The US government has betrayed the Internet. We need to take it back

Larry Stites ncnet at
Fri Sep 6 21:43:44 UTC 2013

"Just following orders..."

 From: Sam Moats <sam at>
To: nanog at 
Sent: Friday, September 6, 2013 7:30 AM
Subject: RE: The US government has betrayed the Internet. We need to take it back

+1 I couldn't have said it any better.

On 2013-09-06 10:27, Naslund, Steve wrote:
> The error in this whole conversation is that you cannot "take it
> back" as an engineer.  You do not own it.  You are like an architect
> or carpenter and are no more responsible for how it is used than the
> architect is responsible that the building he designed is being used
> as a crack house.  Do Ford engineers have a "social contract" to
> ensure that I do not run over squirrels with my Explorer, will they
> "take it back" if I do so?  The whole "social contract" argument is
> ridiculous.  You have a contract (or most likely an "at will"
> agreement") with your employer to build what they want and operate it
> in the way that they want you to.  If it is against your ethics to do
> so, quit.  The companies that own the network have a fiduciary
> responsibility to their investors and a responsibility to serve their
> customers.  If anyone is really that bent out of shape by the NSA
> tactics (and I am not so sure they are given the lack of political
> backlash) here is what you can do.
> In the United States there are two main centers of power that can
> affect these policies, the consumer and the voter.
> 1.  We vote in a new executive branch every four years.  They control
> and appoint the NSA director.  Vote them out if you don't like how
> they run things.  Do you think a President wants to maintain power?
> Of course they do and they will change a policy that will get them
> tossed out (if enough people actually care).
> 2.  The Congress passes the laws that govern telecom and intelligence
> gathering.  They also have the power to impeach and/or prosecute the
> executive branch for misdeeds.  They will pass any law or do whatever
> it takes to keep themselves in power.  Again this requires a lot of
> public pressure.
> 3.  The companies that are consenting to monitoring (legal or
> illegal) are stuck between two powers.  The federal government's power
> to regulate them and the investors / consumers they serve.  Apparently
> they are more scared of the government even though the consumer can
> put them out of business overnight by simply not using their product
> any more.  If everyone cancelled their gmail accounts, stopped using
> Google search, and stopped paying for Google placement and ads, their
> stock would go to zero nearly overnight.  Again, no one seems to care
> about the issue enough to do this because I have seen no appreciable
> backlash against these companies.
> If a social contract exists at all in the United States, it would be
> to hold your government and the companies you do business with to your
> ethical standards.  Another things to remember is that the NSA
> engineers were probably acting under their "social contract" to defend
> the United States from whatever enemies they are trying to monitor and
> also felt they were doing the "right thing".  The problem with "social
> contracts" is that they are relative.
> As far as other countries are concerned, you can affect their
> policies as well.  US carriers are peered with and provide transit to
> Chinese companies.  If the whole world is that outraged with what they
> do, they just need to pressure the companies they do business with not
> to do business with China.
> Steven Naslund
> Chicago IL
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jorge Amodio [mailto:jmamodio at]
> Sent: Friday, September 06, 2013 8:51 AM
> Subject: Re: The US government has betrayed the Internet. We need to
> take it back
>> > The US government has betrayed the Internet. We need to take it back
>> > >
>> >
>> > Who is we ?
>> If you bothered to read the 1st paragraph you would know.
> I read all of it, the original article and other references to it.
> IMHO, there is no amount of engineering that can fix stupid people
> doing stupid things on both sides of the stupid lines.
> By trying to fix what is perceived an engineering issue (seems that
> China doing the same or worse for many years wasn't an engineering
> problem) the only result you will obtain is a budget increase on the
> counter-engineering efforts, that may represent a big chunk of money
> that can be used in more effective ways where it is really needed.
> My .02
> -J

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