“OWA develops requirements for an open service optimization proxy to meet the service needs of all stakeholders in the web ecosystem while supporting the goals of encryption and privacy.”
Sounds good, right? But when you start to read the news articles they link to, the true agenda begins to become apparent.
Network operators are having trouble with SPDY-based web traffic because of the way the proxy encapsulates multiple traffic flows into a single encrypted tunnel, making all of that traffic invisible to the network, and in essence, disabling network-based services including firewalls, parental controls, policy management, traffic-shaping, and more.
Yes, they’re an organization of network and device manufacturers who are upset that they might not be able to examine and mess with your web traffic in transit.
Remember, traffic shaping can be performed based on protocol even if connections are encrypted end-to-end. The good things they list, like parental control and firewalls, can all be handled at your end of the network — and should be.
Another article is even blunter:
HTTP/2 risks creating dumb pipes with SPDY
Which adds some fearmongering:
As SPDY sees positive market momentum, it has the potential to introduce vulnerabilities in fixed, mobile and enterprise networks.
Sure, just like HTTPS makes your enterprise network insecure, right?
Let’s be clear on this: a “dumb pipe” is exactly what my Internet connection is supposed to be. What the Open Web Alliance are interested in providing are experience enhancing services like these:
- Verizon’s privacy-killing perma-cookies, injected by the network whether you like it or not, and used by ad networks to track you regardless of your browser settings.
Comcast’s ad injection WiFi hotspots which insert additional advertisements into other people’s web pages.
LG’s televisions uploading your viewing history for them to sell on.
The UK’s Great Firewall of Cameron, where your ISP filters your network connection whether you like it or not.
Basically, the membership of the OWA seems to be a rogues gallery of corporations who want to interfere with your Internet access against your will, spy on your Internet use, or sell products to let other people do those things.