[ppml] Abstract of proposed Internet Draft for Best Current Practice (please comment)
Dr. Jeffrey Race
jrace at attglobal.net
Thu Feb 13 10:25:30 EST 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 that is the precise intention of
the proposed Practice: to move the burden from victims to polluters and
Thanks for all help.
BEST CURRENT PRACTICE FOR DUTY OF CARE OF INTERNET RESOURCES
Pre-release version 1.31 Draft date: February 13, 2003
Drafted by Jeffrey Race <jrace[at]attglobal.net>
Current draft version (4,000 words) available at
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 custodians of Internet Resources 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) technical
measures (principally filtering) and (4) self-help defensive measures
(principally blocklisting). 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
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 based on this
universal rule of human experience, while preserving present levels
of anonymity for deserving cases.
Since both legal and technical measures have failed and will continue
to fail, only the behavior modification method of stopping pollution
remains, and the only proven effective method of behavior modification
is withdrawal of internet resources of identity and connectivity to
continue pollution. 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 four 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
(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.
(4) This Practice legitimates withdrawal of internet resources as the
only method proven effective in halting abuse.
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 sanction abuse after a period of public
In effect, the proposal implements the "user pays" paradigm in a
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 without any new legislation,
and with but small and transitory disruption, by moving from the
"victim pays" model to the modern "polluting user pays" model, without any
metering. Adoption will not only be cost-free for the Internet as a
but will substantially reduce the current economic burden of abuse. It
this by transferring the economic burden from abuse victims to the
and their enablers, which is fair, easily feasible, and indeed the system
used everywhere else in society.
As such the anticipated vigorous objections to adoption from some parties
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.
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