Fw: Re: White House to Propose System for Wide Monitoring of Internet (fwd)

blitz blitz at macronet.net
Sat Dec 21 09:46:30 UTC 2002

BRAVO FRED!!!! You encapsulated this well...now its up to us.
The bureaucracy is bound to forge ahead in establishing the police-state, 
we do NOT have to help them...

At 14:30 12/20/02 -0800, you wrote:

>I have restrained from saying this so far but... "I told you so."
>When I attended the Oakland NANOG in October 2001, I had just
>returned from Washington DC.  The trip originally was for my
>brother's wedding but I extended it for some personal lobbying on
>the so-called USA PATRIOT bill as it rushed through the process,
>having not one single public hearing in either the House or Senate.
>During that time I was continually in contact with the very
>knowledgeable staff at CDT, EFF and an attorney who is a recognized
>expert on Fourth Amendment search and seizure law and the 1996 AEDPA
>anti-terrorism law that laid the groundwork for "Patriot".
>As a USENIX member and NANOG participant, I had more insight into
>the practical effect of the sweeping proposals in "Patriot" on actual
>net operations than the attorneys did.  I realized that the "Patriot"
>law, when passed, would sooner or later entangle network operators in
>crucial decisions affecting the ability of ordinary users to traverse
>the net freely as we have always done.
>I did my best to alert my Oregon congressional delegation to these
>issues, in personal meetings with their staff on Capitol Hill the
>first week of October.  I've got a lot of background in lobbying but
>found this very hard to do.  Bridging the gap between communications
>and security policy and operational reality is a difficult matter at
>best.  But still, we have to try.
>At the Oakland NANOG, following meeting procedure, I sent an email
>query requesting some discussion of the implications of the "Patriot"
>bill, which ended up passing late in the month, and received a polite
>but firm reply from Susan Harris: this was beyond the scope of NANOG.
>I begged to differ then, and now I suggest that we all give serious
>thought to the implications that increasing and direct government
>intervention in the operation of the Net is starting to have.
>We all want security, but security without liberty runs contrary to
>the founding principles of the United States.  And as Bruce Schneier
>has emphatically pointed out, security is a process not a product,
>whether it's a firewall or Total Information Awareness.  Avi Rubin
>observes the issue is not that the potential already exists to do
>great damage with the Internet.  With the advent of ever more potent
>attacks, from ordinary worms and viruses to Code Red and Nimda to
>root server DDOS and beyond, that is not disputed.  The question is
>why this capability is not used more often.
>The restraint from using technology for its maximum destructive
>potential is the social bonds that we have as human beings.  The
>great benefit of the Internet is that it helps strengthen those
>bonds, improve our planetary communications, and at its best help
>us collectively address the issues our societies face.
>If we do not have the maximum freedom to use the net for those
>purposes, free of government interference and arbitrary control
>wherever possible, but consistent with *reasoned and reasonable*
>security measures, our security will instead be undermined in the
>long run.
>That is why the approach and attitude of network operators makes
>a difference.  It mattered at the time of the Oakland NANOG, and it
>matters now.  Perhaps NANOG is not the organizational locale to work
>these issues out, although I could see it being so.  But a coherent
>response to increasing intrusion of governmental policy on network
>operations needs to happen, one way or another.
>You might say, "it's not my job to make policy."  And that may be
>true.  It's not a branch librarian or circulation manager's job to
>make policy either, but they all belong to the American Library
>Association, which has emerged as an effective champion of real
>security and real freedom on the Internet, because they are
>committed to the principle that their primary obligation is to the
>users of library services.  I believe network operators should,
>and do, take very seriously their primary obligation to the users
>of Internet services.
>So I ask my friends in this organization NANOG whose purpose and
>work I, a mere net user, greatly admire, to consider this question
>with the greatest thoroughness.  When the government (whichever one,
>not just the US) comes knocking and asking you to do something that
>restricts the freedom of net users, what will you do?  When those
>in your organization who set policy come asking what it will cost
>and what it will mean to users to do what the government wants, what
>will you say?
>I don't mean to place the entire burden on the shoulders of NANOG
>and its members.  But I do think it's important to consider the
>obligations that all of us, who have some in-depth knowledge of
>how the Internet *really* works, have to the users of the Internet,
>which will ultimately be every last one of us on the planet.
>------ mail forwarded, original message follows ------
>From: Valdis.Kletnieks at vt.edu <>
>Subject: Re: White House to Propose System for Wide Monitoring of Internet 
>Date: Fri, 20 Dec 2002 14:31:39 -0500
>On Fri, 20 Dec 2002 11:31:39 MST, "Wayne E. Bouchard" said:
> >
> > On Fri, Dec 20, 2002 at 11:12:43AM -0500, David Lesher wrote:
> > >
> > > [This just jumped into the operational arena. Are you prepared
> > > with the router port for John Poindexter's vacuum? What changes
> > > will you need to make? What will they cost? Who will pay?]
> > Heard about this on the news this morning and you know, I am so not
> > worried about it.
> >
> > IMO, it's so completely unfeasable at every level as to be actually
> > funny.
>All the same, I suggest you forward the rest of your quite well-reasoned
>comments to your congresscritter and/or the White House.  Remember that the
>idea was probably propsed by people who have little or no clue of what the
>actual impact would be - and the final decision will likely be made by
>somebody with even less technical edge.
>The truly scary part is that it could actually be approved....

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