Softlayer / Blocking Cuba IP's ?

Faisal Imtiaz faisal at
Fri Feb 19 21:39:41 UTC 2016

Yep, this is a classic case of Corporate Stupidity, "We don't want to deal with any possibility of an exposure, so we are going to take a self initiated actions to make our network becomes a cordoned off island'.... Oops, the fact that we are a communications service provider where such rules don't apply seems to get lost since no one wants to stick their neck out or use some brain cells for thinking things thru.. 

Anyhow, for those who are wondering how this has a trickle down affect !.... Well our customer is one of the few licensed charter flight operators to Cuba... There has to be information exchange in regards to these flights and passengers before the they are allowed to travel/ take off etc etc... 

So, out of the blue, after years and years of everything working, suddenly emails flowing thru spam filtering service hosted on Softlayer Cloud, totally blocked any / all emails from Cuba from coming thru... We just spent last 10 days tracking everything down .... 


Happy Friday to everyone ! 

Faisal Imtiaz 
Snappy Internet & Telecom 

> From: "Collin Anderson" <collin at>
> To: "Faisal Imtiaz" <faisal at>
> Cc: "nanog list" <nanog at>
> Sent: Friday, February 19, 2016 4:04:00 PM
> Subject: Re: Softlayer / Blocking Cuba IP's ?

> Being as Softlayer is owned by IBM and headquartered in Virginia, they are
> pretty bound by U.S. sanctions policy, although this is obviously
> overcompliance. Essentially if there was to be a prohibited customer and a
> threat of enforcement, they want to be able to say they took extreme steps to
> prevent use of their network in those countries.
> This is also unfortunately a common sanctions compliance practice by service
> providers -- GoDaddy had done so for years until recently and Google continues
> to for GAE and GCE. Apparently Softlayer's network change was put into place a
> couple of weeks ago, and covers all the comprehensively sanctioned countries --
> Iran, Cuba, Syria, North Korea and Sudan (should block Crimea as well in that
> case).
> It's not clear that their customers know they are blocked from something like
> 150 million potential users, and you are right, in fact the Cuba sanctions
> regulations were modified last month to expand authorizations on such
> transaction. It's extremely counterproductive and in direct contradiction to
> well established policy on Internet access in sanctioned countries.

> On Fri, Feb 19, 2016 at 3:27 PM, Faisal Imtiaz < faisal at >
> wrote:

>> Hello All,

>> This is a shout out to Softlayer Network Admin / Policy folks...

>> We just went thru a painful process to find out that Softlayer has recently
>> decided to block Cuba IP Address Space....(on their cloud services).

>> I am not a politician, nor any kind of a policy expert, However I have a
>> questions for the SoftLayer folks...

>> On What basis, legal requirement, logic, have they taken on the responsibility
>> to implement such a Block ?

>> Considering the fact that such a block was just put in place about a week ago ?
>> Last time I checked, blocking any part of the world is not part of any legal
>> requirements on any Global Service Provider ? other than a 'company policy' ?

>> Also, the Last time I checked the US Cuba relations are getting better not
>> worse!

>> Would love to know what was the reasoning behind such action !

>> Thank you.

>> Faisal Imtiaz
>> Snappy Internet & Telecom

> --
> Collin David Anderson
> | @cda | Washington, D.C.

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