[e2e] [unclassified] Re: a means to an end

David P. Reed dpreed at reed.com
Sat Nov 8 11:32:45 PST 2008

I was addressing the idea that the network necessarily needs to know 
"where" for all entities not actually communicating at the moment, just 
in case any particular entity decides to get some information it has.  
My point is that it is not necessary, and it may also be harmful.  As a 
consequence, perhaps one should try to design communications functions 
that are not founded on a pervasive "location tracking" function.

The "content centric" network approach of Van Jacobsen is one such 
approach that recognizes that not all communications involves locating, 
but instead involves propagating and fetching information by its name.

One can make such a system efficient without basing it on "location 
tracking" forms of routing.

Another simple example would be a node that uses IPv4's loose source 
routing option for a mobile node to maintain a path to and from its 
current location that is known only to a subset of endpoints that it 
trusts.   The endpoint's current location would be revealed only along 
the path it traverses, not more widely than that.  (this is like "on 
demand" routing, but moves the function into the endpoints, rather than 
into the routers).

Stefanos Harhalakis wrote:
> On Saturday 08 November 2008, David P. Reed wrote:
>> possible pairings of customers.  Should the routers in Russia know when
>> a Georgian raising money for military support travels between NY and
>> China?  If that person never needs to talk to a Russian, why distribute
>> the tracking data in any form, much less distribute it to places where
>> communications will never be sought?
>   The words 'If' and 'never' in the above sentence are very hard to analyze 
> and very difficult to prove. I believe that the sort answer is 'yes they 
> should'. Adding such low-level barriers and borders to the Internet doesn't 
> seem a good idea.
>   Don't forget that much of Internet traffic (if not the majority) is -or 
> started as- non company-related. Thus, I'd rephrase your question as:
> "Should a kid in Russia be able to play a p2p on-line game with a Georgian kid 
> and also browse a chinese web server?"
>   Perhaps the above sentences aren't exactly what you mean. At some point 
> you're talking about something like 'on-demand routing' but considering the 
> number of remote-ends (I don't call them destinations) an ISP communicates 
> with at any point of time, most probably the whole world is covered.

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