On the Internet in A Disaster - CfP

Craig Partridge craig at aland.bbn.com
Tue Dec 11 22:04:24 UTC 2001


[NANOG participation is particularly desirable]

         On the Internet In a Disaster
             Call For Participation


September 11th 2001 was an interesting day on the Internet.  The collapse of
the World Trade Center towers damaged communications lines.  Many people
turned to Web sites on the Internet for news and emergency information.
For some people in New York, the Internet was used as a replacement
communications system while the phone service was out.  Some firms had
to start providing their internet services from backup locations.

What makes the events of September 11th special are not the individual events.
Communications links have been severed before, and Web flash crowds have
overloaded Web sites.  Rather it is the combination of events that
collectively represents the Internet's experience in a disaster.

How the Internet does and can respond to a disaster is of great interest
to relief agencies and other crisis responders, governments, national security
entities, businesses, and the general public.

To better understand exactly how the Internet did respond to September 11th,
the National Research Council's Computer Science and Telecommunications
Board is convening a workshop to be held in March 2002 in Washington, DC.
This call solicits participants and written contributions for the 
workshop.  The workshop is being organized by a small committee of Internet
experts.  It will draw on the workshop to produce a short, summary and
synthesis report, which will be subject to a rigorous review process
supervised by the National Research Council.

The workshop will be small (approximately 25-35 participants) meeting.  The
meeting will consist of two days of a mix of presentations and discussions.
The focus of the presentations will be quantitative information (measurements,
analysis) of how portions of the Internet behaved on September 11th 2001.
Participants should note that our definition of Internet is quite broad: beyond
measurements of packet traffic or outages, we welcome data for Web sites,
dialup statistics, wireless access, experiences of backup data sites, and the
like.  We want to assemble the broadest possible picture of data communications
and how it evolved in response to the disaster.

Some of the workshop participants will be invited to expand their presentations
at the workshop into papers, to be included in the workshop report as
reference material.

This workshop will not be open to the public.  It will engage only the
participants and NRC/CSTB staff in the discussions.  Furthermore, submissions
for participation will not be distributed outside the set of workshop 
organizers and attendees.  CSTB expects that the closed nature of the meeting
will encourage the candor necessary to fully assess the data from September
11th.

Parties interested in participating in the workshop are invited to submit
a 3- to 6-page white paper.  White papers should describe in some detail
the data or analysis (or both) from September 11th or its aftermath that
the participant would like to present at the workshop.  Please also include
a one-paragraph biography of the participant.  Participants should note
that our definition of Internet is quite broad: beyond measurements of
packet traffic or outages, we welcome data for Web sites, dialup statistics,
wireless access, experiences of backup data sites, and the like.  We want
to assemble the broadest possible picture of data communications and how
it evolved in response to the disaster.

Submissions are due January 10, 2002 and should be sent to:

           Mr. D.C. Drake/Internet Under Crisis Conditions
           Computer Science and Telecommunications Board
           National Research Council
           2101 Constitution Avenue, NW
           Washington, DC 20418

           ddrake at nas.edu
           202-334-2605

Note: In light of mail difficulties in Washington arising from anthrax
incidents, please call to confirm snail-mail details before mailing.
An alternate address may be recommended.  Participants will receive an
invitation by January 24th.



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