Cogent cutting links to Russia?

Owen DeLong owen at delong.com
Sat Mar 5 05:20:45 UTC 2022


> On Mar 4, 2022, at 14:03 , Matthew Petach <mpetach at netflight.com> wrote:
> 
> 
> 
> On Fri, Mar 4, 2022 at 12:55 PM Martin Hannigan <hannigan at gmail.com <mailto:hannigan at gmail.com>> wrote:
> 
> I would argue they don't have much of a choice:
> 
> "The economic sanctions put in place as a result of the invasion and the increasingly uncertain security situation make it impossible for Cogent to continue to provide you with service."
> 
> I would expect to see others follow suit  if that is the case.
> 
> 
> That's an interesting slope to slide along...
> 
> I fully understand ISPs disconnecting customers for non-payment; we've 
> all had to do that at one point or another in our careers, I'm sure. 
> However, that's generally done *after* the customer has demonstrated 
> an inability or unwillingness to pay their bills.
> 
> This doesn't seem to indicate that any existing invoices have gone 
> unpaid past their due date, but simply that there is *concern* that a 
> future bill might go unpaid due to the economic sanctions. 

Sanctions cut both ways, and there is the possibility that Cogent’s legal
team has said “Continue to do business with X in Russia puts you at
risk of violating sanctions.”

It’s not clear whether that’s the case or not, but I will say that if I were
doing business there and my legal team said something like that, I’d
seriously consider dropping the relevant customers quickly if it wouldn’t
be a worse consequence than violating said sanctions (which seems
unlikely).

> I'm not sure that's a good precedent for a service provider to create; 
> "we may terminate your service at any point if we suspect that at an 
> unspecified time in the future, you may become unable to pay future 
> invoices." 

Yeah, I don’t think that’s what is happening here.

Think of this more like businesses that were trading with Cuba during
the Kennedy administration. All of that abruptly stopped pretty much one
day.

> If and when bills go unpaid, I fully support turning off customers. 
> I worry about the precedent of disconnecting based on suspicions 
> of what might happen in the future, however. 

What about “If and when it becomes clear that it’s illegal to keep those
customers”?

Owen

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