[e2e] 0% NAT - checkmating the disconnectors

David P. Reed dpreed at reed.com
Fri Mar 10 07:09:47 PST 2006

Greg - don't be part of a revisionist game of language.  The Internet 
"specs" are ex post, and rest on a great deal of history going back to 
1967 and even earlier.   I was there.  Vint was there.  You were not.

J.C.R. Licklider (DARPA IPTO founder and carrier of the fundamental 
dream of an interoperable network-of-networks) was a close personal 
mentor of mine from almost the day I arrived at MIT in 1969.  Bob Kahn, 
Bob Taylor, Jon Postel, and Vint were all carrying that vision every day 
explicitly and tacitly.

This should NOT be revisionistly defined as merely an aspirational 
vision for the "next Internet".  It's about preserving the #1, premier 
design goal on which the Internet of today was founded - achieving 
global interoperability and connectivity among diverse networks (you can 
read about it if you like in Licklider&Taylor's papers in the '60's, 
including Scientific American article in 1967).   There may be some 
discussion around the edges of what that means, but what it never meant 
was allowing the owners of a wire to micromanage the end-to-end 
applications.  The view was clearly to allow each network to contribute 
its reach in exchange for obtaining global reach.

It's absurdly twisted to rephrase of my comments, about the right of 
someone voluntarily joining the Internet social compact to selectively 
free-ride on that compact by ignoring the ground rules, to be about 
"punishing" somebody for "protecting their network." It would be amusing 
if it were not so typical of what passes for logic in today's world of 
Hardball and other anti-rational noise fests that confuse conservative 
thought with hate-filled rudeness.  At best the motivation is  about 
charging more rents or extending the powers of ownership to enforce 
opinions - conflating that with "protection" is a new concept to me.

Tell me exactly how does allowing an application that a network owner 
does not like (perhaps promoting abortion for all or advocating murder 
of abortionists, depending on your  preferences for extremism, or 
perhaps just charging usurious rates of interest  or  promoting gift 
economies) "damage the network"?  

If that damages the owner's network, there must be lots of fibers 
melting out there because of applications and content the management or 
stockholders of Verizon don't personally like.  (I regularly criticize 
RCN over links that I purchase from them - is that damaging their 
network? - I presume it is something they don't like, but perhaps they 
enjoy it?)

I'm merely saying "you can't have your cake and eat it too" - you can't 
claim to be part of the INTERoperability-defined NETwork and claim 
rights to arbitrarily and unilaterally be non-interoperable.   The only 
"punishment" is disconnnection.   That leaves the operator completely 
free (though it may lose lots of customers because of it - is there a 
natural right to business success independent of strategic choices to 

There are certainly many issues about protecting networks and the 
Internet-as-a-whole that are actually real in the context of the design 
goals of the Internet.   For example, finding ways to prevent actual 
damage to networks, preventing "teaming up" by operators of disparate 
networks to act against the interests of all, etc.   These require 
careful thinking, of the sort that can only be done by listening to the 
meaning of someone's words, not twisting their meaning.

Greg Skinner wrote:
> On Wed, Mar 08, 2006 at 07:56:12AM -0500, David P. Reed wrote:
>> Saikat Guha wrote:
>>> Is there a way to architect the Internet to give the network operator
>>> full control over his network? So, when his boss (who paid for the wires
>>> and routers) asks him to block application X, he can do just that and
>>> not cause the collateral damage that firewall-hacks cause today.
>>> Shameless plug: we believe signaling is one way to work _with_ the
>>> network, and not against it
>>> (http://saikat.guha.cc/pub/sosp05wip-guha.pdf). But, this is just one
>>> solution.
>> I'm amazed.   The network operator in this case wants to join the 
>> Internet, but not join the Internet.
>> The Internet is a fully interoperable network.   That means inherently 
>> that all operators that carry Internet traffic agree to carry their fair 
>> share.
> Hmmm ... I don't remember offhand any Internet design document that
> states this.  There were restrictive policies implemented, even in the
> original Internet, for cause (such as the Mailbridges that could be
> configured to deny traffic from the ARPAnet to the MILnet except for
> destination SMTP port).
>> What you are describing is not the Internet, but something else.   The 
>> "cooperation-optional" network, perhaps?   Or maybe the "screw you" network?
> Rather than arguing about whether this is or is not the Internet,
> perhaps the question should be reframed as whether this constitutes a
> set of principles upon which the next generation network can be
> built.
>> If the network advertises that it routes packets to a destination, how 
>> is the source to know that its packets will be destroyed based on their 
>> content?
> The way I read the paper, the source would be notified that the
> attempt was refused due to insufficient privilege.
>> At that point, it's time for those who agree to the original terms of 
>> the Internet social compact (which is far more than social) to 
>> blackball, boycott, and refuse to connect to that operator.  Screw him.
> Why?  Because he wants to protect his network?

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