back to article We have Huawei to make the internet more secure: Dump TCP/IP to make folks safer says Chinese mobe slinger

Chinese telecom companies and the Middle Kingdom government contend that the TCP/IP protocol stack is ill-suited for future networking needs and have proposed reworking the internet's technical architecture with new, more secure internet protocols. Huawei, China Mobile, China Unicom, and China Ministry of Industry and …

  1. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    I'm actually surprised

    Surprised that something like this wasn't already being planned by our very own lovable spooks and gubberment

    1. aqk
      IT Angle

      Re: I'm actually surprised

      IT WAS in the planning stage. Thirty-five+ years ago- by the US gov't. Politicians were worried about not being able to manage- i.e. CONTROL all those internet tubes and pipes.

      Then I assume they were voted out (but for other reasons)

      And then techies saved us!

      1. Ralph Online

        Re: I'm actually surprised

        We reject: kings, presidents, and voting. We believe in: rough consensus and running code.

  2. Terafirma-NZ


    maybe they should finish one first...

    1. Yes Me Silver badge

      Re: IPv6

      It's finished and works very well. Also, New IP builds on IPv6.

      1. R Soul Silver badge

        Re: IPv6

        [Citation needed]

        Where are the specs for this protocol? Is there an open source reference implementation?

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: IPv6

      I haven't really had trouble with IPv6 but yeah there are some potential "gotchas" - that were mentioned a bit in an earlier El Reg article...

      When I look back over recent history and think of the number of times I've seen the phrase "The Great Firewall" in El Reg articles, do I _NEED_ to mention anything more regarding 'lack of trust' here?

      Here's a nice blast from the past from 2015-ish - a simple search got me a pile o' links.

    3. Ralph Online

      Re: IPv6

      Nobody has yet implemented RFC 3251 as far as I am aware.

      Big miss! Getting that right could be a power for good!

  3. vtcodger Silver badge

    Time to upgrade

    Sounds to me like they've identified something internet related that actually works surprisingly well most of the time. Clearly that needs to be fixed.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Does the Politburo of the Chinese Communist Party ...

    ... have a spec for this wonderful new protocol?

    I'd love to read it. I am particularly interested in packet fragmentation, packet re-assembly and packet routing.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Does the Politburo of the Chinese Communist Party ...

        Casual rasism is always so funny...

  5. Yes Me Silver badge

    Let's stick to facts...

    The New IP proposal has been characterized as an attempt to impose authoritarian, top-down control on the unruly internet with features like a "shut-off" mechanism to stop denial of service attacks.
    No, it's been mischaracterised that why. And it in no sense "dumps" TCP/IP. And most operators would welcome that off switch anyway.
    Huawei's presence on the US Commerce Department's Entity List has called into question whether American companies can participate in standards organizations alongside Huawei.
    Well, US based companies like Futurewei seem to manage. And IETF and ITU-T meetings don't take place in US jurisdiction. And we're all waiting eagerly for President Biden.
    But given that many of these discussions are happening behind closed doors...
    The smart money says that actual technical discussion will end up in the IETF, because it has change control of Internet standards, and it's open to all.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Let's stick to facts...

      To rebut your points:

      - The characterisation of an unreleased spec is difficult to confirm or deny. While most operators would welcome an off switch to shut odd DDoS and other unwanted traffic, the question is who decides the traffic is unwanted. Most operators realise handing that power to governments is riskier than the current, unsatisfactory arrangements.

      - I'm not sure your point about Futurewei is relevant. The US government is moving in a direction that reduces Huawei's ability to operate in the US. Not having removed a company yet isn't a sign that there is nothing to worry about.

      - IETF's technical discussions are largely around who is allowed to participate in setting new standards. Once the standards are released, the market decides the result and the IETF rubber stamps it a few years later.

      Looking at the Chinese Internet and comparing it to the Internet in Western countries (even with kiddie porn and other covert filtering in-place) offers a very different experience. Suggesting Huawei will produce a specification that is not closely aligned with existing Chinese policy seems.....optimistic. And in terms of implementing a new specification outside of China, I would suggest looking at the challenges present with IPv6 in the first 15+ years of its life - the Internet has a lot of legacy crud and making changes is slow even when the technical challenges are conquered.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Let's stick to facts...

        "The US government is moving in a direction that reduces Huawei's ability to operate in the US"

        Really? So you've missed the threats made by the US toward the UK, EU, and pretty much anybody who wants to deal with Huawei? As well as preventing them from getting any technology that has some bits originating from the US?

        The US are trying to stop Huawei from operating at all, and not just moving in a vague direction, they're actually using a sledgehammer on them right now.

        I'd rather not be aligned with a country who's president is expressing his love for the military killing its own unarmed citizens. Notice how difficult it is to know if I'm talking about the US or China?

        Yes, Trump might be replaced later on. But honestly, with the level of popularity he's still getting, it's hard to exclude the US turning full-on authoritarian at some point, and unlike China, they'll already have a lot of global control.

      2. aqk

        Re: Let's stick to facts... 35 years later?

        This was tried in the USA 35+ years ago.

        Read your history

    2. mark l 2 Silver badge

      Re: Let's stick to facts...

      Microsoft seem to be able to offer their apps on the Huawei app store so clearly some US companies are allowed to have a business relationship with them despite the sanctions.

    3. R Soul Silver badge

      Re: Let's stick to facts...

      The ITU documents mentioned in the article are freely available on the IETF web site. Visit or google for ietf liaison statement 1653.

      One of those documents, TSAG-C83, is written by Huawei, China Mobile, China Unicom and CAICT - China Academy of Information and Communications Technology which is a branch of the Chinese government. TSAG-C83 says: "As the WTSA-20 is approaching, it is the right time for ITU-T to consider designing a new information and communications network with new protocol system that satisfies and serves for the future. There are great opportunities for ITU-T to play a leading role in a strategic transformation and pay more attention to the new future network research with New IP protocol system. As the international technology and standard organization, ITU-T is suggested to take a long-term view and shoulder the responsibility of a top-down design for the future network."

      That makes it very clear what China's and Huawei's intentions are. There's no mischaracterisation at all. China's actually saying New IP *IS* about top-down control.

      What was it you were saying about sticking to the facts?

  6. doublelayer Silver badge

    Not open, not interested

    The protocols that underlie the internet are so important that they must be open. They must have all details of their specs available for public perusal. Until this mechanism is released in that way, which means full access to all specifications, an open body clearly independent of corporate interests which can propose and make changes, clearly free of patents, etc. I will have to oppose it. TCP meets those requirements. UDP meets those requirements. QUIC meets those requirements. Anything else must also meet those requirements.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But just as western governments adopted totalitarian response to controlling caronavirus so they will adopt this because you know, control.

    1. Robert Grant Silver badge

      But just as western governments adopted totalitarian response to controlling caronavirus so they will adopt this because you know, control.

      This sort of comment is a good sign. No one who's been anywhere near actual totalitarianism would be saying it, so totalitarianism must be pretty unusual.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        See above:

        "I'd rather not be aligned with a country who's president is expressing his love for the military killing its own unarmed citizens. Notice how difficult it is to know if I'm talking about the US or China?"

        1. grumpy-old-person

          Or South Africa

          The 'State of Disaster' declared here was surely never intended to allow the police and military to assault and kill - nobody seems to explain how this contains the spread of a virus!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But ...

    ... do they have an 1807 Insurrection Act ?

    .... or a 25 Edward III 1351 Act ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: But ...

      No but they have Lord Haw Haw

  9. PhilipN Silver badge

    What do governments not control?

    Paper money movements. In China some 7-11 style shops (for example) have no staff : the facial recognition system is so good and so extensive that anyone who scarpers without paying goes straight into the miscreant database. You can bet your bottom dollar that China is developing - I reckon already has developed - it’s own digital currency. So much commerce in China is transacted online and pay-by-bonk it is a natural next step to add a few more 1’s and 0’s. The state already controls the banks so there is no need for Bitcoin-like farms on every street : it is an exercise in data-gathering not financial security. It therefore comes as no surprise that they wish to change the plumbing for their own purposes.

    Make sense or is one spouting buffalo spoor?

  10. tip pc Silver badge

    ipv6 is broken and something is needed to properly superseded ipv4

    The internet was built out of the US governments DoD DARPA agency.

    Every time you use the net you are using something built to satisfy political aims of the US government.

    Firewalls happily intentionally block traffic On a micro level, I can’t imagine a firewall was envisaged when the net was being built.

    Building a blocking mechanism into the addressing protocol is logical but would be an easy way for governments to stop people they don’t like using it.

    The internet as we know it today is vastly different and used differently to how it was intended and envisaged but still compliant and compatible with ipv4, it’s extensibility is what has permitted its success even though ipv6 has been waiting in the wings.

    Whatever comes after IPv4 must be able to innovate as effectively, else governments will have full control and business will be less inclined to invest in something any government could turn off on a whim.

    1. grumpy-old-person

      Re: ipv6 is broken and something is needed to properly superseded ipv4

      The US government and military of the day had probably asked for something,but I bet that NOBODY had an inkling as to what would eventually emerge as the Internet!

      An amazing feat of design that needed only a few tweaks to make it not only "usable" but eminently so!

      The distributed nature of the design enabled it to scale so far past the original expectations that it is almost miraculous.

      As for devices like firewalls one can view them as a choice of the end user, like having a wall around your property or not - not a part of the Internet per se and will probably be required until the last crook has disappeared from the planet!

  11. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    "shut-off" mechanism

    China could try putting real contact information into their APNIC records. Most countries use such information to request that attacks be shut down.

    I may never remove Chinese and Vietnamese government owned networks from my firewall. I put in a nice request to have attacks stopped but they bounced. I've already wasted enough time.

  12. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

    Wasn't this tried before

    When it was called OSI?

  13. x 7

    Cut the cables..........

    China only uses the internet to spy on the west...............lets just cut the cables and isolate them. Then they can do whatever they like without pinching our secrets.

    If their international trade gets damaged as a secondary effect, then tough - that'll teach them not to bootleg our technology

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cut the cables..........

      To be fair, the west allowed China to take this position by outsourcing all its tech manufacturing in pursuit of short term profits.

    2. Adelio

      Re: Cut the cables..........

      Is that even possible?

  14. osxtra

    What Could Go Wrong?

    Hopefully no one associated with the Leerless Feeder at 1600 Pennsylvania will be involved when it comes to building this new "more secure" protocol.

    "Repeal and replace" hasn't gone over so so well here in America...

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Supporting deterministic forwarding"...

    Would that include forwarding all traffic, unencrypted, through government systems? To protect, uh, the kids, right?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Improving the Internet Protocol

    incorporate some features from TOR to make traffic harder to track and decrypt and easier to circumvent firewalls and similar blockades.

  17. aqk

    OMG! IP will be replaced? And so will the 80-col card?

    Too much to handle this week! I was told this THIRTY-FIVE years ago! By a "consultant" at my company.

    He warned that TCP/IP was obsolete and I had better start learning the "ADA" nonsense. At least I think it was ADA.. It may have been Charles Babbage. Or possibly Commander Hopper and COBOL-IP (shudder)

    I paid no attention, and the high-priced consultant soon drifted away, as all those seagulls do, after their squawking, eating your food and shitting on you.

    Let's see how far Huawei goes. So far they haven't even rescued the founder's daughter yet...

  18. grumpy-old-person

    Rise of the Stupid Network

    The Internet (previously ARPANET, previously ...) works well because it is "stupid" and the "clever" bits are the endpoints.

    Change the endpoints as much as you like and the network will still (mostly) deliver the packets used to carry the data.

    Putting "clever" bits into the network itself will simply produce problems that are avoidable.

    See this old paper

    Any proposal by any government to enable control will end in tears!

  19. AdrianMontagu

    Sounds a bit like SPX/IPX

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like