Backbones providers should only be in the business of providing pipes
and ip addresses -- not in deciding what goes over their backbone. To
do so could mean they are partially responsible for what their
Consider UU.NET's AUP which prohibts spam:
Email Sending unsolicited mail messages, including, without
limitation, commercial advertising and informational
announcements, is explicitly prohibited. A user shall not use
another site's mail server to relay mail without the express
permission of the site.
but also prohibts anonymous posting:
Forging of any TCP-IP packet header or any part of the header
information in an email or a newsgroup posting.
How does that prohibit anonymous posting? It prohibits you from IP spoofing and joe-jobbing others.
and also prohibts offending the wrong people, obscenity, hacking DVD
This includes, without limitation, material protected by
copyright, trademark, trade secret or other intellectual
property right used without proper authorization, and material
that is obscene, defamatory, constitutes an illegal threat, or
violates export control laws.
So you're not allowed to use a UUNet connection to break the law. Oh, that's unreasonable. IIRC, the DMCA makes the ISP is responsible for taking down infringing materials.
and then passes the responsibility to monitor down to the ISP:
INDIRECT OR ATTEMPTED VIOLATIONS OF THE POLICY, AND
ACTUAL OR ATTEMPTED VIOLATIONS BY A THIRD PARTY ON
BEHALF OF A UUNET CUSTOMER OR A CUSTOMER'S END
USER, SHALL BE CONSIDERED VIOLATIONS OF THE POLICY
BY SUCH CUSTOMER OR END USER.
People using UUNet's pipes are bound by their AUP. If someone gets out if line, the reseller they made their contract with is responsible for enforcing the AUP. If the reseller doesn't act, UUNet can hold them liable for their customer's actions.
Forget that all of this is so overly broad that it can only be selectively
enforced (do you think a big company that spams will be kicked off?).
Prohibiting anything on a backbone pipe is just another slide down a
slippery rope to censorship. After all, what do you say to a lawyer or
politican when after ridding yourself of a spammer you are then asked
to rid yourself of a pornographer? Can you honestly say you're just
selling bandwith? Maybe we should consider focusing on the weakness
in authenticating senders in SMTP instead of blaming spam on the fact
that not everyone in the world is going to be disciplined (the tragedy of
If you have an AUP that says "no spam and no porn," there isn't a thing you can say to someone who asks you to rid yourself of a pornographer. Otherwise, you can say, "there's nothing I can do, they aren't violating our AUP."
Private companies, using private equipment, are premitted to do pretty much anything they like in establishing the terms of service for that equipment. If a backbone decides they don't want people doing IRC, they can put that in their AUP and filter the appropriate traffic. Or they can use the RBL, or any other set of filtering conditions they want to set up. Believe what you like, but there's no requirement that any provider of any size has to accept any traffic at all, absent anything in their contract that says otherwise. UUNet's AUP says, "we expect you and your customers to be good net.neighbors, by our definition; if you aren't, you're violating our rules and we can take action against you." If you find that to be unreasonable, then UUNet and its resellers aren't for you. Luckily, you can choose another reseller who might be more friendly to whatever needs you have.
This argument has nothing to do with the Frea Speach [tm] [r] [c] of the spammers. It's about abuse, plain and simple, the way UUNet defines it. Couching it in the form of a censorship argument is a slap against the First Amendment and anyone who supports it.
[ Parent ]