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Re: Don't cache things against content providers' wishes. Re: Draft finding - "Transitioning the Web to HTTPS"

From: Mark Nottingham <mnot@mnot.net>
Date: Wed, 21 Jan 2015 17:29:49 +1100
Cc: Mark Watson <watsonm@netflix.com>, Public TAG List <www-tag@w3.org>
Message-Id: <5F7C93E1-30DB-406B-942F-DE44BFB24381@mnot.net>
To: Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>

> On 20 Jan 2015, at 10:07 pm, Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org> wrote:
> On 2015-01 -19, at 21:39, Mark Nottingham <mnot@mnot.net> wrote:
>> Hi Mark,
>> I saw that last year. It's disturbing that the people who regulate technology either fundamentally misunderstand it, or purposefully misinterpret it.
>> HTTP caching is not mandated, it's an optimisation, and content providers are given explicit controls over it by the protocol (as per <http://httpwg.github.io/specs/rfc7234.html>). The "allegations" should be more about how some networks disregard these controls and cache things against content providers' wishes.
> Is someone blogging that or should the TAG?

I'm happy to write something up for the TAG blog.

> But also, when things should be a laws (or regulations, etc), then we should say that too.

Agreed. As we discussed in NYC, it's important to give the law appropriate places to "grab onto" in the technology, and that involves discussing how the law will interact with tech.

> This community can't just work by making internet protocols, it has to make or suggest laws too. The system is one of machines operating under protocols and people/companies operating under laws.  To make a system which works you have to have both parts defined together.
> It is is counterproductive to say that technology and policy should be discussed in different fora.
> The text may be just useful to how the protocols assume people will interact, it may be used to actually draft rules and regulations and policy and legislation.
> Should ideally it be illegal to cache things against the content-owner's wishes, then?
> Should it be illegal for an ISP to inject anything (like javascript) of any sort into anything (like http: HTML pages) ?
> Making it illegal doesn't stop the remote outright criminal or the oppressive regime.  But it stops corporations and institutions, like ISPs and SNSs and content providers in many countries.  It means that the incentives tip, can make the system run a whole lot more smoothly, and we can focus the  energy and the technical measures more effectively.

It's tempting to suggest something like "Architecture of the World Wide Web vol. 2: Law and the Web."  Is the TAG the right body to work on that?


Mark Nottingham   https://www.mnot.net/

Received on Wednesday, 21 January 2015 06:30:27 UTC

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