strong provenance built on data signatures will identify content producers. Strong provenance will enhance
trust in, and security of, content, while
simultaneously complicating anonymous information production. Strong
provenance may also help content producers identify infringing content, and
signatures provide a mechanism to help
producers secure content with encryption-based access control. But pervasive
storage and request/response data exchange will challenge producers interested in content control and geographic
access restrictions. Finally, network
neutrality is a complicated outcome to
predict. Future decisions in naming and
routing may hinder network neutrality,
as the use of names for routing could
facilitate new forms of traffic discrimination. At the same time, NDN will promote increased competition among network operators by enabling applications
to efficiently route around infrastructure
that constrains their traffic.
This article has sought to address
policy and social implications of the
network that are significant departures
from today’s IP Internet. As such, it has
not addressed Internet policy topics that
remain closely tied to existing challenges
in IP, which are areas for future work. For
example, NDN faces challenges in globally routable naming rights management similar to those of IP. We have also
not addressed application-level policy
issues such as the relationship between
advertising data collection and privacy
or application-level regulations such as
accessibility requirements or required
geolocation services such as E911.
However, identifying open questions
relevant to the network layers illustrates
an advantage of anticipatory policy stud-
ies. Analyzing potential social and policy
impacts of the NDN architecture can
help prioritize research questions with-
in the NDN project and broader con-
tent-centric networking initiatives. The
practical impact of NDN will depend
on future directions in several open re-
search areas: ( 1) balancing meaningful
names to simplify application develop-
ment with opaque names to protect pri-
vacy; ( 2) standardizing mechanisms for
cryptographic key assignment, distri-
bution and revocation; ( 3) developing
usable design patterns for managing
trust in a broad range of applications;
( 4) providing usable, secure imple-
mentations of more complex multi-
participant encryption schemes; and
( 5) creating fair congestion manage-
ment to enable network neutrality.
Most of NDN’s potential policy im-
pacts are speculative, in part because
we are exploring them while the architec-
ture design is still evolving. Yet imagining
the social changes NDN might encour-
age during the design process provides
opportunities for pro-social computing
research. We hope this work will spark
continuing discussion of the current and
future Internet’s impact on society. Think-
ing creatively about changes can help us
better understand the relationship be-
tween infrastructure and our world.
Acknowledgments. The authors
thank Van Jacobson, David D. Clark, Paul
Ohm, Charles Duan, Steven Bellovin,
and anonymous reviewers for feedback
and ideas that shaped this work. This
research was supported by the National
Science Foundation under grant numbers CNS-1040868, CNS-1421876, and
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Katie Shilton ( firstname.lastname@example.org) is an assistant
professor of information studies at the University of
Maryland, College Park.
Jeffrey A. Burke ( email@example.com) is the
assistant dean, technology and innovation, in the School of
Theater, Film and Television at the University of California,
kc claffy ( firstname.lastname@example.org) is the founder and director of the
Center for Applied Internet Data Analysis (CAIDA) at the
University of California, San Diego.
Lixia Zhange ( email@example.com) is the Jonathan B. Poste;
Professor of Computer Science at the University of
California, Los Angeles.
Copyright held by authors.