Panel Video: The Role of OpenStandards In Expanding the IoT

Posted on August 10th, 2016

Panel Video The Role of OpenStandards In Expanding the IoTOn Tuesday, June 21st, Karen McCabe, Senior Director of Technology Policy and International Affairs at IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA), led a panel with several global leaders on Open Standards and the Internet of Things (IoT) at the International Technology Advisory Committee (ITAC) forum at the 2016 OECD Ministerial on the Digital Economy.  Joining her were:

  • Monique Morrow, CTO, Evangelist for New Frontiers Development and Engineering, CISCO
  • Laurent Liscia, CEO and Executive Director, OASIS
  • David Conrad, Chief Technology Officer, ICANN
  • Roberto Minerva, Research Coordinator at Telecom Italia Lab; Chair of the IEEE IoT Initiative
  • Luis Kun, Professor of National Security at the Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies (CHDS) at the National Defense University
  • Elsa Chan, Co-Founder, Jetlun

In addressing the great promise of the IoT, the panel sought to address the benefits and ramifications of a future, fully interconnected “smart world” where relationships between people, objects and our environments are increasingly interconnected and intertwined. Moreover, the panel sought to ask and answer key questions regarding how to address key issues related to security, privacy, interoperability, standards, legal, regulatory and rights issues — as well as the inclusion of emerging economies. Some of the key questions that were asked included the following:  

  • What is the value of open and voluntary standards in sustaining innovation in the IoT domain?
  • What is the economic rationale that goes into choosing between a particular set of competing standards?
  • What are possible frameworks and solutions for creating an enabling environment for IoT to flourish as a positive force for inclusive economic and social development?
  • Who should take such standards forward?
  • With IoT’s multifaceted nature that allows it to cross over many disciplines and vertical markets, how do stakeholders ensure a path that supports convergence and interoperability?

The discussion explored the promises and potential economic benefits of the future IoT, from cars as IoT hubs to the explosion of IoT startups.   Panelists highlighted the $341 billion dollar waste in investment of non-standardized IoT solutions, the expanding demand created by a a rapidly growing population and changing cultural climate in making a case for open standards for IoT.  They highlighted the need for a balance of proprietary and open standards, emphasizing the for the common values of the Internet (in the OpenStand tradition) to govern the IoT domain.  They also addressed the current “chaos” and the many platform challenges presented by the evolution of IOT, in addition to the practical, social and economic dynamics of this “Fourth Industrial Revolution.”  

You can view the panel yourself, below.


Among the champions for Open Standards, it is significant to note that both IEEE and CISCO are affirming partners of the OpenStand Principles.

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Open Standards Create a Vibrant, Market-Driven, Innovative Ecosystem

Posted on August 3rd, 2016

Open Standards Encourage Innovation a Vibrant Ecosystem for All Parties to ChooseImage: Vandame

Alan Woolhouse, Chair of the Weightless SIG Marketing Working Group, recently published a series of articles dedicated to Low-Power Wide-Area Network (LPWAN)  technologies and solutions. His final article in the series focuses on the positives, the negatives, and the intricacies of leveraging proprietary technologies vs. open standards in choosing LPWAN technology.

The arguments in favor of open standards for LPWAN technologies are familiar: Open standards allow for interoperability between manufacturers and have the potential to support a broader array of vendors and participants. Open standards also help create a collaborative environment with a more diverse base of participants, which can produce broader innovation. This leads to a more competitive landscape and lower costs, both on the production side, and and for consumers.

This article stresses the need for a vibrant ecosystem of suppliers on both sides of what Woodhouse calls the “two-ends” problem.  He explains, “Every wireless link has two parts, the transmitter and the receiver, or the base station and the device. Typically, the company or person buying the base station is different from the one buying the device and neither wants to be committed to buying from a particular company due to decisions made by others. Open standards allow a vibrant ecosystem of suppliers for both sides of the link, enabling each party to choose their preferred supplier.”

Woolhouse’s article also examines the Internet of Things (IoT), asking the question of whether the right standardization is in place. The answer today is unclear, and according to Woodhouse, this is leading to a lack of traction and slowing the creation of connected devices. While the recent announcement on Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF) shows positive momentum, there is relatively fragmented industry support for IoT today, and for LPWAN, no clear single standard with “multiple options in the licensed and unlicensed spectrum.” While working towards a single standard is admittedly difficult, Woolhouse comments that it is critical because “standards only function effectively when there is a single standard for each application space – Bluetooth for personal connectivity, Wi-Fi for local area networking, cellular for wide-area connectivity.”

Previous articles in Woolhouse’s series have covered additional topics necessary in defining the strength of an IoT connectivity technology such as capacity, quality of service, range, reliability, battery life, security and cost. You can the full set of articles here.

As OpenStand advocates recognize, applying the OpenStand Principles to support LPWAN and IoT standards development will not only help ensure many of the benefits Woodhouse references are realized, open standards will also help speed innovation and the advancement of technology for humanity.

If you are interested advocating for the OpenStand principles, sign your name as a supporter You may also consider displaying a site badge or infographic on your website.

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Why Open Standards Want Every Voice Heard

Posted on July 27th, 2016

Why Open Standards Want Every Voice HeardImage: DNS Africa

Do you have an idea on how to better Internet protocols? Or a suggestion for something new? If so, do you know how to make those ideas and opinions heard?

The internet is built on a history of new and novel ideas from all sorts of people and places. That is what makes it one of the most collaborative pieces of technology the world has ever seen. A recent article outlines how the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), an Affirming Partner of the OpenStand Principles encourages participation through transparent and democratic means.

In particular, this article covers the story of the IETF inviting Ukrainian Mykyta Yevstifeyev to attend a meeting to discuss his recent IETF Request for Comment (RFC). What they didn’t know was that Mykyta was only 16-years-old and couldn’t travel unaccompanied.

Why didn’t they know that detail?  The IETF has no barrier to participation and entry, which in on purpose. Suggestions can come from anywhere and anyone — including a 16 year old. The working groups of IETF are organized based on a specific technical need with individual choosing to participate based on interest via email. According to the article, there are currently 130 active working groups.

The one uniforming concept, is their alignment  with OpenStand Principles. By working within the guidance of due process, consensus, transparency, balance and openness, the IETF works to create a truly global and open internet, the goal of OpenStand. In additional, they publish all final standards online for free, adhering the availability principle. Currently, the IETF is working on issues including pervasive surveillance and the Internet of Things (IoT).

By continuing to encourage collaboration across the global population, we will continue to capture the effective and efficient standardization processes that have made the Internet and Web the premiere platforms for innovation and borderless commerce

Don’t forget to submit a formal endorsement from your technology, design or standards organization for the OpenStand Principles!

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Is It Possible for the Market Giants to Support Open Standards?

Posted on July 20th, 2016

Is it Possible for the Market Giants Support Open Standards?Image: Kanchana Koyjai

In an announcement earlier this year, major Internet industry leaders invested in the future success of IoT by creating the Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF). The OCF was created with a goal to unify IoT development in order to allow companies and developers to work together to create specifications, protocols and open source projects enabling devices and solutions that can work together as securely and seamlessly as possible.

The founding members of the OCF include industry leaders Microsoft, Cisco, Electrolux, General Electric, Intel, Qualcomm, and Samsung. According to Microsoft’s announcement, “Regardless of the manufacturer, operating system, chipset or transport – devices that adhere to the OCF specifications will simply work together.”

The biggest companies in the industry are forming this partnership to demonstrate their dedication to ensuring interoperability as a critical success element for the IoT. In addition, the OCF is committed to helping all developers and companies create “solutions that map to a single, open IoT interoperability specification.”

As more organizations begin to understand the impact IoT can have, leveraging the OpenStand Principles will help alliance and consortia develop standards that may be more easily converted into true standards by Standards Development Organizations (SDO’s). The OpenStand principles capture the effective and efficient processes that can make technologies the most ripe for innovation and borderless commerce.

For more information about the OCF, visit www.openconnectivity.org. We also hope you’ll consider becoming an advocate for the OpenStand Principles in technology and standards development.

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What Can the Future Hold for the Internet?

Posted on July 13th, 2016

What Can the Future Hold for the Internet?Image: Daniel Sallai

Earlier this year, The Internet Society (ISOC), an OpenStand Affirming Partner, initiated a project to examine the future of the Internet. They solicited hundreds of responses in order to put together a framework for future scenarios, questions and insight into what could change the Internet in the years to come – and now ISOC is reaching out to the public to populate its framework with additional detail.

According to its post, ISOC asserts that society “can’t afford to take the Internet – or its future – for granted.”  In light of this, ISOC asserts the criticality of beginning to examine, create scenarios, and participate in shaping what the future can hold for one of the world’s most powerful tools.

In issuing another survey, which closed June 26, 2016, ISOC has extended the “The Future of the Internet” project to further explore issues uncovered in its initial survey, and develop develop scenarios related to how certain forces may evolve.  The Internet has driven generation of unprecedented global innovation and economic growth.

Moving ahead, ISOC has established the following project timeline::

  • A look at the forces of change impacting the future of the Internet – Quarter 3/Quarter 4 2016
  • Draft of Future Internet Scenarios for Global Input and Comment – Quarter 4 2016
  • Release of Revised Future Internet Scenarios – Quarter 1 2017
  • Discussion papers on top Internet issues – Quarter 2 2017
  • Recommendations for creating the future Internet we want – Quarter 2 2017

Interested in getting involved in digital rights issues? Become an OpenStand advocate! You can:

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Context for Collaborative Security: RFC 7754 Blocking and Filtering

Posted on July 6th, 2016

Context for Collaborative Security RFC 7754 Blocking and FilteringImage: Sergey Nivens

There can be any number of reasons any party may choose to block and/or filter certain content on the Internet, from blocking pop-up ads, to protecting proprietary information to preventing illegal activity. The Internet Architecture Board (IAB) recently published RFC 7754 – Technical Considerations for Internet Service Blocking and Filtering, which provides advice on how to go from blocking and filtering policies to technological adoption.

Olaf Kolkman, Chief Internet Technology Officer of The Internet Society (ISOC) examined the issue of blocking and filtering on the Internet within the context of ISOC’s Collaborative Security framework on the ISOC blog. Kolkman outlines each of principles in terms of how they can inform the policy to technology implementation. Read more about the guiding principles of Collaborative Security here.

  1. Foster Confidence and Protect Opportunities: when blocking or filtering content policies are implemented, there must be transparency regarding said policies, as well as an understanding that the implementation will “not negatively impact the opportunities of those not directly involved.” This transparency should foster confidence and collaboration in adhering to the policies.
  2. Collective Responsibility: as Internet users, there is a shared responsibility towards the system as a whole and some blocking and filtering techniques “may adversely impact the way the Internet is collectively managed” either during technology implementation or in secondary impacts.
  3. Fundamental Properties and Values: solutions should honor basic human rights and preserve the fundamental properties of the Internet, the Internet Invariants, “features of the technical architecture that, if impacted significantly and long term, would adversely shape the course of its future.”
  4. Evolution and Consensus: Effective security must take into account the evolutionary qualities of both the policy requirements and implementation methods. Kolkman states that “The technology-neutral expression of the policy requirement needs to involve a broad set of stakeholders and should include technological specialists in order to assure there are no side effects negatively impacting other key aspects mentioned here.”
  5. Think Globally, act Locally: to find the most impactful solution, there must be voluntary self-organization. Blocking and filtering on a presumed local level can still have global impacts. By thinking on a larger scale, organizations can provide minimal global impact.

While RCF 7754 provides advice that can help to address some of the aforementioned aspects, it concludes that there is no best way to perform blocking and filtering. Each situation needs to be reviewed within the context of the situation, the content in question, while questioning if the societal costs are too high.

To that end, Kolkman argues that, in some cases, technology may not be the best way to implement these types of policies. He concludes his post by urging the internet community to “Think Globally, act locally, but also think creatively and act collaboratively.”

Both IAB and ISOC are affirming partners of the OpenStand Principles.  The guiding principles of Collaborative Security align with those of OpenStand, supporting and advocating for open standards development approaches to cybersecurity with specific regard to cooperation and collective empowerment. Respectful cooperation among standards organizations is critical as the development community commits to the development of standards that best support the needs of the global community.

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Internet Engineering Task Force Hearkens Orwellian Themes in RFC 1984

Posted on June 29th, 2016

Internet Engineering Task Force Hearkens Orwellian Themes in RFC 1984
Image: IETF

In the fall of last year, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), an Affirming Partner of the OpenStand Principles, invited responses and input regarding a best practices model called RFC 1984. IETF chair was quick to note that, though the RFC does not directly concern the dystopian novel by George Orwell with which it shares a name, it does pertain to the Orwellian theme of unwanted surveillance.

RFC 1984 is inviting responses to its recommendation for “strong, cryptographic protection of [Internet] communications.” It reasons that the vulnerabilities of Internet communication can only be mitigated by giving users access to strong security tools that comply with widely adopted standards for web protocols. The IETF claims that the principles RFC 1984 (which was originally published in 1996) are still relevant for the web today.

IETF’s Security Area determined that, though now two decades old, RFC 1984 still adequately expresses the importance of widely accessible security tools for Internet communication. “The possibility of revising the text of RFC 1984 was discussed, but rejected because a) the current text is still fine, b) any changes we’d likely make now wouldn’t improve it significantly, c) affirming the continuity of the IETF’s position is valuable and even d) keeping the RFC number is worthwhile.”

Like the IETF, we encourage all those who stand by the OpenStand Principles to become OpenStand supporters, and advocate for the application of these principles to the development of open standards to better secure and extend global technologies.  

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IPv6: OpenStandards Drive Significant Benefits Behind the Scenes

Posted on June 22nd, 2016

IPv6 OpenStandards Drive Significant Benefits Behind the Scenes
Image: Ericsson Research Blog

If you’re like many web users, you may have a limited understanding of Internet Protocols or know which version on an Internet Protocol you are utilizing to communicate at any particular time. In short, Internet Protocol (IP) is a set of rules that govern internet activity and drive the completion of different tasks on the Internet / World-Wide-Web. An IP address is a number that, as a part of Internet Protocol, is assigned to a device connected to the internet. This number can be static or dynamic and differentiates one device from literally billions of other internet-connected devices.  This differentiation allows different devices to connect and send/receive data.  

We are in the process of moving from IPv4 to a  new version, IPv6, which has been in development for some time.  The need for a transition to a new version of the Internet Protocol has primarily been driven by by the fact that we have started running out of IPv4 IP addresses. In fact, when IPv4 addresses began to run out, intermediary devices called address translation routers became necessary, to make sure that IPv4 packets were getting to their intended destinations. Unfortunately, these translators can only service a limited number of connections at a time, which can slow Internet traffic considerably. IPv6’s ability to bypass intermediary devices will lead to a faster, less congested Internet.

For tech blogger and IETF chair Jari Arkko, the advantages of IPv6 are readily apparent. “[while using IPv6] I was now able to reach the devices in my home network directly. For instance, I can reach my backup server at home on a secure connection directly to that device, rather than having to wait until I get back into my home network or go through complicated tunnel set ups.” Arkko, who lives in Finland, is seeing widespread IPv6 deployment in his home country. In fact, while commuting on a train he noted with some satisfaction that his iPad was acting as a mobile broadband gateway and that all his other devices were able to reach the Internet through his iPad. Arkko’s mobile broadband provider, a Finnish company called DNA, has been a change leader for IPv6, enabling its use for many of its customers.

While IPv6 support has been in the works for several years and major content providers like Google and Facebook have enabled it for their sites, IPv6 adoption is still in its early stages. As more and more content providers and manufacturers push IPv6 on their sites and devices, its growth promises to only hasten. The future of Internet traffic is upon us, and IPv6 promises to make it a much faster, more robust experience.

The IETF if a joint affirming partner of the OpenStand Principles, which capture the effective and efficient development processes that have made the Internet and Web the premiere platforms for innovation and borderless commerce. Collectively, the OpenStand principles establish a model that helps standards like IPv6 become broadly extensible to the global marketplace through:  

  • Cooperation among technology development organizations
  • Adherence to due process, broad consensus, transparency, balance and openness
  • Commitment to technical merit, interoperability, competition, innovation and benefit to humanity
  • Availability of technology to all
  • Voluntary, market-driven technology adoption

If you are on board with IPv6, Sign Your Name to increase open standards across all technology.

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McKinsey Report Highlights Potential and Roadblocks to the IoT

Posted on June 15th, 2016

McKinsey Report Highlights Potential and Roadblocks to the IoT
Image: ReadWrite

As OpenStand has highlighted on many occasions, including this this recent post, there are a plethora of challenges on the path to building a successful, interoperable Internet of Things (IoT). Beyond the 400 plus competing IoT standards and a lack of global internet connectivity, competitive market dynamics encourage development practices that hamper the expansion and threaten the success of the IoT.  

recent report produced by research and consulting firm McKinsey & Company highlights the current state of the IoT and summarizes the challenges faced industry. The report projects that the IoT will likely command anywhere from $4 to $11 trillion in revenue year-over-year by 2025. However, the report also asserts that the true potential of the market will be determined by the ability of policymakers and businesses to drive technology and innovation that is interoperable, secure, protective of privacy and property rights, with established business models that better facilitate and enable data sharing.

The McKinsey report identifies incompatibility as the number one problem facing IoT growth. Without question, the IoT gold rush has driven extensive technology innovation and development from companies competing for market share. However, the closed proprietary development approaches adopted by businesses have largely fail to produce technologies and business models that encourage broad-scale interoperability, data sharing, privacy, security and protection of property. The McKinsey report asserts that, “Interoperability between IoT systems is critical. Of the total potential economic value the IoT enables, interoperability is required for 40% on average and for nearly 60% in some settings.”

As a solution, the report encourages the adoption of open standards as a critical means to encourage interoperability. As a secondary method, implementing systems or platforms that enable different IoT systems to communicate is also encouraged.  

Another critical problem is an underutilization of IoT data — which is a reflection of inoperability as well as a failure to build business models that encourage data sharing. McKinsey points out that consumer-facing applications are capitalizing more from shared data — utilizing nearly 70%. However, when compared against other industries, the data optimization issue becomes more evident.

As an example, McKinsey points to the oil and gas industry. A single oil rig may have that has 30,000 sensors. Typically, about 1% of the data is utilized for business purposes (e.g. to measure control anomalies). Meanwhile, while an extensive amount of data is being captured, measured, photographed — these sensors are not being utilized for other useful things  — such as developing predictive capabilities, measuring patterns of currents, oceanic temperatures and more. Collectively, the data they capture alone can provide value that extends far beyond the oil and gas industry.

Unlike many of the other technology development waves we’ve ridden, McKinsey asserts that the hype related to IoT may actually under-represent the potential of this market. At the top-level, McKinsey estimates the consumer surplus would be staggering, “equivalent to about 11% of the world economy.” Without question, it is clear from industry activity and technology proliferation that the IoT is viewed a veritable modern gold mine of opportunity. How well we mine it may be determined by our collective ability to balance the drive to gain market share and profiteering against a greater collective vision for the IoT.

To address the future and capitalize on the potential of IoT, the report summary concludes as follows, “…capturing the full potential of IoT applications will require innovation in technologies and business models, as well as investment in new capabilities and talent. With policy actions to encourage interoperability, ensure security, and protect privacy and property rights, the IoT can begin to reach its full potential—especially if leaders truly embrace data-driven decision making.” You can access the entire report more here.

As the IoT expands, leveraging the OpenStand principles in technology and standards and development can help confront some of the barriers to IoT success. In short, the OpenStand principles capture the effective and efficient development processes that have made the Internet and Web the premiere platforms for innovation and borderless commerce, creating a model that is extendible for standards and technology development across sectors and industries by ensuring:   

  • Cooperation among technology development organizations
  • Adherence to due process, broad consensus, transparency, balance and openness
  • Commitment to technical merit, interoperability, competition, innovation and benefit to humanity
  • Availability of technology to all
  • Voluntary, market-driven technology adoption

We hope you’ll consider becoming an advocate for the OpenStand Principles in technology and standards development.

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W3C Launches Interest Group to Craft the Building Blocks of the IoT

Posted on June 8th, 2016

W3C Launches Interest Group to Craft the Building Blocks of the IoT

Image: Shutterstock

In a precent post OpenStand highlighted an industry white paper that projected that the Internet of Things (IoT) will bring billions of new devices to the Internet inside of ten years.  The incipient growth spurt that this field is experiencing is being manifested in many sectors including smart homes, healthcare, smart grids, smart cities, retail, and smart industry.  However, the growth of the IoT is slowed by been silo-driven, disjointed development, resulting in device and network incompatibilities across the spectrum.  To date, there are no significant global IoT standards have been successfully introduced that will help bridge platforms from application to application.

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), an affirming partner of the OpenStand principles and leading advocacy group for web standards, is looking to change all that. By using a new class of web servers, the W3C is looking to develop a web-based standard that will act as the connective tissue between systems. Of course, a channel for communication is not all that useful unless all involved parties are speaking in a mutually comprehensible language. To that end, the W3C has proposed a conceptual framework that will function as a “common tongue” for IoT networks to talk to each other.

The Web of Things Framework will allow for flexible locus of network control and precise synchronization of behavior where needed, such as with factory robots and process control. According to a W3C blogger Dave Raggett, “The use of Web technologies is expected to dramatically reduce the cost for implementing and deploying IoT services. Companies will be able to realize savings in operational costs, but just as important, companies will have increased flexibility for rapidly reconfiguring manufacturing processes, and a reduction in time from design to shipping of new products.” Needless to say, this will enable a very agile production schema, wherein products can be manufactured to fit a customer’s specific requirements, rather than a “one size fits all” approach to mass production.

Of course, IoT technologies come in a wide variety of applications with many different requirements and specifications. This makes an “adaption layer” necessary for all devices to be able to connect to the Web of Things Framework. This adaption layer makes it possible to build robust systems that may feature complex configures at a base level without being overly constrained by minor changes on the lower layers. This will also allow standardized security and privacy measures to be deployed on IoT systems without the challenges of incompatibility, which among other issues, leaves certain nodes vulnerable.

Raggett says that the flexibility of the Framework will also support user-crafted IoT devices and services: “With the success of open source software and the advent of open hardware, there is a huge opportunity for hobbyists and members of the “maker” community to get involved and help build momentum around open standards for the Web of Things.”

Those interested in being involved with the W3C’s development of IoT standards are welcome to join the W3C’s Web of Things Interest Group as well as a corresponding Working Group to advance the conversation of open standards in IoT development. Open Standards will be critical to the success of the Internet of Things, and advocates of the Open Stand Principles are needed at the table.

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