Outgoing SMTP Servers

Brian Johnson bjohnson at drtel.com
Fri Oct 28 16:37:10 UTC 2011

Comments in-line

>-----Original Message-----
>From: Valdis.Kletnieks at vt.edu [mailto:Valdis.Kletnieks at vt.edu]
>Sent: Friday, October 28, 2011 10:42 AM
>To: William Herrin
>Cc: nanog at nanog.org; Pete Carah
>Subject: Re: Outgoing SMTP Servers
>On Thu, 27 Oct 2011 23:44:16 EDT, William Herrin said:
>> For our purpose, describing the Internet as a commons fundamentally
>> misunderstands its nature.
>You *do* realize that for all your nice "Thei Internet Is Not A Commons"
>ranting, the basic problem is that some people (we'll call them spammers)
>think that (a) it's a commons (or at least the exact ownership of a given
>chunk is irrelevant), and (b) they're allowed to graze their sheep upon it.

So we should treat the Internet with respect to bad actors differently than others. STRIKE 1!

>> The Internet is not jointly owned. You do not own a one seven
>> billionth share of the network in my basement and I do not a own one
>> seven billionth of yours. Rather, the Internet is a cooperative effort
>> of the sole owners of its distinct individual pieces.
>That's correct, as far as it goes.  However, what *is* a commons is the *value*
>of the cooperative effort - see Metcalf's Law.  You turn off or disconnect your
>share of the Internet, my share of the *value* of the Internet drops slightly.

So bad actors destroying the value created by a cooperative of good actors is not bad? STRIKE 2!

>> Nor is the data transiting these networks a commons. The air over my
>> land is a commons. I don't control it. If I pollute it or if I don't,
>> it promptly travels over someone else's land.
>If you choose to pollute the air heavily, the value of the air drops for
>If you choose to pollute the Net heavily, the value of the Net drops for

STRIKE 3! Oops got ahead of myself.

I'm attempting to prevent the pollution but I may capture a little good water (almost nothing) along the way. To say that this is a way of "bad acting" and causes a loss of value to the Internet as a whole is pure folly.

>> The point is, at every step with the Internet there is always a
>> specific owner whose property is either being used with his permission
>> or abused against his wishes. At no point is it a commons.
>Try working the same example but using a stream flowing across your
>instead, that feeds into the reservior the municipal water supply draws from.
>Yes, you own your section of the stream, and the guy next door owns his
>section, and so on.  So the stream is not a commons - but the quality of the
>water in it *is*. (Yes, weak analogy, the downstream people have no say in it.
>Pretend for the sake of argument that everybody involved lives next to a
>that feeds the reservior that everybody drinks from - that's actually a pretty
>good match to the Internet topology).

Actually if there were 4 strikes... STRIKE 4!

Since I only transit destination packets, this analogy does not apply in any significant way. In fact this would only apply to transit providers filtering between peers or other transit connections. In my experience this is used at the customer connection to the transit or peering connection to protect the Internet from the clueless or compromised.

- Brian

BTW... what a great game last night! :)

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