Dave Belson on Internet Reliability


Long time fans of the High Tech Forum will know Dave Belson as the author of the Akamai State of the Internet reports and previous podcast guest. This research is still considered the standard for Internet performance measurement because it met all the requirements: the data was consistent, reliable, accessible, accurate, and timely. Akamai refocused these reports on security when it became apparent that the performance problem was largely solved.

Dave is at the Internet Society (ISOC) now, working on security and reliability initiatives. He dropped into the podcast for an update on the state of Internet reliability. Our conversation begins with the hands-on and practical trouble shooting steps that consumers can take when their Internet access doesn’t seem to be working and then moves into the details of the Internet’s design and operation that affect security.

We focus on Internet reliability and routing issues:

  • Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) and its shortcomings
  • Mutually Agreed Norms for Routing Security (MANRS), a system ISOC sponsors to improve routing security
  • The importance of personal relationships among administrators of the Internet’s routing fabric
  • GDPR issues related to necessary administrator-to-administrator contacts to resolve routing issues
  • The role of regional routing agencies in the validation of routing information
  • Security strategies: Diversify your efforts or maintain focus on key technologies?
  • The net neutrality distraction that shielded critical issues from examination for a decade
  • The criticality of the Internet to everyday life and why we can’t just “move fast and break things”
  • Internet shutdowns are the ultimate blunt instrument for controlling populations but they don’t even work
  • The US is an outlier on free speech, other nations are more sensitive to the effects of speech on behavior
  • ISOC is great!

Check out Dave’s Internet Disruption Report for up-to-date reports on major outages. It’s a super-valuable resource for Internet analysts.