Fwd: Consultation on fixing issues of the internet

Matthias Kirschner mk at fsfe.org
Mon Sep 4 12:07:28 UTC 2017

Hello everybody,

do you think a certain aspect of the core internet technology is broken?
Do you have an idea what could be done about it? This is the time to
submit your idea to:


Best Regards,

PS: Below some more information by Michiel:

* Michiel Leenaars [2017-07-24 08:07 +0200]:


please find some information about the consultation for the European
Next Generation Internet initiative to pass on to your members. To
clarify: we are looking for the 'technical debt' (or put differently,
'skeletons in the closet') of the internet, i.e. what is preventing the
internet as a whole from moving forward. And what could be done about
it, given that the EC is embarking on a Next Generation Internet
initiative and we can try to direct public funding to it. While there is
plenty of innovative work happening at the fringes, the core internet
technology that is actually being run at internet scale is not actually
properly absorbing that work - in a sense creating even more chaos than
if nothing would have happened. We are looking for intervention logic to
get things going again.

The context is the following:

NLnet foundation (the independent charity I work, which was was set up
by pioneers of the European internet) and Gartner were invited by the
European Commision to write the vision for their Next Generation
Internet initiative, as well as prioritise the key topics for funding.

We are organising the process in a much broader way than previous
'next-gen internet' efforts (of which there were quite a few), as we
believe these were doomed to fail from the start because they only
pushed for 'innovation' and never involved the right people (= the
people that actually design and operate the 'current' internet). Not to
mention that you need people from adjacent areas (such as operating
systems and browsers) to be involved. Note that many of the people and
organisations we think could make the most difference tend to avoid the
public funding machinery, because they have their own funding and little
need for bureaucracy and forced consortia. However, this leaves many
issues unresolved, and we want to change that. (we are also eager to see
the unfortunate bureaucracy and forced consortia go away, and likely
that will happen too in the context of the NGI initiative - which is
really awesome).

We actually went to get support from all the leading European umbrella
organisations - besides FSFE we approached RIPE (the European regional
internet registry), CENTR (organisation of domain registries), GEANT
(research networks), ISP associations, the digital civil rights
community (EDRi) and Internet Society, etc. So not just the separate
communities that operate different layers of the technology but also
what we consider 'ethical guardians' of the internet. And we are not
looking to just get their presidents, managing directors or CTO's
involved, but also harvest 'bottom up' - under water the iceberg looks
rather different, and there are quite some issues that are not in view
at the management level. We are therefore very thankful for you relaying
this information to your members.

You can either send you ideas (in any shape or form, although written
can concise is preferred) by mail to us (ngi at nlnet.nl), or fill
out the open online consultation at:


(that is conceptually like an issue tracker, and helps us to isolate the
individual actions - we believe by now that no single issue by itself is
responsible, the ossification of the internet is more 'death by a
thousand cuts').

We feel this is quite a unique opportunity for the internet to get
funding to resolve a significant amount of technical debt that has
accrued over the years, as well as stimulate new interesting work to
hardening the internet and make it more resilient and keep it open - an
area I expect your members to be quite interested in.

I hope your membership has time to provide us with some input, and/or
relay this to some interesting people (we are open to any suggestions).
I have some additional information attached, if people have any
questions do not hesitate to let us know - me and my colleagues are
happy to help.

Michiel Leenaars


Matthias Kirschner - President - Free Software Foundation Europe
Schönhauser Allee 6/7, 10119 Berlin, Germany | t +49-30-27595290
Registered at Amtsgericht Hamburg, VR 17030  |   (fsfe.org/join)
Contact (fsfe.org/about/kirschner)  -  Weblog (k7r.eu/blog.html)
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