5 forwarded messages... (fwd)

Lucy Lynch llynch at civil-tongue.net
Fri Jul 24 09:10:53 CDT 2009


All -

Forwarded with permission.

I think that Jonathan was actually commenting on two
aspects that make the Internet model unique, one of
which is the innovative nature of peering relationships
and the second is the sense of a shared interest in
the health and safety of global routing which is reflected
in responses to network issues.

NANOG is a part of both these forms of "goodness".

- Lucy

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 24 Jul 2009 09:54:39 -0400
From: Jonathan Zittrain <zittrain at law.harvard.edu>
To: lynch at isoc.org
Subject: Re: 5 forwarded messages...

Lucy,

Thanks for forwarding.  It's not easy to compress the details of Internet 
routing (including BGP) into a short talk for laypeople, and going from that to 
a news article is even more lossy.  Here's the context in which I brought it 
up: the Internet is not the only way to build a global data network, and its 
differences from other models, literal and metaphorical, are notable.  The 
protocols themselves were in large part developed without the standard attempts 
to profit from them -- a case of the "patent that never was," as some have also 
called the Web.  The daisy chains (daisy webs?) of routing are not, to me, 
functionally equivalent to the transitivity of contracts that make the 
international postal system flow, because of the ways in which new ISPs and 
ASNs can come and go, and overlap one another.  There is a generativity to the 
network that has allowed for the kinds of innovation that simply haven't 
happened in more closed (and, some would say, rational) means of networking. 
I'm sure my view here is colored by my longtime experience with CompuServe, and 
the near-universal view I perceived among its engineers and sysops in the 
mid-80's that tomorrow's global network would be the winner of the grudge match 
among them, the Source, Prodigy, AOL, etc., not the backwater Internet.

On the "volunteer" label -- I did not mean that members of NANOG (or the 
broader network community) are unemployed, or even employed only in unrelated 
fields.  Instead, I wanted to say that when an incident like the 
YouTube/Pakistan situation comes up, there are people working together to solve 
it who don't owe YouTube a thing, and that aside from (re-)advertising its own 
equally or more specific route to itself, YouTube was not particularly 
privileged to fix the blackholing.  It required people to help each other sort 
out the competing claims, and then favor YouTube's claim over that of AS17557. 
So, as I understand it, current routing implementations entail certain systemic 
vulnerabilities for which the YouTube incident is a good example, and when 
risks materialize they're dealt with in a kind of ad hoc fashion that relies on 
a lot of cooperation, and not necessarily among contracting parties.  I see 
similarities to the ways Wikipedia governance works, but that's probably 
flamebait for another time.

Anyway, as the clueless country lawyer, I'm anxious to know what I'm missing or 
getting wrong or imprecise.

Best,
JZ

At GMT-4 09:06 AM 7/24/2009, you wrote:
> Jonathan -
> 
> As I mentioned earlier, it looks like the BBC managed to
> mangle your point about transit relationships fairly
> thoroughly. I think Patrick caught your quote, but the
> gist of your point has been lost.
> 
> 
> Lucy Lynch
> Director, Trust and Identity Initiatives
> Internet Society (ISOC )
> 
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> Date: Wed, 22 Jul 2009 20:44:21 -0400
> From: Patrick W. Gilmore <patrick at ianai.net>
> To: NANOG list <nanog at nanog.org>
> Subject: Re: Nanog mentioned on BBC news website
> 
> On Jul 22, 2009, at 7:41 PM, Kevin Oberman wrote:
> 
>>> Date: Wed, 22 Jul 2009 21:27:39 +0100
>>> From: "andrew.wallace" <andrew.wallace at rocketmail.com>
>>> Big up the Nanog community, you do the net proud...
>>> http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8163190.stm
>> First showed up on NANOG 7 hours ago, but it was a fun read.
>> Clearly the article has little connection with reality. I am not an
>> unpaid volunteer and neither were most or all of those involved. The
>> idea that just because the traffic does not originate or terminate on my
>> net means that working on solving a problem is altruism is pretty silly.
> 
> My fav part:
> 
> <quote>
> "That's precisely how packets move around the internet, sometimes in a many 
> as 25 or 30 hops with the intervening entities passing the data around having 
> no contractual or legal obligation to the original sender or to the 
> receiver."
> </quote>
> 
> How many of you pass packets without getting paid?
> 
> Kinda makes you wonder about all those other TED talks, huh?
> 
> 
>> And NANOG was not really involved though several of those that were are
>> active in NANOG.
> 
> Well, one could argue that NANOG _is_ its members.
> 
> Yeah, a stretch, but I'm trying. :-)
> 
> --
> TTFN,
> patrick
> 
> 
> 
> 
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> Date: Thu, 23 Jul 2009 14:56:36 -0400
> From: Deepak Jain <deepak at ai.net>
> To: Jim Mercer <jim at reptiles.org>, Patrick W. Gilmore <patrick at ianai.net>
> Cc: NANOG list <nanog at nanog.org>
> Subject: RE: Nanog mentioned on BBC news website
> 
>> in the case of intervening entities, it is true that they have no link
>> to
>> the sender or receiver.  my packets from office to home can traverse at
>> 3
>> or more networks that are not paid by me, or my company.
>> 
>> they likely have contracts or obligations with their immediate
>> neighbours,
>> which is basically why the system continues to work.
> 
> I'm not sure if this is the benefit for the lurkers or the old guys, or will 
> eventually get recycled in the press and give me a headache, but here goes.
> 
> I think what people seem to keep skipping over is the concept that packets 
> generated from "A" go to ISP "B" who has relationship with C... to pass 
> packets to "Z". From the point of view of "C" all packets from "B" (including 
> "A") are just "B"'s traffic. It's not as simple as I have an agreement with 
> my neighbor and we pass slop around.
> 
> If I am "C", whatever my neighbor is moving is essentially of equal value in 
> my agreement with my neighbor (until one of us chooses to renegotiate it: 
> i.e. peering dispute, whatever). No matter which "A" is sending it to "B".  I 
> don't *really* get the option to pick and choose on a per packet basis.
> 
> In the case of three intervening networks, each is aggregating their 
> customers' traffic and passing the relevant portions to the neighboring 
> network (presumably for *their* aggregated customers' traffic).
> 
> This is, in some ways, fundamentally different than the US highway system, 
> where if I'm driving a truck between one state and another, the next state 
> (even though they have interconnection agreements) can set different rules on 
> me than the state I just left. I know this happens with (for example) 
> Michigan and its neighbors.
> 
> In the Internet context, my neighbor is responsible to abide by our agreement 
> and prevent the traffic coming over to me from violating that agreement and I 
> am allowed to police and enforce that border any way I want.
> 
> What this means is that if "A" is affected by something, from my perspective 
> as "C", "B" is absolutely authoritative for the discussion about "A"'s 
> traffic and what to do with it. (No matter how many "B"'s A has contracted 
> with, B and C do not have to ask A for permission for ways/means/methods to 
> move packets). We can agree to drop it on the floor, give it priority or 
> special treatment or generally just ignore it and let the packets pass the 
> way they will.
> 
> This how the so-called community "volunteers" have so much ability to affect 
> and improve the system. Everyone operates in their own fiefdom owing little 
> allegiance (other than those of commerce and equity) to its neighbors. I may 
> charge a tariff to enter my fiefdom, but once packets enter my fiefdom, they 
> are my packets. I protect them, and try to speed them on their way without 
> impediment and I negotiate with others on their behalf to improve their 
> happiness.
> 
> And continuing the micro-economics analogy... this is why periodic wars break 
> out between larger fiefdoms and there is little way to influence them to play 
> for the "good" of the system. The only way to influence them is for their own 
> good.
> 
> DJ
> 
> P.S. I've been scratching my head and wondering what this TED thing is all 
> about, it seems like a big cheerleading thing..
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> Date: Thu, 23 Jul 2009 16:38:24 -0400
> From: William Herrin <herrin-nanog at dirtside.com>
> To: Jim Mercer <jim at reptiles.org>
> Cc: NANOG list <nanog at nanog.org>
> Subject: Re: Nanog mentioned on BBC news website
> 
> On Thu, Jul 23, 2009 at 7:27 AM, Jim Mercer<jim at reptiles.org> wrote:
>> On Wed, Jul 22, 2009 at 08:44:21PM -0400, Patrick W. Gilmore wrote:
>>> My fav part:
>>> <quote>
>>> "That's precisely how packets move around the internet, sometimes in a
>>> many as 25 or 30 hops with the intervening entities passing the data
>>> around having no contractual or legal obligation to the original
>>> sender or to the receiver."
>>> </quote>
>>> 
>>> How many of you pass packets without getting paid?
>> 
>> in the case of intervening entities, it is true that they have no link to
>> the sender or receiver. Â my packets from office to home can traverse at 3
>> or more networks that are not paid by me, or my company.
> 
> If I pay you to send my packets and you pay bob to send my packets
> then I have paid bob to send my packets. Transitive property of
> payment. ;-)
> 
> 'Couse bob doesn't pay claire anything but denise pays claire to
> receive packets for denise, my packets are intended for denise and bob
> and claire have a peering agreement in which they agree to swap
> already-paid traffic directly rather than both paying ed to do it for
> them.
> 
> So it ain't free and at each step there is a contractual obligation to
> at least one of the sender or receiver.
> 
> Regards,
> Bill
> 
> --
> William D. Herrin ................ herrin at dirtside.com  bill at herrin.us
> 3005 Crane Dr. ...................... Web: <http://bill.herrin.us/>
> Falls Church, VA 22042-3004
> 
> 
> 
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> Date: Thu, 23 Jul 2009 13:50:44 -0700
> From: Patrick W. Gilmore <patrick at ianai.net>
> To: North American Operators' Group <nanog at nanog.org>
> Subject: Re: Nanog mentioned on BBC news website
> 
> 
> 
> Sent from my iPhone, please excuse any errors.
> 
> 
> On Jul 23, 2009, at 4:27, Jim Mercer <jim at reptiles.org> wrote:
> 
>> On Wed, Jul 22, 2009 at 08:44:21PM -0400, Patrick W. Gilmore wrote:
>>> My fav part:
>>> <quote>
>>> "That's precisely how packets move around the internet, sometimes in a
>>> many as 25 or 30 hops with the intervening entities passing the data
>>> around having no contractual or legal obligation to the original
>>> sender or to the receiver."
>>> </quote>
>>> How many of you pass packets without getting paid?
>> in the case of intervening entities, it is true that they have no link to
>> the sender or receiver.  my packets from office to home can traverse at 3
>> or more networks that are not paid by me, or my company.
>> they likely have contracts or obligations with their immediate neighbours,
>> which is basically why the system continues to work.
> 
> I honestly expected someone to mention this when I wrote the original post, 
> but I had hopes no one would. :-)
> 
> It is clear the intent of the TED speaker was the intermediaries were 
> transiting packets out of the good of their hearts.
> 
> Allow me to illustrate:
> 
> The postal system is amazing!  You can mail a letter from the US to England 
> and the "intermediate" carrier will deliver the mail even though they have NO 
> contract with you or the recipient!  How awesome is that?
> 
> This is not fantasy.  You give it to the USPS, who will hand it to DHL, who 
> will hand it to Royal Mail, who will hand it to the recipient.  Does _anyone_ 
> comment on the lack of your contract with DHL?  Is anyone surprised it still 
> works? Is it worthy of a TED talk?
> 
> --
> TTFN,
> patrick
> 
> 
> 
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> Date: Fri, 24 Jul 2009 07:27:30 +0300
> From: Raymond Macharia <rmacharia at gmail.com>
> To: nanog at nanog.org
> Subject: Re: Nanog mentioned on BBC news website
> 
> Hi
> To summarize the article "Nanogers you do a great job"
> On the rest we can safely say we are probably more clueful as to what
> goes on and we can try as much to correct but I doubt anyone will want
> to put all the gory details in any form of press
> 
> Raymond
> 
> On 7/22/09, andrew.wallace <andrew.wallace at rocketmail.com> wrote:
>> Big up the Nanog community, you do the net proud...
>> 
>> http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8163190.stm
> 
> --
> Sent from my mobile device
> 
> Raymond Macharia




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