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05/11/2014

LAC-IETF: Latin America’s contribution to Internet standards

The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) is where Internet standards for applications, transport, and security are developed. The region is contributing its efforts to this global organization through the participation of Latin American and Caribbean experts.

Alvaro Retana, engineer at Cisco and member of the IETF, told LACNIC News that “everything that is happening today and everything that will happen on the Internet is the result of standards that have been developed at the IETF.”

During the recent LACNIC 22-LACNOG 2014 event held in Chile, the LAC-IETF forum met to promote the region’s participation in the Internet Engineering Task Force.

What’s going on at the IETF?

The IETF is constantly evolving. We are now seeing issues aimed at achieving greater network security and availability and aspects relating to Internet growth such as, for example, IPv6 implementation. It’s been interesting to see what we can do so that the Internet can grow at greater speed while at the same time being able to withstand certain types of attacks.

We also see specific efforts aimed at making protocols more resistant to monitoring, efforts to improve DNS security, routing, and to be able to maintain critical Internet infrastructure intact.

What is LAC-IETF?

A year ago, LACNOG began encouraging the region to participate in the IETF standards development process.  We conducted a number of regional activities to educate people about what the IETF is and to encourage greater remote and in-person participation. One of the major goals is for Latin America to host a IETF meeting in 2016. We also look forward to greater, ongoing local participation that will allow tapping the region’s potential.

What advice can you give so that people will participate in this type of meetings?

The IETF conducts its business almost entirely online and only holds three in-person meetings a year. Work is done through various mailing lists, which means that anyone can participate, contribute their ideas, comment on existing ideas, and propose changes or improvements. All they need to do is subscribe to a mailing list and start contributing.