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Webinar: The GNU Name System and the road to publishing an RFC

With Martin Schanzenbach, Bernd Fix and Stephen Farrell

February 22, 2024, 13:00-14:30 CET

Watch the recording on our BigBlueButton platform

Screengrab from live demo of creating a GNS domain.

About the webinar

The GNU Name System (GNS) is a decentralized and censorship-resistant domain name resolution protocol that provides a privacy-enhancing alternative to the Domain Name System (DNS) protocols. In november 2023 the GNS was published as RFC 9498. Martin Schanzenbach, Christian Grothoff and Bernd Fix are the authors of the RFC. In this webinar Martin and Bernd will give an explanation of GNS and talk about how the process of getting a specification published as an RFC work.

The third speaker, Stephen Farrell co-founder of Tolerant Networks, will talk about getting advice with standardisation processes. Tolerant Networks offers NGI grantees support with standardisation and Stephen will explain what to expect from such support. The webinar concludes with a Q&A with all three speakers.

Portrait of Martin SChanzenbach.
Martin Schanzenbach

About Martin Schanzenbach

Dr. Martin Schanzenbach received his PhD from the Technical University of Munich in 2022. He is currently heading the research group "Applied Privacy Technologies" at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied and Integrated Security (AISEC). The research group and its members work on privacy engineering, homomorphic encryption and functional encryption. His direct areas of research include privacy-enhancing technologies and secure distributed systems. In the context of various research activities and projects he is researching self-sovereign identity systems, peer-to-peer technologies and secure name systems. He is one of the authors and designers of the GNU Name System (RFC 9498).

Bernd Fix, sitting on the ground, mouse cables weaved through his fingers with nine mice hanging from them.
Bernd Fix

About Bernd Fix

Bernd Fix is a hacker veteran of the Chaos Computer Club in Germany and founding board member of the Wau Holland Foundation. After working in the field of computer security for over two decades, his current work focuses on digital disobedience, freedom of information, informational self-determination and the impact of technology on the development of our society. He is one of the authors of RFC 9498.

Portrait picture of Stephen Farrell.
Stephen Farrell

About Stephen Farrell

Dr. Stephen Farrell is co-founder of Tolerant Networks and a research fellow in the Distributed Systems Group of the School of Computer Science and Statistics at Trinity College Dublin. At Trinity College Stephen teaches and researches on security and delay/disruption-tolerant networking (DTN). In 2006 he co-authored the first book on the latter topic. Stephen has been involved in Internet standards for more than a decade and has been an IETF security area director for six years. Prior to returning to academia in 2002, Stephen had 15 years experience in industry, working for Siemens and Baltimore Technologies amongst others.

NGI Zero support service: Standardisation advice by Tolerant Networks

NGI Zero offers support services to projects who are active in the Next Generation Internet initiative. Tolerant Networks offers support with best practices on standardisation and provides custom advice on standardisation strategy. Open standards are an essential component of the openness of the internet. Dealing with standards setting organisations as a relative outsider can be a good lesson in humility though. Standards bodies often have meritocratic characteristics, and processes with very specific timing, meaning that newcomers can be at a disadvantage. Not every project may need to interface with a standards setting organisation, but for those that do Tolerant Networks provides guidance and mentoring throughout the process, and can help introduce projects to relevant stakeholders to collaborate and build alliances. This does not deliver guarantees on successfully reaching a standard, but it can significantly increase their chances.

About Tolerant Networks
Tolerant Networks was founded in April 2010 by Stephen Farrell and Kerry Hartnett. The company was spun out of an EU FP7 funded project called N4C in which we used Delay Tolerant Networking (DTN) to enable Internet-like communications in very remote communities. It has successfully completed a range of projects in the area of DTN deployment, educational DTN projects and DTN usage for the European Space Agency. Tolerant Networks is a a Trinity College Dublin campus company.


The GNU Name System received funding from NGI0 Discovery, and NGI0 Entrust , two funds established by NLnet with financial support from the European Commission's Next Generation Internet programme, under the aegis of DG Communications Networks, Content and Technology under grant agreement No 825322.

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