[discuss] a Drunken Boat? [was Subjects IG other than ICANN, IETF, IPv4-6]

Brian E Carpenter brian.e.carpenter at gmail.com
Wed Jan 8 00:22:53 UTC 2014

On 08/01/2014 12:25, Michel Gauthier wrote:
> At 22:56 07/01/2014, Brian E Carpenter wrote:
>> The fact that the NSA and its collaborators have been conducting
>> surveillance has nothing to do with the administration of Internet
>> technical resources.
> Brian,
> as I tried to explain it to you, the question is not to know if the
> administration of the Internet technical resources by ICANN and RIRs
> etc. has something to do with the NSA surveillance, but if the way the
> internet technical architecture has been designed, used and managed untl
> now (i.e. the IAB architectural status-quo oriented technical governance
> strategy, while other technological possibilities were developping) has
> or not helped or even obliged the NSA (public/private) national and
> international surveillance competition.

I do not think that there any specificities in the design of
the Internet that make it significantly more subject to pervasive
surveillance then alternative designs. I don't mean to say that
the current methods of surveillance don't rely on specific details
of the Internet design; of course they do. I mean that however
the network had been designed, it would still be subject to
pervasive surveillance.

Consider for example a world in which Le Catenet had been developed
by French industry, not as Louis Pouzin planned it but using X.25 as
the PTTs wished. Then each communication would have required a virtual
circuit. Do you think that would have protected us in some way from
surveillance by the NSA or the DGSE?

Suppose that the Web had failed miserably and we all used Gopher
instead? Would Woogle, the largest Gopher site in the world,
not be collecting information about its users and passing
tidbits on the national security agencies?

Pervasive surveillance is a result of pervasive telecommunication.
Of course there are details contingent upon details of the
technology. Of course we will try to improve the situation
technically, but the cause is not technical or administrative.

> You are right. The NSA and its collaborators have only carried their
> job. The question is: has the IAB carried its own job, 

That is a valid question within the subset of the technical
community that sustains the IAB, but please remember that
the job is quite circumscribed.

> and if the
> response is "no", why? and will the change resulting in the IAB, IETF,
> W3C, IEEE, ISOC new paradigm adequate? 

It's news to me that there is a new paradigm coming for those organisations.

> Is the way adopted by Fadi
> Chehade after Montévideo adequate? This way incudes a discussion in Sao
> Paulo prepared among Govs and by the I*people /1Net list. What is the
> target of this meeting? Who is to speak there on behalf of the /1net
> lack of consensus, about what and with who?
> Last question: if the Sao Paulo preparation, representation, conclusions
> are disapointing what are the risks? For who?

In my opinion, the risk is that Governments will interfere where
they shouldn't, and will not interfere where they should. That's
why I am so concerned about clear identification and separation
of the issues.


> All this start making me think to a Drunken Boat.
> MG

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