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Internet Engineers tell the Senate to Back Off! Hotlist

December 2, 2010 by admin

We, the undersigned, have played various parts in building a network called the Internet. We wrote and debugged the software; we defined the standards and protocols that talk over that network. Many of us invented parts of it. We're just a little proud of the social and economic benefits that our project, the Internet, has brought with it.

We are writing to oppose the Committee's proposed new Internet censorship and copyright bill. If enacted, this legislation will risk fragmenting the Internet's global domain name system (DNS), create an environment of tremendous fear and uncertainty for technological innovation, and seriously harm the credibility of the United States in its role as a steward of key Internet infrastructure. In exchange for this, the bill will introduce censorship that will simultaneously be circumvented by deliberate infringers while hampering innocent parties' ability to communicate.

So begins a letter sent the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday in which a very prominent group of Internet engineers expressed their strong opposition to the "Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act" (COICA).

You can read the whole letter and see the list of 87 signers here, the list reads like a who's who of the principal creators of the Internet. They speak with much more authority than I do and clearly they are worried that the proposed anti-piracy legislation "risk fragmenting the Internet." You should be worried about it too so please write the Senate Judiciary Committee and ask them to reject this bill. This is so important! Do it if you love what we do here. This bill taken together with the proposed Internet controls announced on Monday really will mean the end the Internet as we know it.

I know a lot of people were running around the left liberal world a month ago proclaiming "the end of the Internet as we know it." in the face of the Google Verizon proposal to guarantee net neutrality while keeping the FCC out of it. That was at best hyperbole, especially since there was no deal. This time it could really be true. The present danger to the Internet is not coming from any proposed tiered pricing, which in fact already exists, or any imagined future violations of 'net neutrality', it comes from the Federal gov't.

Yesterday, there were demonstrations across Europe against cut backs, according to the Internet. I didn't hear a mention on the evening news. The story about U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan killing civilians and collecting fingers broke on the Internet last month,

We all know that capitalism is in an unprecedented crisis and right now no one knows where the bottom is. Right now the people in this country have been fairly quiet. I for one, hope they will start to organize and fight back, and none of this phony Tea party flap either.

We all know that the Internet is critical to our success both as a source of information and a tool for organization. And so do they.

"They" in this case is corporate ruling class and they best exercise their influence through the Federal government. They don't want the Internet free, the way it is now. They want the Internet under their control. They need all means of communication and organization firmly under control, especially in the coming period. That is, at base, what these new legislative proposal are about. Internally it is about political control, externally, it is about U.S. world domination.

These Internet Engineers foretell the Balkanization of the Internet that I have been warning about in my earlier diaries:

These problems will be enough to ensure that alternative name-lookup infrastructures will come into widespread use, outside the control of US service providers but easily used by American citizens. Errors and divergences will appear between these new services and the current global DNS, and contradictory addresses will confuse browsers and frustrate the people using them. These problems will be widespread and will affect sites other than those blacklisted by the American government.

Then they go on to warn of the consequents of what really amounts to a U.S. gov't Internet Coup d'état:

The US government has regularly claimed that it supports a free and open Internet, both domestically and abroad. We can't have a free and open Internet without a global domain name system that sits above the political concerns and objectives of any one government or industry. To date, the leading role the US has played in this infrastructure has been fairly uncontroversial because America is seen as a trustworthy arbiter and a neutral bastion of free expression. If the US suddenly begins to use its central position in the DNS for censorship that advances its political and economic agenda, the consequences will be far-reaching and destructive.

The principal danger to the Internet today comes precisely from a U.S. government takeover of the Internet, so when the good folks at Free Press argue that to protect Net Neutrality:

The FCC Should Classify Broadband Internet Connectivity as a Telecommunications Service Under the Communications Act and Pair that Determination with Tailored Forbearance.

or when Keith Olbermann pushes for a FCC takeover to get back net neutrality and has on a guest that says:

But, honestly, government has always had to step in to protect Americans‘ rights.

I think this is very clear-cut that we need the government to step in and make sure that these corporations who want to line their pockets can‘t just step in and mess with what the Internet has been like for Americans so far.

They are no friends of the Internet and no friends of you.

There is a reason why this distinguished group of Internet Engineers, including the ones who create the DNS system, didn't get together and write a letter to the Senate about the Google Verizon proposal. They didn't see it as that important.

This they see as important! Last month's uproar around Net Neutrality was just a diversion to get you looking the other way. Which brings me to the last point in today's diary. Just where are all last month's brave defenders of Net Neutrality now that the real battle is being joined? Where is the Free Press opposition? When will Countdown do this story?

On second thought, I will include that list of signers. You probably never heard of them, but seeing how you are reading this, which means you obviously use the Internet, you should send them each a thank you email, not just for opposing the Senate bill, thank them for that fact that you can send them an email at all, and at no additional cost:

Now in alphabetical order thanks to Kossack CJnyc:

Adams, John: operations engineer at Twitter, signing as a private citizen
Aditya, Ramaswamy P.: I built various networks and web/mail content and application hosting providers including AS10368 (DNAI) which is now part of AS6079 (RCN), which I did network engineering and peering for, and then I did network engineering for AS25 (UC Berkeley), followed and now I do network engineering for AS177-179 and others (UMich).
Alden, Roland: Originator of the vCard interchange standard; builder of Internet infrastructure in several developing countries.
Alexander, Michael: I have been involved with networking since before the Internet existed. Among other things I was part of the team that connected the MTS mainframe at Michigan to the Merit Network. I was also involved in some of the early work on Email with Mailnet at MIT and wrote network drivers for IP over ISDN for Macintosh computers.
Applegate, Brandon: I have worked in the ISP sector since the mid-1990s as a network engineer.
Atlas, Alia: I designed software in a core router (Avici) and have various RFCs around resiliency, MPLS, and ICMP.
Auerbach, Karl: Former North American publicly elected member of the Board of Directors of ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.
Ausman, James: helped build the first commercial web site and worked on the Apache web server that runs two-thirds of the Web.
Barrett, David: Founder and CEO of Expensify, former engineering manager for Akamai. I helped build Red Swoosh, which delivers large
files for legitimate content owners, and was acquired by Akamai, which hosts 20% of the internet by powering the world's top 20,000 websites.
Bellovin, Steve: one of the originators of USENET; found and fixed numerous security flaws in DNS; Professor at Columbia.
Bowie, David J.: intimately involved in deployment and maintenance of the Arpanet as it evolved from 16 sites to what it is today.
Boyes, David: Operations Coordinator, SESQUInet, First mainframe web server, First Internet tools for VM/CMS, Caretaker, NSS1, Caretaker ENSS3, Author, Chronos Appt Management Protocol, Broadcast operator, telepresence, IETF: IETF 28/29
Brunner-Williams, Eric: I contributed to rfc1122 and 1123, and co-authored rfc2629, Domain Name System (DNS) IANA Considerations, and authored the "sponsored registry" proposal, implemented as .aero, .coop and .museum, and assisted with .cat, authored the privacy policy for HTTP cookies, and contribute to both the IETF and to ICANN.
Carr, Leslie: Craigslist Network Engineer
Clark, Bret: Spectra Access. We are New Hampshire's largest wireless Internet service providers and have built a large footprint of Internet Access for businesses in New Hampshire.
Clayton, Dr. Richard: designer of Turnpike, widely used Windows-based Internet access suite. Prominent Computer Security researcher at Cambridge University.
Coelho, Marco: As the owner of Argon Technologies Inc., a company that has been in the business of providing Internet service for the past 13 years.
Cook, Gordon: I led the OTA study between 1990 and 1992 and since April 1992 have been self employed as editor publisher of the cook report.
Cosell, Bernie: I was a member of the team at BBN that wrote the code for the original ARPAnet IMP. I also did a big chunk of the redesign of the TELNET protocol [addding DO/DONT/WILL/WONT].
Daniels, Walt: IBM’s contributor to MIME, the mechanism used to add attachments to emails.
DeLeskie, James: internetMCI Sr. Network Engineer, Teleglobe Principal Network Architect
DeLong, Owen: I am an elected member of the ARIN Advisory Council. I am the resource holder of record on a number of domains. I have been active on the internet for more than 20 years. I was involved in getting some of the first internet connections into primary and secondary schools before commercial providers like AT&T started sponsoring events like Net-Day.
DeReggi, Tom: 15yr ISP/WISP veteran, RapidDSL
Donnelly, Thomas: I help support the infrastructure for the world’s most widely used web server control panel.
Dyson, Esther: chairman, EDventure Holdings; founding chairman, ICANN; former chairman, EFF; active investor in many start-ups that support commerce, news and advertising on the Internet; director: Foundation, Sunlight
Eisenberg, Nathan: Atlas Networks Senior System Administrator, manager of 25K sq. ft. of data centers which provide services to Starbucks, Oracle, and local state
Fair, Erik: co-author, RFC 1627, RFC 977, former
Farber, David J.: helped to conceive and organize the major American research networks CSNET, NSFNet, and NREN; former chief technologist at the FCC; Professor at Carnegie Mellon; EFF board member.
Fleming, Paul: Run as33182 as a large hosting provider (5gbps+). develop monitoring software suite.
Gerstorff, Christopher: technician for a wireless broadband internet provider, Rapid Systems, Inc.
Gettys, Jim: editor of the HTTP/1.1 protocol standards, which we use to do everything on the Web.
Gilmore, John: co-designed BOOTP (RFC 951), which became DHCP, the way you get an IP address when you plug into an Ethernet or get on a WiFi access point. Current EFF board member.
Hartmann, Richard: Backbone manager and project manager at Globalways AG, a German ISP.
Hiebert, James: I performed early experiments using TCP Anycast to track routing instability in Border Gateway Protocol.
Hiers, David: I have designed dozens of Internet edge networks, several transit networks, and currently operate a VOIP infrastructure for 20,000 business subscribers.
Humphreys, Noel D.: As a lawyer I worked on the American Bar Association committee that drafted guidelines for use of public key encryption infrastructure in the early days of the internet.
Hutton, Thomas: I was one of the original architects of CERFnet - one of the original NFSnet regional networks that was later purchased by AT&T. In addition, I am currently chair of the CENIC HPR (High Performance Research) technical committee. This body directs CENIC in their managment and evolution of Calren2, the California research and education network.
Jennings, Bill: who was VP of Engineering at Cisco for 10 years and responsible for building much of the hardware and embedded software for Cisco's core router products and high-end Ethernet switches.
Jones, Illene: I have had a part in creating the software that runs on the servers.
Jurman, Dustin: I am the CEO of Rapid Systems Corporation a Network Service Provider, and Systems builder responsible for 60 Million of NOFA funding.
Kaminsky, Dan: renowned security researcher who in 2008 found and helped to fix a grave security vulnerability in the entire planet's DNS systems.
Kane, Kelly J.: Shared web hosting network operator
Katz, Lou: I was the founder and first President of the Usenix Association, which published much of the academic research about the Internet, opening networking to commercial and other entities.
Kazemi, Haudy: Implemented Internet connections (from the physical lines, firewalls, and routers to configuring DNS and setting up Internet-facing servers) to join several companies to the Internet and enable them to provide digital services to others.
Kristol, David M.: Co-author, RFCs 2109, 2965 ("HTTP State Management") Contributor, RFC 2616 ("Hypertext Transfer Protocol")
Kulawiec, Richard S.: 30 years designing/operating academic/commercial/ISP systems and networks.
Lachman, Ron: I am co-founder of Ultra DNS. I am co-founder of Sandpiper networks (arguably inventor of the CDN). I am "namesake" founder of Lachman TCP/IP (millions of copies of TCP on Unix System V and many other other platforms). Joint developer of NFS along with Sun MicroSystems.
Lapsley, Phil: co-author of the Internet Network News Transfer Protocol (NNTP), RFC 977, and developer of the NNTP reference
implementation in 1986 ... still in use today almost 25 years later.
Lauck, Anthony G.: I helped design and standardize routing protocols and local area network protocols and served on the Internet
Architecture Board.
Laufer, Michael: worked on the different networks they dealt with including the Milnet, other US Govt nets, and regional (NSF) nets that
became the basis of the Internet. Also designed, built, and deployed the first commercial VPN infrastructure (I think) as well as dial up
nets that were part of AOL and many other things.
Loeliger, Jon: I have implemented OSPF, one of the main routing protocols used to determine IP packet delivery. At other companies, I have helped design and build the actual computers used to implement core routers or storage delivery systems. At another company, we installed network services (T-1 lines and ISP service) into Hotels and Airports across the country.
Malamud, Rebecca Hargrave: helped advance many large-scale Internet projects, and have been working the web since its invention.
Maurand, Curtis: founder of a small internet company in Maine in 1994. started delivering low cost broadband to municipalities and businesses before acquired by Time-Warner.
Meyer, Mike: I helped debug the NNTP software in the 80s, and desktop web browsers and servers in the 90s.
Moeller, Doug: Chief Technical Officer, Autonet Mobile, Inc.
Nerenberg, Lyndon: Author/inventor of RFC3516 IMAP BINARY and contributor to the core IMAP protocol and extension.
Nielsen, Christopher: I have worked for several internet startups, building everything from email and usenet infrastructure to large-scale clusters. I am currently a Sr. Operations Engineer for a product and shopping search engine startup.
Novinger, Jason: I was the Network Administrator for Lawrence Freenet, a small wireless ISP in Lawrence, KS.
Partridge, Dr. Craig: Architect of how email is routed through the Internet, and designed the world's fastest router in the mid 1990s.
Peter Rubenstein: I helped design and run the ISP transit backbone of AOLthe ATDN.
Peterson, Gordon E. (II): designer and implementer of the first commercially available LAN system, and member of the Anti-Spam Research Group of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).
Pfankuch, Blake: Over the years I have implemented thousands if not tens of thousands of webservers, DNS servers and supporting infrastructure.
Pinkerton, Brian: Founder of WebCrawler, the first big Internet search engine.
Plato, Janet: I worked for Advanced Network and Service from 1992 or so running the US Internet core before it went public, and then doing
dial engineering until we were acquired by UUNet. While at UUnet I worked in EMEA Engineering where I helped engineer their European STM16 backbone.
Rall, Tony: I was involved in providing Internet access to the IBM corporation - from the late 80s until last year. I worked within the company to ensure that Internet access was as "open" and transparent as possible.
Reed, David P.: who played an important role in the development of TCP/IP and invented the UDP protocol that makes real-time applications like VOIP possible today; Professor at MIT
Reeves, Jeromie: Network Administrator & Consultant. I have a small couple hundred user Wireless ISP and work with or have stakes in many other networks.
Reitz, Jay: Co-founder and VP of Engineering of, the 60th largest website in the US with 14M monthly US visitors.
Rodgers, Robert: Engineer at Juniper and Cisco. Worked on routers and mobile systems.
Rodgers, Scott: I have been an ISP on Cape Cod Massachusetts for 17 years and I agree that this bill is poison.
Ross, Brandon: designed the networks of MindSpring and NetRail.
Rubenstein, Alex: founder of Net Access Corporation. We are an Internet Service Provider for nearly 15 years, and I have served on the ARIN AC.
Rutherford, Tim: managed DNS (amongst other duties) for an C4.NET since 1997.
Schmidt, Peter H.: I co-founded the company (Midnight Networks) that created the protocol test software (ANVL) that ensured routers from all vendors could actually interoperate to implement the Internet.
Schmidt, Stefan: I had sole technical responsibility for running all of the / AS5430 DNS Infrastructure with roughly 120.000 Domains and approximately 1.5 million DSL subscribers for the last 9 years and have been actively involved in the development of the PowerDNS authoritative and recursive DNS Servers for the last 4 years.
Schulman, Bob: worked on University of Illinois’ ANTS system in the Center for Advanced Computation in 1976 when ANTS connected a few hosts to the ARPAnet.
Schultz, William: for the past 10 years I've worked on hundreds of networks around the US and have worked for a major voice and data carrier. I do not agree with Internet censorship in any degree, at all.
Shambley, Dave: retired engineer (EE rfwireless- computers) and active in the design of web site and associated graphics.
Sinclair, Harold: design, build, and operate DNS, Mail, and Application platforms on the Internet.
Skinner, Dave: I was an early provider of net connectivity in central Oregon. Currently I provide hosting services.
Spafford, Gene: who analyzed the first catastrophic Internet worm and made many subsequent contributions to computer security; Professor at Purdue.
Timmins, Paul: designed and runs the multi-state network of a medium sized telephone and internet company in the Midwest.
Todd, John: I invented and operate a DNS-based telephony directory "" which uses the DNS to replace telephone numbers.
Turner, Judith Axler: I started the first NSF-approved commercial service on the Internet, the Chronicle of Higher Education's job ads, in 1993.
Ulevitch, David: CEO of OpenDNS, which offers alternative DNS services for enhanced security.
Vittal, John: Created the first full email client and the email standards.
Vixie, Paul: author of BIND, the most widely-used DNS server software, and President of the Internet Systems Consortium
Warren, Jim: I was one of Vint Cerf’s grad students and worked for a bit on the early protocols for the old ARPAnet ... back before it became the DARPAnet
Wolff, Stephen: While at NSF I nurtured, led, and funded the NSFNET from its infancy until by 1994 I had privatized, commercialized, and decommissioned the NSFNET Backbone; these actions stimulated thecommercial activity that led to the Internet of today.

Here is a recap of my other DKos dairies on this subject:
Why is Net Neutrality advocate Free Press MIA?
Obama's Internet Coup d'état
Julian Assange on Threat to Internet Freedom
FCC Net Neutrality's Trojan Horse
Free Press: Country Codes for the Internet?
The Mountain comes to Mohammad
Keith Olbermann's Deception
Court rules -> Google Must Be Evil & Maximize Profits
EFF on the Google\Verizon Net Neutrality Proposal
Google-Verizon: What is the Free Press Agenda?
End of the Internet As We Know It!
Free Press would make this Illegal!
Google Verizon Announce Terms of Deal

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