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North American Network Operators Group

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Re: ISPs not liable for hostile code sent between users

  • From: Jack Bates
  • Date: Thu Jan 23 19:21:05 2003

 On Tue, 21 Jan 2003, todd glassey wrote:
> Vadim - the instant someone sues a Provider for sexual harassment from
> spam epidemic you will start to see things change. The reason that No-Sane
> provider will block these ports or services is because they have been
> listening to their Network Admins too long, and in fact the problem is
> they are not sane providers. What they are, and this is pretty much true

Actually, most provider won't block ports due to service contracts with
customers. Mail filters easily allow for exceptions to the rule. However, IP
layer filters do not allow such exceptions without extensive overhead. Is a
rural ISP that is forced to use older routers for modem banks to deal with
rural telco issues required to run an authentication method that allows per
user filtering despite the fact that such methods seriously inhibit the
performance of the modem bank? Or should such a provider block specific IP
ranges or ports at a global level despite the fact their clients actually
use the valid services registered to those ports?

It is not the responsibility of the provider to secure the individual's
machines. The provider's responsibility is to the network as a whole. We
designed a stupid network so that interoperability would be optimal. The
second you start building smart networks, you have conflicts. Look at the
caching engines of today. There is not a single cache mechanism that is
guaranteed to work with 100% of the content its designed to cache. Another
example would be the recent 69/8 issues; Smart networks trying to protect
themselves and damaging legitimate traffic in the process.

Jack Bates
Network Engineer
BrightNet Oklahoma

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