Visible to the public EAGER: Legal Barriers to Securing the Routing ArchitectureConflict Detection Enabled

Project Details

Performance Period

Sep 01, 2017 - Aug 31, 2018


University of Pennsylvania

Award Number

IP addresses can be stolen or hijacked. It can happen instantly, and may result in a loss of Internet connectivity and/or diversion of traffic to a malicious entity. Until recently, an organization was unable to prove ownership of its Internet address. A global Resource Public Key Infrastructure (RPKI) is a framework designed to secure the Internet's routing infrastructure by enabling Third parties to cryptographically validate claims of ownership of Internet address blocks and permit such resource holders to declare routing relationships. However, adoption of RPKI remains at an impasse largely due to legal factors. This project supports an independent assessment of the proper allocation of liability for uses of RPKI by related parties, such as network operators, that can serve as the basis for the parties to discuss resolving the impasse over the indemnification clauses in the Relaying Party Agreement (RPA). If those discussions are successful, the research will ultimately promote more widespread use of RPKI in North America and enable a more secure Internet.

BGP is a live distributed protocol which spans the globe, operating on millions of routers, interconnecting 60,000 distinct administrative domains, called Autonomous Systems (AS), and providing routing information to 700,000 destination networks. BGP was originally designed in an era in which security was not a significant concern, and major BGP route changes were communicated by operators via email or community mailing lists. However, the Internet has grown exponentially and the systemic vulnerabilities of the global BGP routing system have been the subject of concern for network operators for the last decade. RPKI provides one solution to the problem. One of the largest obstacles to the adoption of RPKI to secure BGP routing, however, is the fact that most organizations will not or cannot sign ARIN's RPKI Relying Agreement. By conducting a legal analysis and enabling a new form of agreement and compromise, progress forward can be made on this important underlying component of the Internet infrastructure.