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Re: Dave Farber comments on Re: Major Labels v. Backbones

  • From: Vadim Antonov
  • Date: Sat Aug 17 18:10:35 2002

On 17 Aug 2002, Paul Vixie wrote:

> Am I the only one who finds it odd that it's illegal to export crypto
> or "supercomputers" to certain nations or to sell such goods with
> prior knowledge that the goods are going to be resold in those
> nations... or even to travel to certain nations... yet no law
> prohibits establishing a link and a BGP session to ISP's within those
> nations, or to ISP's who are known to have links and BGP sessions to
> ISP's within those nations?

Well... it is not always legal.  The "trade with the enemy" act may
prohibit ISPs from connecting with countries on the list.  In the old
times I had a discussion on the subject with Steve Goldstein (regarding
> I'm not sure I'd be opposed to it, since economic blockades do appear
> to have some effect, and since data is a valuable import/export
> commodity.  I think homeland security is a good thing if it means a
> mandate for IPsec, DNSSEC, edge RPF, etc... but if we *mean* it, then
> why are US packets able to reach ISP's in hostile nations?

This is silly, because:

a) no one can deny connectivity to "bad guys".  You can merely create a
minor annoyance to them, in form of having to use a proxy somewhere in

b) all you can really achieve is to restrict access for their populace;  
effectively making the job of "bad guys" easier (hint: governments in
non-friendly countries do agressive filtering of access to Western
networks themselves).

It is a known phenomenon that given the Western cultural dominance in the
net, it is one of the best pro-Western propaganda tools around. Propaganda
(in the right direction) is good, because if you can convince someone to
come to your side, you don't have to kill him to prevail.

I can only hope that H.S. Dept will see it this way.

> I want to know what the homeland security department is likely to do
> about all this, not what is good/bad for the citizens of hostile
> nations or even nonhostile nations.

Likely nothing, unless they are complete incompetents.  The point is:  
there's no feasible way to achieve any gains by restricting access on
per-country basis.

It is a lot more useful to suppress the enemy propaganda by going after
its sources which are easily located.  I would suggest going after CNN
first [sarcasm implied].


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