Creating a crystal clear and pure Internet

Rich Kulawiec rsk at
Tue Nov 27 17:51:48 UTC 2007

On Tue, Nov 27, 2007 at 09:38:40AM -0500, Sean Donelan wrote:
> Some people have compared unwanted Internet traffic to water pollution, and 
> proposed that ISPs should be required to be like water utilities and
> be responsible for keeping the Internet water crystal clear and pure.

Yes -- well, not "unwanted" IMHO, but "abusive".  (Much traffic
that's unwanted is not abusive.  For example, in the view of some readers
of this mailing list, some of the longer/more caustic/repetitive debates
might very well be unwanted.  But that traffic is clearly not abusive.)

> Several new projects have started around the world to achieve those goals.
> ITU anti-botnet initiative
> France anti-piracy initiative

Only the first one has anything to do with keeping the Internet clean;
the second is a political cave-in to the copyright cartel.

I see a (mostly) clear line between "things that are abusive of
the Internet, systems connected to it, and users of those systems"
and "content that's unwanted, offensive, or claimed to be covered
under someone's interpretation of IP law".

The first category contains things like spam, phishing, spyware,
spam/phishing/spyware support services (dns, web hosting, maildrops),
DoS attacks, hijacked networks, etc.

The second category contains things like porn, religion, politics,
music, movies via whatever means are used to convey them (mail,
web, p2p, etc.) all of which are certain to irritate someone, somewhere,
and much of which could probably be construed (by a sufficiently
creative legal practicioner) to infringe on somebody's IP.

In my view, it's the responsibility of everyone on the net to do
whatever they can to squelch the first.  But they have no obligations
at all when it comes to the second -- that way lies the slippery
slope of content policing and censorship.


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