by Darius Kazemi, March 13 2019

In 2019 I'm reading one RFC a day in chronological order starting from the very first one. More on this project here. There is a table of contents for all my RFC posts.

Proposed moratorium

RFC-72 is by Robert D. Bressler of MIT's Project MAC. It is titled “PROPOSED MORATORIUM ON CHANGES TO NETWORK PROTOCOL” and dated September 28th, 1970.

The technical content

Bressler is asking for a freeze on changes to the Host-Host protocol. He is asking for this because many sites have been using the old protocol for almost 6 months and have written a lot of software that uses them. He proposes that only critical changes be considered, rather than changes that would simply increase efficiency. The general gist here is: let's stick with what we have right now and measure its characteristics before redesigning it.


I was waiting for a note like this to come along. Crocker and others were proceeding on the assumption that Host sites would simply have to make the changes necessary to their software to work with the new protocol. It was only a matter of time before someone raised an objection to this.

Further reading

Robert D. Bressler went on to be a vice president at BBN, and is quoted in this 1983 New York Times article about the splitting of the ARPANET into MILnet (military) and R&Dnet (civilian).

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About me

I'm Darius Kazemi. I'm a Mozilla Fellow and I do a lot of work on the decentralized web with both ActivityPub and the Dat Project.