Jack Bates jbates at
Thu Jun 25 13:39:40 UTC 2009

Suresh Ramasubramanian wrote:
> ISPs are not common carriers.  Geoff Huston is - as always - the guy
> who explains it best.

Except interestingly, TOR is the common carrier at its best, not 
filtering and investigating the use of the packets being transfered.

The cause for saying an ISP is not a common carrier is the handling of 
abuse of the network, which could still be argued as common carrier in 
that the effects of spam, port scans, etc do have an impact on an ISP if 
they go unchecked and watch other networks filter them out. In addition, 
there are plenty of laws designed to protect customer privacy in the 
government's attempt to provide common carrier status for an ISP.

DMCA also attempts to preserve common carrier for the ISP, requiring the 
ISP to extend a level of trust and act in specific a manner to maintain 
those protections.

I don't think any of it is perfect, and it will take time for government 
to catch up to understanding how the Internet can be handled.


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