Barry Leiba

Internet Messaging Technology

Director of Internet Standards, Futurewei Technologies

Barry I’m a computer software researcher, working as Director of Internet Standards for Futurewei Technologies.

I spend most of my time on e-mail and antispam technology, Internet of Things technology, and Internet security, and on standards development in those areas. I also try to keep a finger or two in context services technology, aiming to better connect users to important (non-spam) messages while avoiding inundation by unimportant or annoying ones. For more detail, see the sections below.

I chair the CBOR and DMARC working groups in the IETF, as well as the IETF Hackathon.

I am a member of the Internet Society Board of Trustees.

I am a member of the Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) in the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

I am a Senior Technical Advisor for the Messaging Malware Mobile Anti-Abuse Working Group (M3AAWG), and am the IETF liaison to M3AAWG.

I am on the editorial board for IEEE Internet Computing magazine, and I am currently an Associate Editor in Chief.

I retired from IBM in 2009 as a Senior Technical Staff Member at IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research center.

Internet Standards

I am working with the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) on several applications- and security-related standards. I served on the Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG) as Applications and Real-Time (ART) Area Director from 2019 to 2021 and as Applications Area Director from 2012 to 2016, and was a member of the Internet Architecture Board (IAB) from 2007 to 2009. I lead the ART Area Review Team, participate in the Security Directorate and IoT Directorate, and am active in a number of IETF working groups. I have chaired quite a number over the years, including DKIM, OAUTH, CBOR, and DMARC.

IETF working groups of particular interest to me include these:

AntiSpam Technology

During my last few years in IBM Research, we developed more effective antispam techniques, some of which have made their way into IBM’s Lotus software products, and some into the product line from IBM Internet Security Systems. US patents 7,475,118 and 8,549,081 cover some of this work.

Context Services Technology

In Context Services, closely connected to pervasive/ubiquitous computing work, we emphasized three areas:

For the messages themselves, we tied together e-mail, instant messaging, alerts, calendar alarms, and other similar things that can broadly be grouped into the category of “messaging”. It’s obvious that if you’ve defined e-mail from your boss to be “important”, you want to be informed quickly about new e-mail from your boss. But also, if you’ve set your calendar to give you an alarm ten minutes before an important meeting, it does little good if that alarm pops up on your desktop computer when you’re not in your office. That alarm is a “message” too, and we’ll handle it as one.

For connecting you, we handle your desktop and laptop computers, of course, but we also handle a variety of wireless/handheld devices, including cell phones (through SMS), BlackBerry(tm) handhelds, personal digital assistants (PDAs) connected through wireless modems, and other similar devices.

For winnowing important messages from the chaff of all the unimportant ones, we used advanced filtering technology that takes into account general user preferences, specific targeted filters, and user context.

User context refers to information obtained dynamically about where the user is, what she’s doing, and how she’s relating to the people around her. Is the user at home, at work, in a public place? On vacation? In a meeting? Seeing a Broadway show? Has she specified that she’s not to be disturbed? Will she be available for interruption in 30 minutes, or not for 3 hours? Is she out of town? Returning tomorrow, or not for two weeks?

All this information can be used both in the filtering, to change the definition of what “important” means (perhaps mail from my boss is important, but not if I’m on vacation unless it’s marked “urgent”), and in the delivery, deciding how to deliver a message at a particular time (if I’m at home, don’t sent alerts to my desktop computer in the office; if I’m at a show, don’t ring my cell phone).

Much of our work was focused on the context information — obtaining it, using it effectively, securing it to protect the user’s privacy. US patent 7,496,585 covers some of this work.