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No. 221 Security with autonomy: governing RPKI and secure BGP

Brenden Kuerbis
Internet Governance Project



Critical Internet Resources

In the abstract, the introduction of routing security technologies like RPKI and secure BGP highlights the tension between hierarchical and decentralized governance of the Internet. Widespread deployment of these technologies to authenticate use of IP address resources and ensure integrity of routing announcements could in theory benefit Internet routing, making it more secure. However, they potentially create a centralized control point(s) for Internet routing that operates largely autonomously today. Research notes that the hierarchical nature of RPKI makes it technically possible for delegators of address space to easily and unilaterally revoke it in a manner that could affect address reachability (Brogle et al 2013). Recent policy recommendations seem to concur, arguing for the “cautious, staged deployment” of RPKI in order to mitigate inherent risks (FCC 2013).

This workshop will examine under what conditions, and to what extent, can secure routing arrangements be institutionalized. It will address the following questions: Do the security gains achieved by proposed new routing arrangements justify the operational and governance risks? Where will these governance activities occur? What rules can be used to govern the RPKI and secure BGP? Which actors should have the ability to influence these rules and thereby impact use of the Internet? What routing security policies and governance arrangements are already in place or being considered among network operators? How can routing security be implemented while preserving ISPs autonomy?

Has the proponent organised a workshop with a similar subject during past IGF meetings?


Indication of how the workshop will build on but go beyond the outcomes previously reached

The proposed workshop strengthens and extends previous discussion in several regards. In terms of organization, the workshop explicitly incorporates opposing practitioner perspectives with regard to the deployment of RPKI and secure BGP, so as to clearly identify areas of contention and foster movement toward points of agreement. It also integrates non-partisan academic expertise from the fields of internet governance, computer science and the law in order to provide objective assessment of practitioner positions. In terms of substance, the workshop will move beyond binary positions (i.e., for or against deployment) and toward more clearly understanding the tradeoffs involved and policy developments necessary for deployment.

Background Paper

No background paper provided

Session Type




Internet Governance Project (IGP), Civil Society

The Institute for Information Law (IViR), Civil Society

Have the Proponent or any of the co-organisers organised an IGF workshop before?


The link(s) to the workshop report(s)




Panellists and Moderator

Invited panellists, individuals and organisations

= panellist or organisation has been confirmed

Please clock on Biography to view the biography of panelllist

Brenden Kuerbis, Postdoctoral Researcher, Syracuse University, Male, Civil Society, UNITED STATES, Western Europe and Others Group - WEOGBiography

Sharon Goldberg, Dept of Computer Science, Boston University, Female, Civil Society, UNITED STATES, Western Europe and Others Group - WEOGBiography

Nico van Eijk, IViR, Faculty of Law, University of Amsterdam, Male, Civil Society, NETHERLANDS, Western Europe and Others Group - WEOGBiography

Andrew Alston, Alston Networks, Male, Private Sector, SOUTH AFRICA, African Group, (invited)

Nick Hilliard, Internet Neutral Exchange (INEX), Male, Private Sector, (invited)Biography

Steve Kent, BBN Technologies, Male, Technical Community, (invited)


Brenden Kuerbis

Remote Moderator

Andreas Kuehn


1. Introductions
2. Background papers
3. Discussion
4. Audience Q&A

Inclusiveness of the Session

Questions will be explored using a structured roundtable format balancing practitioners and non-partisan academic respondents. Practitioners include transnational network operators, the Regional Internet Registries, and government/law enforcement agencies. Respondents include experts in the fields of Internet governance, law and computer science.

The moderator will set the stage for discussion and outline several key issues for discussion, based on a background document to be provided in advance to workshop participants and the audience. Practitioners and respondents will have opportunity to comment in turn on each issue, followed by interventions from the in-person and remote audience. Additional more detailed background documents will be available for review prior to the workshop.

Suitability for Remote Participation

The Internet Governance Project, founded in 1994, is a leading source for coverage and analysis of the management of critical Internet resources and political economy of global Internet policy that is widely read by governments, industry and civil society. The Institute for Information Law (IViR), officially established in 1989, is one of the largest research centers in the field of information law in the world.

We will advertise the workshop prior to the IGF through various channel including our blogs, social media and numerous mailing lists in which we participate.  The IGP has prior experience incorporating remote participation using the platform provided by the Secretariat.  The remote moderator will be responsible for monitoring and incorporating any interventions from the floor and remote participants.

Questions or Comments

No question or comment provided

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