worldimproving technical securitybuilding trust, and shaping the future of the Internet.

Run by members across the world who support the Internet Society’s mission, Chapters are central to our work. They give us unique local perspectives on emerging Internet issues. The Regional Chapters Workshop, which is held yearly, is an important event that lets us strategize with Chapters on a wave of impactful local actions to amplify our regional voice and promote the organization’s mission – the Internet is for Everyone.

To help the Chapters carry out their work, the workshop focused on training and leadership in the focus areas, including IoT security, routing security, community networks, and Internet Governance. Participants discussed the eventful policy, regulatory, technical, and sociopolitical landscape in the region and explored local opportunities for Chapters.

In a special session on encryption, Paul Brooks, Chair of the Australian Chapter, provided a detailed overview of their experiences around Australia’s encryption legislation, which was passed into law late last year. The session triggered a lively discussion on the wider implications of such legislation and got the participants reflecting on what they could do if similar legislation was passed in their home countries.

The workshop sessions were moderated by staff including: Rajnesh D. Singh, Regional Bureau Director for Asia-Pacific; Naveed Haq, Regional Development Manager for Asia-Pacific; Nancy Quiros, Regional Community Engagement Manager for Latin America and Caribbean Region; and Joyce Dogniez, Vice President Community Engagement and Development.

The workshop concluded with sessions on the Internet Society’s action plans, the planning process underway to come up with a longer-term strategy, and what local chapters could do to take part in the process.

Join the thousands of Internet Society members working to build an Internet for everyone, everywhere.

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Improving Technical Security Mutually Agreed Norms for Routing Security (MANRS)

Making the Internet Better Together at APRICOT 2019

Asia Pacific Regional Internet Conference on Operational Technologies (APRICOT) 2019, said to be the largest technical conference in the region, drew hundreds of the world’s leading Internet engineers from over 50 countries to Daejeon, South Korea last week.

The Internet Society, a long-time partner of the event, contributed to the event by not only sponsoring over a dozen of fellows to travel there, but also made multiple high-profile appearances in various sessions, including the opening keynote speech.

The Internet Society’s President and CEO Andrew Sullivan delivered the keynote Up and Down the Stack Through a Nerd’s Eyes: Making the Internet Better the Internet Way with hundreds of people present, including Tae-Jeong Her, Mayor of Daejeon, and Dr Hee-yoon Choi, President of organiser the Korea Institute of Science and Technology Information (KISTI), a government research institute.

Now that so many people depend on the Internet, it is no surprise that businesspeople, policymakers, regulators, and politicians all want a say in the way the Internet evolves. But some of the proposals for the future of the Internet, Sullivan said, betray fundamental misunderstandings of the way the Internet works. The talk urged us all to continue to engage with the big questions that affect the future of the Internet, and to bring to that engagement the technical understanding of how the Internet depends on the community of independent network operators in order to remain healthy and strong.

The Internet Society delegation this year also included Rajnesh Singh, Regional Director of the APAC Bureau; Aftab Siddiqui, Technical Engagement Manager, APAC; Salam Yamout, Regional Director, Middle East; Andrei Robachevsky, Senior Technology Programme Manager; Sally Harvey, Director, Membership and Partnership Development; and me, Outreach Manager, APAC.

In line with the Internet Society’s 2019 Action Plan, our message at APRICOT 2019 was to give voice to the need to improve the Internet’s technical security, specifically routing security. That was why in different sessions we promoted the Mutually Agreed Norms for Routing Security (MANRS), a global initiative of the Internet Society that provides operators with steps to mitigate the most common routing threats.

We undertook a variety of roles at the conference and side events, including chairing and speaking at the AP* Meeting, speaking at the APNIC Global Reports, speaking at the APNIC Cooperation SIG, as well as several other speaking and moderation roles. We also had a number of bilateral meetings with other Internet organisations throughout the week.

I had the pleasure to moderate the ISOC@APRICOT session, in which we introduced the community to our work plans and invited them to exchange views on broad Internet issues in the region with us. We were much encouraged by the support of some Internet Society Chapter leaders and members who told us more about their local communities.

In the session, Sullivan introduced the 2019 Global Internet Report: Consolidation in the Internet Economy, which explores the growing influence of a few powerful players in the Internet economy.

The study is the beginning of a conversation about the implications of concentration in the Internet economy. Our analysis shows the questions surrounding these trends are very complex, and hasty interventions could lead to unintended consequences and harm for the Internet and its users. More work must be done to understand this important issue.

“I hope you’ll join us and help identify gaps that we haven’t done or suggest ways to improve the study,” Sullivan concluded the session by introducing our research funding opportunities.

Read the 2019 Global Internet Report: Consolidation in the Internet Economy to understand key features of consolidation, the impact of emerging trends on the Internet, and explore the questions it raises.