After my last post, I sent an appropriately checked off copy of my own form to the folks at cp80.org. I didn’t really expect a response – since my form is a pretty detailed and scathing about the flaws in their approach. Surprisingly, a fellow by the name of Mattew Yarro sent me back a response. Since I have some fairly routine copyright concerns in this overly litigious age, I won’t publish it in its entirety. I will, however quote it somewhat in the spirit of public political discourse. If anyone in CP80 asks politely, I will be more than happy to take down at least some of their response (it depends on which pieces and how large they are).
Since they rewrote my original in their response, the next section is a set of rewritten bullet points and my response to them.
(X) Does Not Require the cooperation from content providers
Who, exactly, would be editing the httpd.conf files?
(X) Does Not Require immediate total cooperation from everybody at once
I’m willing to give you this one – my bad.
(X) Website operators will increase business
In your proposal – even given no secondary effects (unlikely) at least some content providers would receive fewer hits. I see no compelling business case for supporting your proposal. Without browser-level support, I see no effective way of advertising the use of the same content across multiple ports.
(X) Account for religious differences among internet users
(X) Allows nations to develop their own standards or subscribe to a world
standard of harmful to minor.
Exactly how do you expect Saudi Arabia and the Netherlands to agree on a standard?
Now for the really chilling parts
(X) Lack of centrally controlling authority for the internet will be changed
allowing for a centrally controlling autority
This statement is where your group shows tremendous sociopolitical naivite. Please see response below (licensing web servers) for details).
(X) Open relays in foreign countries will be shut down
(X) Wide availability of VPS services will be shut down
Do you even know what a VPS is? It is a virtual private server. I happen to manage one for an aids awareness/action group. If your group seriously supports shutting down wide access to virtual private servers (which can host email, news groups and web access for small organizations which do not wish to pay for larger infrastructure) they you completely fail to understand the value of the very tools you are advocating the restriction of.
(X) The existence of wide reaching anonymity services like TOR will be shut
I won’t bother asking why, but simply how? Have you ever read or written a paper on protocol – on – protocol tunneling? Stateful packet inspection and its inherent limits? Diffie-Hellman key agreement with perfect forward secrecy?
(X) The ability of anyone with $20 in their pocket to put up a website
with proxy capability will be shut down
The cure is worse than the disease. Please see above under VPS control.
(X) People with strong philisophical/religious/ethical/moral objections
to filtering information, who would be more than willing to
create/maintain circumvention tools, and be held liable for allowing minors
to access porn or be shut down entirely.
Describe how. Jurisdictional problems. Explain in detail how you would handle the difference between anonymity proxies used by rape/incest survivors to protect their online identities and personal privacy and those used unlawfully by underage persons. Also explain how you would handle multi-hop proxy routing, how you would avoid it, and how you would differentiate between presumably unlawful multi-hop traffic and reasonable single-hop traffic.
If the Internet is supposed to be a “true democracy” then why not allow the
people voice their choice of whether or not they want a more organized and
useful Internet. The Internet does not belong to you, me or anyone else. It
belongs to us all.
The CP80 solution is a method by which people free speech is protected and
the Internet is better organized.
Do not fear evolution. It is how you went from an amoeaba to a free-thinking
The Internet can evolve.
I do allow you your voice. I’m not calling for censorship on a public forum. I’m not suggesting broad-based changes in the way public infrastructure is set-up, provisioned and managed. I think you’re wrong, both technically and philosophically, but that is not equivalent to an attempt to take away your voice.
If a group of people want to go off somewhere and, using PICS or some other technical measure, attempt to build a parallel infrastructure – I’m fine with that. If you think you can get business to agree with you based on some compelling business case, you’re welcome to try. When you start discussing broad-based changes to the way existing systems are set up and managed, without extremely strong evidence of a deep understanding of how those systems work, you will be laughed at. You will be ridiculed and reviled. It’s not personal, but it’s like the kids telling the grown-ups how to run things.
I did not present personal attacks, but rather a reasonably well reasoned indictment of your approach. My statements were based on seeing plans discussed, brought forth, implemented tweaked, rewritten and scrapped in the real world. I have built web servers, mail servers, chat systems, proxies, reverse proxies, routers and other infrastructure. I have designed protocols and had them fail for lack of deep enough understanding. I’m currently, with two other authors, in the process of writing an RFC draft for another protocol.
Your approach fails in several areas on technical grounds. Regardless of what I feel about your approach on philosophical grounds, a failure to address technical problems is a “deal killer” – it makes further discussion pointless. If you were backing PICS, I could at least respect you on a technical level. Having said that, there are other issues in my original statement which you failed to address.
(X) In order to be even minimally effective, it would require licensing web servers
(X) The objections raised in RFC 3675 (“.sex Considered Harmful”)
To this I add one more question. What are you trying to accomplish that cannot be better achieved using PICS, some combination of RBL servers, and ingress/egress filtering?
Just for Grins (honorable mention)
(X) Extreme stupidity on the part of people who do business with content
providers becoming responsibile for their decisions.
I respect your belief in the fundamental perfectibility of mankind. It reflects well on both yourself and your organization. Unfortunately, you are bent on achieving a level of perfection much greater than that presently evidenced on a time frame which appears quite short for such a large change in human nature.
(X) Lack of consensus as to the harmfulness of content in general and/or
this content in particular among pornographers has nothing to do with this
What? Your edit on this one fell flat. It’s incoherent – what exactly were you trying to say?
And my personal favorite:
(X) Technically illiterate politicians become technically literate
I have been working at educating politicians in the technical challenges of the Internet since the early 1990s. No significant success has been achieved.