[NA-Discuss] A draft text (was: Re: Forward motion on the Egyptian Internet shutdown)

Eric Brunner-Williams ebw at abenaki.wabanaki.net
Tue Feb 1 00:54:04 UTC 2011

a draft text

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Dear Chairman Dengate-Thrush and CEO Beckstrom,

Concerning the Egyptian Internet shutdown, as volunteers participating 
in the North American At Large Regional Organization who have studied 
network policy, we the undersigned believe you have a chance to move 
beyond rhetoric to support the security and stability of the Internet. 
As contributors to the ICANN community, we expect our Chairperson and 
CEO to uphold those values.

As the IESG and the IAB observed in draft-iab-raven, published as RFC 
2804, accommodating the legal intercept requirements of states in 
network devices would make the system less secure, increase system 
complexity, and the risk of unintended security failure. The 
considered technical judgment was, and remains, that wiretapping, even 
when it is not being exercised, lowers the security of the system.

We believe this concern applies also to accommodating endpoint 
unreachable requirements of states in systems of network devices, as 
well as flow filter and other disruptive technology requirements.

We are also concerned by the possibility of error by national actors 
attempting to interrupt regional routing. The routing alternatives to 
the Alexandria - Suez corridor are simply inadequate to support the 
requirements for Europe - Asia data communications.

In addition to these systemic concerns, the proper concern of the 
entity tasked with the technical coordination of unique endpoint 
identifiers, we have the following further concerns.

Articles 12 and 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 
pertaining to privacy and freedom of expression, appear to be the 
specific targets of intentional violation by the Egyptian government. 
This should not pass without comment.

Significant regional economic activity relies upon the availability of 
  CityNet (Ramadan City), ECC (6 October City), EgyptNetwork 
(Mansura), and ECC, MEIX, LINKdotNET (Cairo) data centers. The direct 
economic loss due to governmental action is easy to calculate. The 
greater loss of the reputation and competitive ability of these data 
centers, and their operators is harder to calculate, and likely to be 
much greater than N zero revenue days.

However, the economic consequence of abruptly transforming Egypt to a 
sparse 56kb and VSAT connectivity regime extends far beyond the data 
centers and access providers. It is profoundly disruptive of the 
information economy, and of ordinary transaction services. It will 
result in diminished stability and certainty of commodity prices and 
availablities. It will raise the price of bread. It will cause 
hardship, impoverishment, increased morbidity, and mortality, far 
beyond the social identities of "authority" and "counter-authority".

These concerns are not unique to the withdrawal of prefixes at 16:00 
UTC on January 27, and 09:00 UTC on January 28 -- the "Egyptian 
Disconnection". Opportunistic and endemic network partition, rate 
limiting, and filtering are practiced by some governments. The 
practices which directly reduce the security and stability of the 
Internet must not be allowed to pass without comment because they are 
perpetrated by governments.


the undersigned

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