At RIPE NCC organised Roundtable of 4 April 2011 at the Sheraton Hotel at Schiphol, the RIPE community, governments, LEAs and RIPE NCC met for a program of presentations on RIPE policies that are of interest to governments and law enforcement. From a law enforcement perspective there were four strong messages on ways that governments can assist to make cyber crimes and incidents enforcement more efficient in the near future.
At the meeting RIPE NCC showed policy on IPv4 depletion and the lack of transition to IPv6. This led to a lively debate and speculations on how to promote the necessary transition in a better fashion. RIPE NCC further presented on DNSSEC, certification of IP resources and the RIPE NCC governance documentation project, while RIPE’s chair Rob Blokzijl spoke on the role of registration.
The Cyber Crime Working Party
As chair of the CCWP I was able to present shortly on the London meeting of 16 March. The CCWP is there to build trust, share information and coordinate efforts between the RIPE NCC, RIPE community and LEAs. It aims for better information positions at both ends. LEAs learn about how to find or get information available at RIPE NCC and how to participate in RIPE policy processes, while at the same time fulfilling the need of RIPE NCC to streamline information requests, e.g. through devising a template for such and coordinate on issues that are of common interest.
The role of governments
Co-chair of the RIPE’s Cooperation Working Group*, Maria Häll, at a certain stage asked those present: “How can governments help to make a change possible”? At the London meeting four distinct points came up from the side of LEAs in which governments can make future Internet related cross-border investigations for LEAs different and more fluent. As chair of the CCWP I was able to present the four identified issues for governments.
1. Information request template
After this has been drafted and accepted, governments can assist in dispersing the template to LEAs in the respective countries and encourage the use thereof.
2. CCWP membership and funding
The CCWP is membership driven. It can only make a difference if there is participation and commitment to results. Either by direct participation or delegation. At present this is extremely difficult for LEAs to do. Governments can assist in making the work of the CCWP better known, urge their LEAs to join and think of ways to fund the CCWP. Only through participation policy proposals from LEAs can be actively brought into the RIPE community policy making process. The same goes for mutual understanding on policy.
3. Actively promote IPv6 transition
The ways in which telecoms operators work around the depletion of IPv4 will make it hard for LEAs to investigate, while at the same time end users run the risk of being blacklisted because of law breaches of someone else in their Network Address Translation, NAT. Law enforcement has expressed a grave concern for this situation, but is not in a position to actually change any of it. Governments can assist in speeding up the transition phase, so these problems disappear as soon as possible. In which way can e.g. the Commission, the member states and RIPE NCC work together on this?
4. Cross-border investigations
One of the hardest and tenacious problems in international cyber investigations is the MLAT process. This can make an international cyber case -and most are so by definition- an arduous and time consuming thing to investigate. While speed in the online world is often required. What can governments do to adapt this system (without giving up jurisdiction or checks on proportionality and such) so mutual assistance can be sped up if necessary?
Cooperation is best
Only through common efforts of industry, governments and LEAs will the Internet become more secure. Meetings like the RIPE NCC Roundtable help those present understand what the issues each community faces are and how to work together to change courses. (As RIPE NCC answered Maria Häll’s question: “Bring more of your colleagues in”.) RIPE NCC understands this and puts a lot of effort into establishing cooperation, what I commend her for.
Wout de Natris, De Natris Consult
Leiderdorp, 5 April 2011
* In the Cooperation Working Group governments discuss topics and policy with the RIPE community. The other co-chair is Patrick Fältstrom of Cisco. The CCWP grew from LEA side events of the CWG.