Intarea Working Group R. Romansky, Ed.
Internet-Draft Tech. Univ. of Sofia.
Intended status: Informational B. Khasnabish
Expires: May 17, 2015 ZTE (TX) Inc.
November 13, 2014

PSTNization of the Internet


This draft discusses the features and functions that the Internet must support in order to be as robust and trustworthy as the public switched telephone network (PSTN, In general the PSTN-like features and functions include verifiable addressing and numbering, higher privacy and security, increased reliability (no more than around five minutes of unplanned outage over one year time period), survivability and resiliency, desirable level of scalability, alarms, correlation, and diagnosis capability, and local/international level of accountability. Incorporation of these (or similar) features are expected to harden the Internet.

The topics related to Internet hardening were discussed during IETF88 technical plenary ( in Vancouver, BC, Canada in Nov. 2013. A follow-up joint W3C/IAB workshop on strengthening the Internet against pervasive monitoring (STRINT, was held before IETF89 meeting in London, UK. During the IETF90 Technical Plenary Session ( on Monday, 21 July 2014 in Toronto, Canada the Technical Topic discussion focused on Network topology and geography. The presentations revealed that for business relationship and/or policy reasons, local traffic routinely cross national borders for so called 'efficient' routing, thereby facilitating monitoring, copying, and surveillance of traffic from users' sessions by both authorized and unauthorized entities. All of the technical presentations are available at the website of IETF90 proceedings(

In this draft, we discuss the requirements for PSTNization of Internet interfaces, protocols, services, and management and configuration capabilities.

NOTE: We are looking for additional contributors to update the contents of Section 2 to Section 6. If you are interested, please send an email to with the relevant Section Number and Section Title in the Subject line of your email with an estimated completion time.

Status of This Memo

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This Internet-Draft will expire on May 17, 2015.

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction

The Internet, as defined in [RFC2026] along with the World Wide Web [W3C,] can provide data, text, voice, video, etc. services seamlessly to almost everywhere in the World. Work groups like RTCWeb (in IETF, and WebRTC (in W3C) have been enhancing the protocols and interfaces in order to enrich Web-based audio, video, collaboration, and gaming services. However, a number of Entities have been utilizing privacy-invading Internet innovations (PIIs) in the name of societal and economic advancements. Some of these Entities (e.g., the are partnering with local Communities and Non-Profit organizations in order to improve bandwidth, connectivity, and reachability to all of the inhabitants of the World through wired and wireless (mobile) devices. Consequently, it is becoming increasingly important to consider bringing back PSTN-like features and functions including privacy and security, resiliency, and accountability.

Benefits: The are many benefits of PSTNizing the Internet. The major ones would be bringing back trust, and confidence in the Internet along with improving user experience and satisfaction.

1.1. Scope

The scope of this document is discussion on incorporating PSTN features and functions in the Internet.

Ongoing discussions on supporting high-quality [I-D.khasnabish-dispatch-qoe-management] real-time services over the Internet can be especially found in the following IETF and IRTF Websites: RTCWeb [] NEA [], DISPATCH [] OAUTH [],and SDN-RG [].

1.2. Abbreviations

1.3. Conventions and Definitions

The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT", "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this document are to be interpreted as described in [RFC2119].

The following definitions and descriptions of terms are utilized throughout this draft. When applicable, descriptions of some of the terms are repeated here from other IETF/IRTF document for convenience.

2. Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN)

PSTN is hierarchically organized centrally-controlled distributed switching network. CLASS ... PBX .. Terminal ...

PSTN offers circuit switch based communication service. An end-to-end circuit (similar to a tunnel in packet-switched network) must be established before a session can be initiated. The circuit establishment, maintenance, and release are achieved through a separate network (called SS7 network). This clear separation between signaling and transmission systems has many advantages including flexibility, scalability, and accountability.

2.1. Addressing and Numbering in PSTN

Terminal Address: ...

PBX Address: ...

CLASS-5 and other Switch Addresses: ...

2.2. PSTN Interfaces

The line and circuit interfaces in PSTN are very well-defined (rigid) and hence have limited flexibility for rapid adaptation and updates. Internet interfaces offer a tremendous amount of flexibility. Although this is good for innovation, it offers a paradise for hackers, sniffers, and cheaters.

2.3. PSTN Protocols

TDM: ...

SS7: ...

X.25: ...

2.4. PSTN Configuration

In this section we discuss tools and methods for configuring the PSTN switches and services.

2.5. PSTN Management

In this section we discuss management aspects of PSTN switches and services.

2.6. PSTN Borders and Safeguards

In this section we discuss how well-defined and guarded boundaries PSTN provides for National (domestic) protection of the services.

2.7. PSTN Services

In this section we discuss traditional PSTN services. Intelligent Networking (IN) and Advanced IN (AIN) concepts for service innovation are also described.

3. Enhancing (PSTNIzation) the Internet Services

In this section we discuss how the PSTN-like features and functions can be introduced/incorporated in the Internet. Of specific interest are the logical and physical points and functions that can be enhanced so that PSTN-grade hardening can be supported when it is desied/required. A recent draft [I-D.khasnabish-dispatch-qoe-management] discusses how end-point's intelligence can be utilized for maintaining consistent quality of Internet service experience.

3.1. Addressing and Numbering

In this section we discuss how address, name and numbers can be hardened in the Internet. Both physical and virtual location may need to be associated with the name, address and number of Internet-attached points (ports and devices) of interest to make them traceable.

3.2. Service Privacy

In this section we discuss how Internet domain services can be made as private (or better) as in the PSTN.

3.3. Service Security

In this section we discuss how Internet domain services can be made as secure (or better) as in the PSTN.

3.4. Service Availability

In this section we discuss how Internet domain services can be made as highly available (or better) as in the PSTN.

3.5. Service Reliability

In this section we discuss how Internet domain services can be made as highly reliable (or better) as in the PSTN.

3.6. Service Resiliency

In this section we discuss how Internet domain services can be made as highly resilient (or better) as in the PSTN.

3.7. Accountability for Service

In this section we discuss how the Internet service providers can be made as accountable (or better) as in PSTN.

3.8. Network Robustness

In this section we discuss how the Internet domain can be made as highly robust (or better) as in the PSTN.

3.9. Hardening (Local/Domestic) Internet Borders

In this section we discuss how the local/domestic borders/boundaries of the Internet can be hardened for protecting both contents, communications (sessions), and other relevant network information.

3.10. Traceability and Diagnosis

In this section we discuss how verifiable network and service traceability and diagnosis can be incorporated in the Internet.

4. Service Lifecycle Management

In this section we discuss the generic lifecycle management of Internet services including those of information and packets/flows.

5. Hardening of the Internet Services APIs

The APIs of the Internet domain services commonly use open interfaces, protocols, profiles, etc. This offers the desired level of flexibility that supports dynamic navigation of sessions/flows through a variety of operations systems and physical/virtual infrastructure network/service elements. This also helps achieve unified and seamless user experience irrespective of what the underlying Internet infrastructure is. The emerging Cloud reference framework [I-D.khasnabish-cloud-reference-framework] discusses these in details.

In this section we discuss how the Internet domain services APIs can be hardened in order to provide general PSTN-like reliability and trustworthiness without sacrificing the flexibility and openness.

6. Network Management and Service Orchestration

In this section we discuss how PSTN-like management and Orchestration can be inducted in multi-technology and multi-admin-domain Internet environment.

7. Privacy and Security Considerations

In order to improve the flexibility and scalability of the Internet, the current trend is to utilize virtualization, as discussed in [I-D.junsheng-opsawg-virtual-resource-management], and separation of control and transport (and forwarding), as discussed in e.g., [RFC3654] and [RFC3746]. It is expected that both capital and operational expenditures will be significantly reduced because of using virtualization of resources like CPU, memory, storage, links, nodes, and value-added service devices like firewall, deep packet inspector, deep stats inspector, etc.

However, the use of virtualization may also make the network resources more vulnerable to abuse and spoofing. For example, the security considerations for virtualized resources in data-center environment can be found in [I-D.karavettil-vdcs-security-framework].

7.1. Privacy and Personal Data Protection (PDP) in Digital World

The initiatives for improving of the Information Society (IS) define new requirements to the contemporary information technologies (IT) to decide important problems of globalization including field as distributed information servicing, remote access to distributed environments, sharing and using different public and own resources, cloud and mobile cloud computing, social computing, e-learning, etc. All these opportunities of contemporary network world expect creation of personal profiles and uploading personal information that could be accessed by other users, not always in a correct way [Lam]. This requires necessity for modernization of data protection rules and digital privacy for all participants in the digital world.

It is possible to ask the question "What are the components of the digital world built on the base of the network space?" Traditional component of course is the web-environment that proposes large collection of contents, specific and traditional and specialized information resources, tools for virtual reality [Garber], etc. that could help users obtain some knowledge based on interactive communications.

This collection of means and tools could be extended by opportunities of cloud environments and data centres (using remote resources as a services) [Chen], social media and Web 2.0 (tools that permit collaboration and sharing of information and knowledge between large set of users) [Kinast], distributed environments for online/distance learning (using and sharing learning content and organize the collaboration on the base of specific interests) [Yong], Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) that many educational institutions apply; the tendency is that MOOCs will change the higher education in the coming years [Meyer].

Creation and supporting users' profiles in the network space permit different personal information to be accessed by other users of the global network. This could be made very undesirable problems for users and to disturb their privacy. In this reason the Personal Data Protection (PDP) should be important obligation of the distributed services providers. Some problems of digital privacy in the network world and challenges of cloud servicing for the personal data protection are discussed in [Romansky-1] and [Romansky-2]. A brief summary of the challenges of digital world for privacy and PDP is presented below.

7.2. Digital World and Digital Privacy

It is well-known that privacy is an important fundamental human right uniting personal data processing, personal communications via post and Internet, processing personal profiles in social media, forums and other distributed environments. The new situation in the digital world changes the traditional understanding of the privacy as "the right to be alone" and introduces the new vision of "the right to be forgotten." In this reason, giving different information resources and distributed information services by Internet requires creation of knowledge in the society for principles, methods and technological means and tool for adequate data processing.

The digital world permits accessing and using components as web-sites, distributed resources, content, libraries, forums, social media, cloud services, etc. Most people (individuals and employees) use Internet to extend their knowledge, social contacts and relationships. Social network, forums and blogs permits to contact with different users. Fact is that more employers visit social forums to select possible employees for their companies. In this case the users are not only passive participants, but they could realize different forms of direct communications, uploading information and make access to published information of other users.

Identical problems with data protection policy exist in the fields of network communications, distance learning, cloud services and other opportunities of the digital world. This requires a serious risk analysis of activities by using web applications and network environments. For example, the using of cloud services permits to increase the processing and storage power without additional investments for a company. This form of remote data processing uses virtual machines and disks (storage) via Internet. The problem is that the cloud collects more and more personal data of individuals and information about institutions. All these activities in the digital world require developing an adequate information security policy and improving personal data protection legislation.

Extended discussion about main principles and rules for data protection organization, securing privacy in the network world and summarized some important challenges of cloud servicing for the personal data protection are discussed in [Romansky-1] and [Romansky-2].

7.3. Mine Principles of Personal Data Protection

The Data Protection Policy must be regarded in the context of IT Security Policy as a part of Security Policy as shown in Figure-1.


o--------------------o         o-----------------o
| IT Security Policy | <------ | Security Policy |
o--------+-----------o         o-----------------o
o--------v-----------o -->  Computer Layer
|  Data Protection   |  -->  Physical Layer
|     Policy         |   -->  Administrative Layer
o--------------------o    -->  Legislative Layer

Figure 1: Data Protection Policy in the Frame of Security Policy 


Security Policy should be regarded as set of means and methodologies for preventing incidents, detecting attacks and restoring the system after successful attack. It includes rules, procedures and tools used on hierarchical layers (network, software, hardware, physical and administrative). Data Protection Policy should be discussed in the frame of IT Security Policy and harmonization of data protection with information security rules from the security core (computer layer) to the external layers (administrative and legislative) is needed. The computer layer presents embedded instruments for protection of personal data structures (hardware, software, cryptographic, biometric). The physical layer consists of technical instruments, means and tools for unauthorized access blocking, separation of LAN segments, recognition of legitimate users, etc. The next two layers unite organizational rules, instructions and procedures for administrative control and legislative and normative documents.

European understanding for "personal data" is the information that permits to identify a person directly or indirectly, in particular by reference to an identification number or to one or more factors specific to his physical, physiological, mental, economic, cultural or social identity. A popular definition in USA is connected to the rights and obligations of the individuals and institutions about collection, using, keeping and disclosing personal information. In this reason any operation or set of operations with personal data (using automatic or not-automatic means) is called "processing of personal data." The main participants in this process are "data subject" (the owner of personal data), "data controller" (determines the purpose and the means of processing and it is responsible for all procedures with personal data), "data processor" (real processing of personal data on the base of agreement with the data controller), "receiver of personal data" (the giving of personal data could be on the base of lawful reason only).

Life cycle of personal data processing is proposed in Figure-2 and describes the traditional processing of personal data by a sequence of phases beginning from giving of personal data by individual and finishing with personal data destroying (by the data controller) after the goal realization. The purpose of the phases is listed below.


                                           +--->| Transfer to   |
                                           |    | other country |
              o----------------------o     |    o---------------o
              | Authorization        |     |
              |  & Authentication    |     |    o---------------o
              |     & Accountability |     +--->| Giving to     |
              o-------------------+--o     |    | third person  |
                                  |        |    o---------------o
                                  |        |
              o------------o    o-v-----o  |    o---------------o
              | Preserving |--->| Using |--+--->|   Archiving   |
              o-----^------o    o---+---o       o---------------o
                    |               |                    |
                    |               |                    |
              o-----+------o    o---v-----------o        |
Individual--->| Collection |--->| Actualization |    o---v--------o
              o------------o    o---------------o    | Destroying |

Figure 2: Life Cycle of Personal Data Processing 


7.4. Problems of Digital World for Privacy and Personal Data Protection

The contemporary network world causes different problems for digital privacy. For example the privacy in social media concerns with protection of users' information and securing the users' rights. The media must try to prevent different incidents with users' data as unauthorized access, viruses, illegal transfer to third party, etc. Analogous problems could be detected and at cloud services also because the cloud customers need to be assured that providers implement adequate security policy for data protection. Challenges of cloud for PDP discussed in [Romansky-2] are common for all network world. Typical problem for cloud environments is multi-tenancy that could be risk category because it permits possible access to personal data of network user by another unauthorized user. A short summary of common challenges for the privacy in the digital world is presented below.

7.5. Last Regulations in Privacy and PDP

Modernization of data protection rules on European level has been made in the last years. An example is the document "Proposed Regulation" of the European Commission in January 2012 that proposes new rules to strengthen online data protection rights. The reason for these draft amendments is the fact "that rapid technological development and globalization have profoundly changed the world and brought new challenges to the protection of personal data" [Knijpenga]. This document discuses the paradigm "right to be forgotten" as shown in Article 17, and the data subject rights to data portability as discussed in Article 18, transfer between different electronic processing systems.

The European Parliament has determined on 12 March 2014 that architecture and fundamental principles of the data protection reform for improving user protection and security in Cyber-space [Fischer]. The conclusion is that the further development and exploitation of Cyber-space could not be realized without an adequate and strong protection of the rights of individual users [EC]. The following FOUR pillars have been determined.

The new principles of regulation must extend the PDP frame determined by the previously directives, and to propose adequate solutions for all problems of PDP in the digital world.

In other hand, the users should undertake personal measures to protect own information. The best practice say "protect yourself" by using modern Internet security solutions (anti-virus programs, firewalls, tools for browser protection, reputation-checking tools, etc.). These tools must be regularly updated. An important side of the protection is using effective policy for authentication - the password should be a mix of letters and numbers, and change them often. It is not correct to use the same password at the access to different network resources. The visiting network resources must be deliberated and the reputation and safety rating of websites before using must be analyzed. Finally, the main principle of users must be "guard your personal data." Users must publish limited personal and financial information in the Internet, for example, social media, Internet cafes, websites, libraries, forums, etc.

8. IANA Considerations

Depending on the grade of hardening, a number of considerations may be generated for IANA. Further details will evolve as this draft matures.

9. Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank many colleagues for their discussions and support.

10. References

10.1. Normative References

, ", "
[Chen] Chen, D., H. Zhao, Data security and privacy protection issues in cloud computing", International Conference on Computer Science and Electronics Engineering (ICCSEE), vol.1, pp.647-651 , March 2012.
[EC]Progress on EU Data Protection Reform Now Irreversible Following European Parliament Vote", European Commission - MEMO, Strasbourg , March 2014.
[Fischer] Fischer, A. E., "Improving User Protection and Security in Cyberspace", Report of Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media, Council of Europe , March 2014.
[Garber] Garber, L., The Challenges of Securing the Virtualized Environment", Computer, pp.17-23 , January 2012.
[I-D.junsheng-opsawg-virtual-resource-management] Chu, J., Khasnabish, B., Qing, Y. and Y. Meng, "Virtual Resource Management in Cloud", Internet-Draft draft-junsheng-opsawg-virtual-resource-management-00, July 2011.
[I-D.karavettil-vdcs-security-framework] Karavettil, S., Khasnabish, B., Ning, S. and W. Dong, "Security Framework for Virtualized Data Center Services", Internet-Draft draft-karavettil-vdcs-security-framework-05, December 2012.
[I-D.khasnabish-cloud-reference-framework] Khasnabish, B., Chu, J., Ma, S., So, N., Unbehagen, P., Morrow, M., Hasan, M., Demchenko, Y. and M. Yu, "Cloud Reference Framework", Internet-Draft draft-khasnabish-cloud-reference-framework-07, October 2014.
[I-D.khasnabish-dispatch-qoe-management] Khasnabish, B., Fernando, G. and L. Ya, "End-point based Multimedia QoE Management", Internet-Draft draft-khasnabish-dispatch-qoe-management-02, July 2013.
[Kinast]Social Media and Data Protection", Kinast and Partner , 2014.
[Knijpenga] Knijpenga, A., "The Modernization of European Data Protection Rules.", Deloitte , 2012.
[Lam] Lam, S. K., J. Riedl., "Are our online "friend" really friends?", Computer, pp.91-93 , January 2012.
[Meyer] Meyer, J.P., S. Zhu, "Fair and Equitable Measurement of Student Learning in MOOCs", Research and Practice in Assessment, 1 (vol. 8), pp.26-39 , 2013.
[RFC2119] Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, March 1997.
[Romansky-1] Romansky, R., "Digital Privacy in the Network World", In Proceedings of the International Conference on Information Technologies (InfoTech-2014), St. St. Constantine and Elena, Bulgaria, pp.273-284 , September 2014.
[Romansky-2] Romansky, R., "Cloud Services: Challenges for Personal Data Protection", International Journal on Information Technologies and Security, No 3, pp.67-80 , September 2012.
[Yong] Yong Chen, Wu He, "Security Risks and Protection in Online Learning: A Survey", The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 5 (vol. 14), pp.108-127 , December 2013.

10.2. Informative References

[RFC2026] Bradner, S., "The Internet Standards Process -- Revision 3", BCP 9, RFC 2026, October 1996.
[RFC3654] Khosravi, H. and T. Anderson, "Requirements for Separation of IP Control and Forwarding", RFC 3654, November 2003.
[RFC3746] Yang, L., Dantu, R., Anderson, T. and R. Gopal, "Forwarding and Control Element Separation (ForCES) Framework", RFC 3746, April 2004.

Authors' Addresses

Radi Romansky (editor) Tech. Univ. of Sofia. 8 Kliment Ohridski BLVD Sofia , Bulgaria 1000 Europe Phone: +359-2-965-3295 EMail:
Bhumip Khasnabish ZTE (TX) Inc. USA Phone: +001-781-752-8003 EMail:, URI: