Congress may require ISPs to block fraud sites H.R.3817

Richard Bennett richard at
Fri Nov 6 01:14:03 UTC 2009

IANAL, but I wouldn't set too much stock by that order - there are 
numerous errors of fact in the opinion, and much of it relates to the 
lack of due process in the maintenance of a secret blacklist. It was 
also a state law, not a federal one, so there was a large jurisdictional 
question (the Commerce  Clause concern.)

As people in Washington are saying around the net neutrality debate 
these days: "anything goes is not a serious argument."


Steven Bellovin wrote:
> On Nov 5, 2009, at 7:44 PM, Richard Bennett wrote:
>> I think the idea is for the government to create an official 
>> blacklist of the offending sites, and for ISPs to consult it before 
>> routing a packet to the fraud site. The common implementation would 
>> be an ACL on the ISPs border router. The Congress doesn't yet 
>> understand the distinction between ISPs and transit providers, of 
>> course, and typically says that proposed ISP regulations (including 
>> the net neutrality regulations) apply only to consumer-facing service 
>> providers.
>> If this measure passes, you can expect expansion of blocking mandates 
>> for rogue sites of other kinds, such as kiddie porn and DMCA scofflaws.
> It's worth looking at h -- a 
> Federal court struck down a law requiring web site blocking because of 
> child pornography.
>         --Steve Bellovin,

Richard Bennett
Research Fellow
Information Technology and Innovation Foundation
Washington, DC

More information about the NANOG mailing list