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Status of connectivity to xSU by US Federal nets

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  • From: Stephen Wolff < >
  • Date: Tue, 29 Sep 92 10:50:01 EDT

On behalf of the R&E community, NSF sought and in June, 1991 received a
letter from the Department of Commerce authorizing IP connectivity to the
so-called Eastern bloc.  In a second letter from Commerce in January, 1992,
the authorization was reaffirmed and clarified; i.e., that the concern was
export control, **not** the connectivity itself.

Accordingly, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary, have been now for some
time announced on the NSFNET Backbone; somewhat more recently, Estonia is
reachable as are (potentially) the other Baltic states.

Although connectivity to the xSU is covered by the Commerce letters to NSF,
at the request of the Federal Networking Council (FNC) the NSF agreed not to
carry such traffic on the NSFNET Backbone.  This concession was nugatory
until two recent events:  a network in the xSU is now being announced by the
CIX, so that it can (and does) exchange traffic with non-Federal US nets,
and Federal mission agencies are establishing what amount to point-to-point
links from specific sites in the xSU to specific US computational resources.

At the FNC meeting on Thursday, the 24th September, the NSF therefore asked
the FNC to reconsider its position, since a side effect of the growing
connectivity (which is either "non-R&E" or is between unilaterally-selected
scientists and sites in the US and the xSU) is to disenfranchise a large
fraction of the US R&E community whose aspirations for unrestricted
scientific and educational collaboration with their peers and colleagues in
the xSU NSF fully endorses.


PS: Countries whose nets are announced on the NSFNET Backbone are listed in
/statistics/, available by anonymous ftp from  -s

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