W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > ietf-discuss@w3.org > June 2001

common carriers?

From: James P. Salsman <bovik@best.com>
Date: Sat, 16 Jun 2001 17:30:33 -0700 (PDT)
Message-Id: <200106170030.RAA23881@shell9.ba.best.com>
To: ietf@ietf.org
Cc: discuss@apps.ietf.org, ietf-openproxy@imc.org
Recently I read that internet service providers have been increasingly 
losing status as common carriers, because, for example, there have 
been a lot of continuing attempts at legislation requiring 
content-based filtering.

In fact, someone has apparently written a worm (or "implemented an 
active network," in the words of the apologists) which scans the 
hard drives of its hosts, and sends mail of "suspicious" activity 
to authorities, along with everyone in the host's local address book.

Perhaps the OPES group will be able to scan network traffic on those 
ISPs who choose to give up their common carrier status (and its 
immunization against suits steming from, for example, the Electronic 
Comminucations Privacy Act), so that whenever anyone sends an email 
which is objectionable to the FCC, they can immediatly alert the 
local police department, or the host's office of intellectual 
property control.

The alternative, common carrier status, which is preserved by other, 
older, legislation in contexts involving IP telephony, at least 
in the United States, requires preservation of the end-to-end model.

Benjamin Franklin knew this, as did Jefferson.  John Stewart Mill
wrote about it, too, more than 100 years before the first e-mail.

Cheers,
James

P.S.  Since I mentioned IP telephony, I am sure Lloyd would be 
disappointed if I failed to point out that here in the U.S., the 
use of asynchronous voice messaging (such as the excellent work 
being done by the IETF's Voice Profile for Internet Mail Working
Group) is protected by both the Electronic Communications Privacy 
Act and older telephony common-carrier requirements in U.S. law.
Moreover, it is firmly rooted in end-to-end requirements.
Received on Saturday, 16 June 2001 20:36:18 UTC

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