Muni network ownership and the Fourth

Jay Ashworth jra at
Tue Jan 29 17:02:11 UTC 2013

----- Original Message -----
> From: "Rob McEwen" <rob at>

> When any government entity desires log files from an ISP, and if that
> ISP is very protective of their customer's privacy and civil liberties,
> then the ISP typically ONLY complies with the request if there is a
> proper court order, granted by a judge, after "probable cause" of some
> kind of crime has been established, where they are not on a fishing
> expedition. But, in contrast, if the city government owns the network,
> it seems like a police detective contacting his fellow city employee
> in the IT department could easily circumvent the civil liberties
> protections. Moreover, there is an argument that the ISP being stingy
> with such data causes them to be "heros" to the public, and they gain
> DESIRED press and attention when they refuse to comply with such
> requests without a court order. In contrast, the city's IT staff and
> the police detective BOTH share the SAME boss's boss's boss. The IT guy
> won't get a pat on the back for making life difficult for the police
> department. He'll just silently lose his job eventually, or get passed
> up for a promotion. The motivation will be on him to PLEASE his fellow
> city employees, possibly at the expense of our civil liberties.
> PS - of course, no problems here if the quest to gain information
> involves a muni network that is only used by city employees.
> PPS - then again, maybe my "log file example" doesn't apply to the
> particular implementation that Jay described? Regardless, it DOES
> apply to various government implementations of broadband service.

It would, if I were talking about a situation where the muni *was the ISP*,
supplying layer 3+ services.  I'm not.  I'm purposefully only talking
about layer 1 service (where the residents contract with an ISP client 
of the muni, and that client supplies an ONT and takes an optical handoff)
or, my preferred approach, a layer 2 service (where the muni supplies the 
ONT and the ISP client of the muni takes an aggregated Ethernet handoff
(probably 10G fiber, possibly trunked).

(Actually, my approach if I was building it would be Layer 2 unless the 
resident wants a Layer 1 connection to {a properly provisioned ISP,some
other location of theirs}.  Best of both worlds.)

-- jra
Jay R. Ashworth                  Baylink                       jra at
Designer                     The Things I Think                       RFC 2100
Ashworth & Associates         2000 Land Rover DII
St Petersburg FL USA               #natog                      +1 727 647 1274

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