Internet engineers punk'd

IETF plays annual April Fool's joke with release of phony standards document

The Internet's premier standards body has punk'd the network engineering community with the release of a phony Internet Draft as it does each April Fool's Day.

This year's joke is a document entitled Draft Random Access File Transfer or DRAFT for short. Its fictional author is Diana Raft or D.Raft. Hints that the document is phony include the corporation that employs D. Raft -- RAFT Corporation - as well as its location at "Kendall Rectangle," a reference to the Kendall Square neighborhood of Cambridge, Mass.

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The document was published this morning under the title: draft-draft-draft.00.txt.

Proof of the document's joke status is its security considerations section. "Security is inefficient, so DRAFT provides none," the document states. "Most Internet users are quite honest."

Another sign that the document is fake is its reference to congestion control. "DRAFT does not make congestion control because that would reduce performance just to be fair to other users," it says. "Obviously, that would be silly."

Further, under acknowledgments, the document says, "Nobody would help us."

The rest of the document's jokes are insider references aimed at network engineers. You can read the full document here.

Past IETF April Fool's Day jokes have included a Hide-and-Seek protocol for protecting privacy and a very up in the air approach to IPv4-to-IPv6 migration

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