QUIC! IETF sets November deadline for last comments on TCP-killer spawned by Google and Cloudflare

Next comes all the joy and laughter of the standards process

The Internet Engineering Task Force has set November 16th, 2020, as the final date for comment on Quick UDP Internet Connections, the would-be TCP-killer that Google and Cloudflare have offered up as part of HTTP/3.

QUIC’s backers point out that TCP is chatty and therefore imposes long round-trip times on traffic. Which is never welcome, but especially undesirable on wireless networks.

By using a flavor of TLS (Transport Layer Security) over the internet's UDP protocol instead of the customary TCP, QUIC can bust some bottlenecks that can happen when a TCP connection loses packets. QUIC therefore makes it possible for a client and server that have never connected to send data without any round trips between the devices.

The result is faster-loading web pages – which explains why Google backed QUIC – and more elegant internetworking – which explains why Cloudflare likes it.

Speaking of Cloudflare, one of its engineers named Lucas Pardue, who is also the QUIC Working Group co-Chair, last week pointed out that the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) last week posted a notification that QUIC is now at “last call” stage.

Fast Cloud

QUIC, dig in: Microsoft open-sources MsQuic, its implementation of Google-spawned TCP-killer QUIC


As the IETF explains here, Last Call status represent “the final stage of open community review”.

Or as Pardue put it: “At the end of the Last Call period, the stakeholders will take stock, address feedback as needed and, fingers crossed, go onto the next step of requesting the documents be published as RFCs on the Standards Track.”

Which is where things get a little odd, as Pardue writes that even though the Last Call refers to draft 32 of the QUIC spec, version 29 has been chosen as the one to use and is indeed already out there in most major browsers.

That’s not the end of the matter, however. Assuming QUIC survives the last call it will become an IETF RFC, which opens it to further debate and review.

And as Pardue explains, QUIC and HTTP/3 are extensible, so there’s much more to be done. ®

Broader topics

Other stories you might like

  • Experts: AI should be recognized as inventors in patent law
    Plus: Police release deepfake of murdered teen in cold case, and more

    In-brief Governments around the world should pass intellectual property laws that grant rights to AI systems, two academics at the University of New South Wales in Australia argued.

    Alexandra George, and Toby Walsh, professors of law and AI, respectively, believe failing to recognize machines as inventors could have long-lasting impacts on economies and societies. 

    "If courts and governments decide that AI-made inventions cannot be patented, the implications could be huge," they wrote in a comment article published in Nature. "Funders and businesses would be less incentivized to pursue useful research using AI inventors when a return on their investment could be limited. Society could miss out on the development of worthwhile and life-saving inventions."

    Continue reading
  • Declassified and released: More secret files on US govt's emergency doomsday powers
    Nuke incoming? Quick break out the plans for rationing, censorship, property seizures, and more

    More papers describing the orders and messages the US President can issue in the event of apocalyptic crises, such as a devastating nuclear attack, have been declassified and released for all to see.

    These government files are part of a larger collection of records that discuss the nature, reach, and use of secret Presidential Emergency Action Documents: these are executive orders, announcements, and statements to Congress that are all ready to sign and send out as soon as a doomsday scenario occurs. PEADs are supposed to give America's commander-in-chief immediate extraordinary powers to overcome extraordinary events.

    PEADs have never been declassified or revealed before. They remain hush-hush, and their exact details are not publicly known.

    Continue reading
  • Stolen university credentials up for sale by Russian crooks, FBI warns
    Forget dark-web souks, thousands of these are already being traded on public bazaars

    Russian crooks are selling network credentials and virtual private network access for a "multitude" of US universities and colleges on criminal marketplaces, according to the FBI.

    According to a warning issued on Thursday, these stolen credentials sell for thousands of dollars on both dark web and public internet forums, and could lead to subsequent cyberattacks against individual employees or the schools themselves.

    "The exposure of usernames and passwords can lead to brute force credential stuffing computer network attacks, whereby attackers attempt logins across various internet sites or exploit them for subsequent cyber attacks as criminal actors take advantage of users recycling the same credentials across multiple accounts, internet sites, and services," the Feds' alert [PDF] said.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022