AT&T. Layer 6-8 needed.

Hiers, David David_Hiers at
Mon Jul 27 15:22:06 UTC 2009

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. 

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.

David Hiers

ADP Dealer Services
2525 SW 1st Ave.
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-----Original Message-----
From: Jon Lewis [mailto:jlewis at] 
Sent: Monday, July 27, 2009 6:58 AM
To: William Pitcock
Cc: nanog - n. am. network ops group list
Subject: Re: AT&T. Layer 6-8 needed.

On Mon, 27 Jul 2009, William Pitcock wrote:

> It is widely known that AT&T loves censorship.  They love censorship 
> because it is profitable for them to love censorship, and this isn't 
> the first time they have enmasse blocked access to a website they 
> didn't like.  This has nothing at all to do with forged ACK responses, 
> and everything to do with content.

How does breaking things (censorship) make them more money?

> AT&T does not have the right to filter what their users can access, 
> period.  You can put all the spin on it that you want, but in the end 
> it's about content.

Whatever happened to "My network, my rules?"  If AT&T blocks something, and as an AT&T customer, you don't like it, get your connectivity from someone else.

  Jon Lewis                   |  I route
  Senior Network Engineer     |  therefore you are
  Atlantic Net                |
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