SCION for a greener Internet?


Playlists: 'camp2023' videos starting here / audio

The SCION Internet architecture empowers users to chose which paths their packets take through the Internet. How does this work? How does this help? Will it be enough?

The SCION Internet architecture is not intended as yet another overlay network but actually aims to supersede BGP as the Internet's inter-domain routing protocol, addressing some of BGP's biggest problems. The goal is to empower Internet users, giving them more information and control about the paths their packets take through the network. Of course this means that, with the right kind of configuration, the SCION-enabled networking stack of your device could automatically steer your outgoing traffic to, for example,

- boycott networks that are known to have unnecessarily high carbon footprints (e.g., that buy power from coal plants),
- prefer networks that operate in areas where there is a (temporary) surplus of electricity from renewables,
- avoid traversing networks that fall under certain dubious jurisdictions, etc.

This talk will briefly look at how the Internet currently works and what issues SCION aims to address. We'll discuss SCION itself in a bit more detail, reviewing its architecture and design decisions before turning to the exciting prospects that "path awareness" can bring to Internet users, especially in terms of a greener Internet. More soberly, we'll also be open about remaining problems and tough questions yet unanswered, before concluding the talk with a review of already existing SCION deployments and ways to get involved.