Periodic reminder: you don't own your domain names -- you're just renting them from ICANN. Therefore, if you rely upon DNS, you don't fully control your stack.

· tootstream · 6 · 11 · 16

@enkiv2 weirds me out how many tools /can't/ handle IPs, too, even among fairly nerdy tools.

@emsenn @enkiv2
It sort of makes sense if they're written in the era before the DNS system proper existed, when every site maintained its own /etc/hosts -- IPs are liable to change but you could keep names consistent. And then for a while everybody assumed DNS was cheap enough that everybody would keep their names in perpetuity (100% not true).

@enkiv2 Oh! That does make it make much more sense; I forgot about about like, local name resolution. Thanks.

@enkiv2 I mean, yes, but - you don't own your connection from your ISP either, and most people don't own their own netblock (Though I have a couple of friends jealously hoarding their personal class Cs even though nobody will route them anymore :)

How far down the rabbit hole do you want to go?

@enkiv2 @feoh Life is an interaction between us and the world. Nothing is permanent and nothing is ours forever. This is not limited to IT or business.

You can either let go of the need for full control or end up holed up in your own private compound at war with the world.

This is the slippery slope to the dark side.

@jollymnemonic @enkiv2 @feoh
Sure, but in this instance, the infrastructure is state-supported big capital with a wide variety of motivations to extract rent and/or demand content changes. The vulnerability here isn't 'other people' but 'arbitrary hierarchy' -- and we are at the bottom, with no potential for advancement.

@jollymnemonic @enkiv2 @feoh There's a difference between walling off from other equals you could form interactions that benefit everyone involved and walling off from domineering monopolies that make money off of surveillance and centralization. One of these hurts everyone involved and one is self defense

@jollymnemonic @enkiv2 @feoh If I didn't live in a kind of society where hierarchical institutions wield unfathomable power over us and outright abuse enjoys widespread enthusiastic support, I would be a completely open book instead of being more defensive.

That society doesn't exist yet

@forAll52 @jollymnemonic @enkiv2 Sure, I get it, and that's laudable. I guess what I was somewhat snarkily (and for that I sincerely apologize) poking at was that at some point the giant playground we all inhabit is in fact run by giant monopolies, and until we create the grand unified people's internet that's free of BigCorps, there is exactly NO way to get away from that. You can avoid ICANN by pretending DNS doesn't exist, but what's the point when your ISP can just turn you off?

@forAll52 @jollymnemonic @enkiv2 See now THIS is my point! If we're gonna go down the rabbit hole, let's do it right, shall we? There are several efforts out there that overlay an indie network on top of the internet that also extends out to multiple local mesh(es) with the idea that if the tubes were ever shut down, this thing could keep rolling and grow through sneakernet and the like. Yggdrasil is one example. You can see others here: - why not invest effort in one of them?

@feoh @jollymnemonic @enkiv2 you can still do things to mitigate the risk It's worth putting in the effort, if only because it makes their jobs slightly harder

@enkiv2 You could always run your own local DNS server. There are various simple implementations out there to choose from, or you could federate /etc/hosts.

@enkiv2 insert an insanity wolf meme involving writing spyware that you attempt to deploy to the world's computers that adds an alternate DNS root under your control

(this actually happened)

This bugs me all the time. Is there a viable alternative?

@ajroach42 @enkiv2 I'm gonna tag in @alcinnz in case they have anything they'd like to add - feel free to ignore this if not

@emsenn @ajroach42 @enkiv2 I'd certainly say DNS shows it's age and we could do better (though DoH/DoT don't go far enough to hold my interest). It's slow, doesn't protect privacy, and has crypto bolted on in a ugly and complex way. Plus requiring yearly doesn't mesh well when trying to make URLs last.

However I don't see how to move away from managing domains centrally if we want to be able to share and remember URLs.

@alcinnz @emsenn @ajroach42 @enkiv2
Some folks are working on this problem. Petnames seems to be the best solution folks have come up with thus far.

@enkiv2 This shows where my head is at more than anything, but could it be handled better with package management tools of some sort? Rather than a presumption of centralizing, a presumption of active maintenance. Most folk's would be opaque, like the package manager on their phone, but it might make it easier... some of the problems to be addressed? (If this is bad feel free to just say so, I know enough to know I know nothing about this topic.)

@alcinnz @ajroach42

@enkiv2 @emsenn @ajroach42 Yes, there's different compromises that can be made. And pet names would be useful.

Another interesting one is Tor Hidden Services.

Those essentially serve to cover all the edges of the unique/not-centrally-managed/memorable triangle we haven't managed to break for identifiers.

@enkiv2 @emsenn @ajroach42 Though it would make sense to add additional TLDs to allow people to choose different compromises for their domains.

For them to be able to use pet names if they don't care about them being unique, or pubkeyhashes if they don't care if it's memorable to people.

@alcinnz @enkiv2 @ajroach42 @emsenn

One way would be to change the network protocol stack. Like IPFS is doing.

Still not optimal due to the breaking change it needs.

@danyspin97 I think we should be so much more okay with breaking changes than we are. The Internet isn't a century old, it's okay if we deprecate it, we don't have /that much/ sunk into it tbh.

@enkiv2 @alcinnz @ajroach42

@emsenn @danyspin97 @enkiv2 @alcinnz @ajroach42 this is by far one of the most insightful discussions I've read a while. The approach of directly using the public key information to address locations is the one I favor (see onion and other services), mostly because of the single requirement to know who you want to talk to.

The issue still remains on how to "beautify" the URLs while not sacrificing security.

@alcinnz @enkiv2 @danyspin97 @emsenn
I'm honestly thinking host files are the answer. Assign your own memorable lookup name to a service, ignore cannon.

@ajroach42 That's about where I'd lean too - but with some user-tools for helping handle the distribution and updating and sharing of those lists - i.e. me be able to put up a JSON file of my chosen domain names and their addresses, so folk could get it and keep it updated. @danyspin97 @enkiv2 @alcinnz @lvl

@lvl @emsenn @danyspin97 @enkiv2 @ajroach42 Yeah, I'd favor an approach of mapping identifiers (even if they're still centrally managed) to cryptographic certificates, and then optionally mapping those on to IP addresses.

That seems to be simpler and covers more use cases.

Also DHTs seem like a good match to distribute the lookups, whilst hash prefixes could serve well to protect privacy.

@alcinnz I love how conversations like this can be in one level of abstraction and I can say clever-soounding useful things, and now I have no fucking clue what any of what you're saying means. :D (Don't bother explaining, I don't need nor care to know it.) @lvl @danyspin97 @enkiv2 @ajroach42

@alcinnz @lvl @emsenn @danyspin97 @enkiv2 @ajroach42

I think there's an upper limit on how well technology can solve this political/social problem. The internet, and the web in particular are in many ways not only about accessing the things you know and care about (that which you put into your /etc/hosts), but also about referring stuff and being referred to it (DNS, URLs).

@zalandocalrissian @lvl @emsenn @danyspin97 @enkiv2 @ajroach42 That's certainly what the triangle I'm referring to suggests: if you want unique memorable names, someone needs to allocate them.

There's other compromises which can be made (and it makes sense to allow people to make those comprises for their own domains), but I do support DNS's approach. Though the lookup protocol could be greatly improved.

@alcinnz @zalandocalrissian @lvl @emsenn @danyspin97 @ajroach42

Semicommutative petnames (like collaborative tagging where tags slowly route through the system) makes sense to me. This is how user display names work on SSB. Human-readable names & unique names should exist but needn't be the same name.

@enkiv2 @alcinnz @lvl @emsenn @danyspin97 @ajroach42

if human-readable names are non-unique, there's the problem that it's impossible to own the thing that people will remember, and i'd say that in many cases that's a bad thing, and malicious/ignorant actors can steal names. DNS is actually quite good at solving this, because it's not really expensive to own a good name, but it's too expensive to just own large parts of the attractive namespace in order to troll everyone else.

@zalandocalrissian @enkiv2 @lvl @emsenn @danyspin97 @ajroach42

Why not have TLDs for the three basic compromises we can make? Petnames, pubkeyhashes, and registered IDs. All of them can be useful!

@enkiv2 @lvl @emsenn @danyspin97 @ajroach42

@alcinnz so basically [/etc/hosts, dot onion, the rest]? :P

also, i think a honorable mention in this thread should go to
a) running your own (local) DNS (trusts yourself or someone in the same organization)
b) MDNS/avahi (trusts everyone who can broadcast to your local network to assign assign their own hostname under '.local')

@alcinnz @zalandocalrissian @enkiv2 @lvl @emsenn @danyspin97 @ajroach42
Yeah, I think any sensible solution would involve a combination of the three. Why do TLDs though? Even if we kept the idea of URLs for compatibility, they aren't specced to require hostname or DNS components across protocols.

@enkiv2 @zalandocalrissian @lvl @emsenn @danyspin97 @ajroach42 Yeah, we could use different syntax. I just find it clearer to talk about TLDs as they already exist.

@alcinnz @enkiv2 @zalandocalrissian @lvl @emsenn @danyspin97 @ajroach42
I guess. Despite performance problems, IPFS (for static files) and SSB (for social networks) seem to be the closest to 'the right thing' on the grounds that they put the most thought into how to do it right, so my impulse is to build on their terminology & concepts -- i.e., universal addresses based on content hashes, a second namespace for mutable collections of permanent items, & petnames as tags.

@zalandocalrissian @enkiv2 @alcinnz @lvl @emsenn @danyspin97 @ajroach42
Ownership is easy to spoof even in DNS (where a whole complicated crypto thing exists to prevent it). We probably oughtn't encourage people to trust names as indicators of identity.

@enkiv2 @zalandocalrissian @lvl @emsenn @danyspin97 @ajroach42 I do think cryptographic authentication should be built into the protocol, which I tried to allude to earlier. That'd be simpler and cover more use cases.

I have heard of a DNS extension for this, but I don't know how well it works.

@ajroach42 @danyspin97 @emsenn @lvl @zalandocalrissian @enkiv2

UUCP site names only needed to be unique for "well known sites". Maybe we can do something similar with pet names. Operating systems and browsers manage to maintain and distribute a list of CA certificates for bootstrapping PKI, so why not do the same for transitive pet names?

@enkiv2 @zalandocalrissian @lvl @emsenn @danyspin97 @ajroach42 @alcinnz
Incidentally, can we really think of anything cryptographic as being permanent? Keys get compromised. Cryptosystems and hashes get broken. To be permanent a URI would have to be referring to content stored in an immutable append-only log or something.

@alcinnz @ajroach42 @danyspin97 @emsenn @lvl @zalandocalrissian @enkiv2
The cryptographic authentication DNS extension you're thinking of is probably DANE. Google essentially killed it by refusing to implement it in their browser. It relies on the DNS hierarchy and DNSSEC anyway so shares all its flaws.

@alcinnz @ajroach42 @danyspin97 @emsenn @lvl @zalandocalrissian @enkiv2
Here's how to get a permanent URI:

1. Publish your content in a well-known newspaper or journal.
2. Your URI is the issue identifier, page number, and column. Include the date of issue to avoid any ambiguity from publication name collisions.

We need an analog to this.

And a blockchain comes with baggage and storage concerns.

Immutability is not an asset, imo.
@alcinnz @danyspin97 @emsenn @lvl @zalandocalrissian @enkiv2

@ajroach42 @enkiv2 @zalandocalrissian @lvl @emsenn @danyspin97 @freakazoid I see it now!

I would say I wouldn't complain about it being harder to accidentally delete stuff (even by not paying your bills), but I see the argument that we need to be able to delete. And we definitely need to update.

@alcinnz I think it got deleted, but @freakazoid mentioned append-only logging as the way to do permanent URIs. @ajroach42 @enkiv2 @zalandocalrissian @lvl @danyspin97

@ajroach42 everything that isn't permanent can be compromised; that's immutability's utility in a nutshell. How resistent to compromise does your thing need to be?

There's a reason we mark property lines with inch thick steel poles driven 8 feet down, y'know? hard to muck with that.

@alcinnz @freakazoid @enkiv2 @zalandocalrissian @lvl @danyspin97

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@alcinnz @ajroach42 @enkiv2 @lvl @emsenn @danyspin97 @freakazoid

Regarding blockchain, there is
where you can temporarily own human-readable names by wasting electrical energy.

@enkiv2 @alcinnz @lvl @emsenn @danyspin97 @ajroach42

yes, you're right. then again, identity theft and trademark violations are a problem between people, and thus are usually solved by laws sanctioning such behavior.

It's impossible to own the thing that people can remember. No system solves this problem or even can in theory without some central authority deciding who gets to control what name, so we need to give it up as a requirement.

@ajroach42 @danyspin97 @emsenn @lvl @alcinnz @enkiv2

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