AT&T. Layer 6-8 needed.

Richard Bennett richard at bennett.com
Mon Jul 27 16:25:43 CDT 2009


I'm not a lawyer either, but I know how ISPs are regulated in the US. The
actual framework is the FCC's "Internet Policy Statement," to wit:

http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-05-151A1.pdf

. To encourage broadband deployment and preserve and promote the open and
interconnected
nature of the public Internet, consumers are entitled to access the lawful
Internet content of
their choice.
. To encourage broadband deployment and preserve and promote the open and
interconnected
nature of the public Internet, consumers are entitled to run applications
and use services of their
choice, subject to the needs of law enforcement.
. To encourage broadband deployment and preserve and promote the open and
interconnected
nature of the public Internet, consumers are entitled to connect their
choice of legal devices that
do not harm the network.13
. To encourage broadband deployment and preserve and promote the open and
interconnected
nature of the public Internet, consumers are entitled to competition among
network providers,
application and service providers, and content providers.14
 
All of this is subject to a "reasonable network management" exception. There
is some disagreement about what consitututes "reasonable network management"
at the fringes, but the FCC is on record that spam killing and DDOS attack
mitigation are "reasonable." Some people want to add a fifth
"non-discrimination" rule.

In the case of the ISPs and carriers who blocked access to 4chan for a while
Sunday, since that was done in accordance with DDOS mitigation, there's not
any issue as far as the FCC is concerned, but that hasn't prevented the
usual parties from complaining about censorship, etc. 

Richard Bennett

-----Original Message-----
From: Patrick W. Gilmore [mailto:patrick at ianai.net] 
Sent: Monday, July 27, 2009 8:35 AM
To: nanog - n. am. network ops group list
Subject: Re: AT&T. Layer 6-8 needed.

On Jul 27, 2009, at 11:22 AM, Hiers, David wrote:

> I"m not a lawyer, but I think that the argument goes something like 
> this...
>
> The common carriers want to be indemnified from the content they 
> carry. In other words, the phone company doesn't want to be held 
> liable for the Evil Plot planned over their phone lines.  The price 
> they pay for indemnification is that they must not care about ANY 
> content (including content that competes with content offered by a 
> non-carrier division of the common carrier).  If they edit SOME 
> content, then they are acting in the role of a newspaper editor, and 
> have assumed the mantle of responsibility for ALL content.

Famous two cases, Prodigy & Compuserve.  Overturned many years ago.   
If you edit "some" content you are not automatically liable for all content.

No ISP is a common carrier.  That implies things like "you must provide
service to everyone".  Some common carriers get orders like "you must
provide service in $MIDDLE_OF_NOWHERE".

ISPs can, under certain circumstances, get a "mere conduit" style immunity.


> Carriers can, however, do what they need to do to keep their networks 
> running, so they are permitted disrupt traffic that is damaging to the 
> network.
>
> The seedy side of all of this is that if a common carrier wants to 
> block a particular set of content from a site/network, all they need 
> to do is point out some technical badness that comes from the same 
> general direction.  Since the background radiation of technical 
> badness is fairly high from every direction, it's not too hard to find 
> a good excuse when you want one.

That, I believe, is much harder.  But IANAL.

Hell, I Am Not An ISP even. :)

--
TTFN,
patrick








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