[lir-wg] Abstract of proposed Internet Draft for Best Current Practice (please comment)
Dr. Jeffrey Race jrace at attglobal.net
Sun Mar 2 09:09:43 CET 2003
Interested parties are invited to provide comments to correct, elaborate or perfect my proposal, abstracted below. I'd also welcome suggestions for other fora in which to post requests for comments. I plan to offer as Internet Draft when comments are all in. Comments or objections to the effect "This is going to be burdensome on $spam_enabler" are superfluous because such is the precise intention of the proposed Practice: to move the burden from victims to polluters and their enablers. Thanks for all help. Jeffrey Race D_R_A_F_T BEST CURRENT PRACTICE FOR DUTY OF CARE OF INTERNET RESOURCES Pre-release version 1.32 Draft date: February 28, 2003 Drafted by Jeffrey Race <jrace[at]attglobal.net> Current draft version (4,000 words) available at <http://www.camblab.com/misc/univ_std.txt> ABSTRACT This document defines a Best Current Practice to minimize pollution of the Internet by various types of abuse, using the community's own measures in the absence of effective legal, regulatory and technical measures. The Internet's design and management were predicated on voluntary cooperation, self-imposed good behavior, and the non-profit motivational structure of participants extant at its inception. Current experience of constantly rising pollution invalidates these formative assumptions and demands prompt and effective curative measures. Present anti-pollution measures fall under four generic headings: (1) self-directed good behavior; (2) legal sanctions (3) passive ingress-control measures (principally filtering) and (4) active egress-control measures (principally blocklisting) intended to modify the behavior of polluters and enablers. The first three have definitively failed and will continue to fail for reasons specified in the document. The fourth is generally completely effective in warding off ingress of pollution and frequently results in reforming abuse enablers, but it has two major shortcomings: limited uptake due to fear of loss of competitive market position by early adopters, and sustained transmission outages ("collateral damage"). In view of the failure of (1), (2) and (3) and the effectiveness despite shortcomings of (4), the document proposes to apply to the Internet the same rules society applies to all other resources to deter antisocial behavior viz. proper behavior requires clear published standards, standards entail accountability, accountability entails multiple modes of enforceability, and enforceability entails traceability. The document details procedures and implementing mechanisms of behavior modification, using the only proven effective method: withdrawal of internet resources of identity and connectivity. Numerous tests have shown this sanction to work equally well against both the wilful and the negligent to halt pollution immediately, where prior efforts at polite persuasion to follow best practice were ignored with impunity. The proposal thus innovates in three respects to halt Internet pollution: (1) It makes explicit that every custodian of internet resources is responsible for preventing emission of pollution (2) Adopting a simultaneous universal practice of withdrawal of internet resources means that no provider will suffer competitive disadvantage. The Practice legitimates withdrawal of internet resources as the only method proven effective in halting abuse. (3) The burden of pollution now falls on the polluter and his enabler rather than on the victim, so conforming to the basic principle used everywhere else in society to maintain justice and good order. Well-managed, ethical members of the internet industry already conduct their businesses, successfully and profitably, according to the principles specified in the Practice. The proposed Practice simply aims to raise the entire industry to the level of today's best players. The Practice is intended to apply at every level of allocation, registration and usage of internet resources including but not limited to RIRs, LIRs, ISPs, webhosting firms, backbone connectivity providers, domain name registrars, and end-users. It defines internet resources, unsolicited bulk electronic messaging, and abuse, and specifies procedures progressively to penalize abuse after a period of public admonishment. In effect, the proposal implements the "user pays" paradigm in a completely new and clever way, without requiring any complicated metering technology all proposals for which have failed on issues of complexity, backward compatibility, absence of adequate hardware, and the need for universal adoption to be effective at all. The document embodies the only set of measures now on offer which will quickly end the spam menace internationally sans new legislation, with but small and transitory disruption, by abandoning the discredited "victim pays" model. Adoption will not only be cost-free for the Internet as a whole but will substantially reduce the current economic burden of abuse. It does this by transferring the economic burden from abuse victims to the polluters and their enablers, which is fair and feasible, and indeed the system used everywhere else in society. As such the anticipated vigorous objections to adoption from some parties may be seen in advance as self-serving attempts to perpetuate the discredited "victim pays" model by those now profiting from an Environmental Polluter business model or by their accessories and enablers. Finally, RFCs and Practices are often considered by Courts in adjudicating the existence or extent of tortious conduct. Therefore looking to the longer term, adoption of this Practice may be expected to bring a welcome rule of law to the Internet.
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