Skip to Main Content
The architecture of the Internet is based on a number of principles, including the self-describing datagram packet, the end-to-end arguments, diversity in technology and global addressing. As the Internet has moved from a research curiosity to a recognized component of mainstream society, new requirements have emerged that suggest new design principles, and perhaps suggest that we revisit some old ones. This paper explores one important reality that surrounds the Internet today: different stakeholders that are part of the Internet milieu have interests that may be adverse to each other, and these parties each vie to favor their particular interests. We call this process "the tussle". Our position is that accommodating this tussle is crucial to the evolution of the network's technical architecture. We discuss some examples of tussle, and offer some technical design principles that take it into account.
Date of Publication: June 2005