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[ NNSquad ] Re: Neutrality in Perspective

The argument that blocking any port is justified is a slippery slope to overblocking.

There are just as persuasive arguments for blocking SIP and RTP ports, for forcing HTTP through a proxy server, email that doesn't go through the ISPs virus checkers (and lawful intercept filters) ... what would Google say if ports 80, 443, 995, 465 and 587 were all blocked or proxied in an effort to stop people from being infected with or spreading worms?

At what extent do you draw the line? I'm just not persuaded that we need to solve endpoint and protocol engineering problems at the network layer.

Be careful what you wish for,


Jason Frisvold wrote:
On Nov 13, 2007 12:07 PM, Lauren Weinstein <lauren@vortex.com> wrote:
It might be argued that blocking port 25 for dynamic IP addresses
*by default* may not be unreasonable, so long as that block would
be removed upon request by a well-behaved, obviously non-spamming
user.  There are some ISPs that will do this, but they are way in
the minority, as far as I know.   So the good guy customers are
treated in advance like crooks in most cases in this respect.

Management of users like this can be problematic, however.  Adds to
the size of ACLs, etc.  Depending on the type of broadband, it may be
easier to deal with, but overall, it can be difficult to add this sort
of capability to the network as a whole.  I think that's why a lot of
ISPs merely block 25 outright.

So when we talk about what sorts of restrictions on users are
reasonable for ISPs to impose, and whether or not any given
restriction or similar activity by an ISP should be viewed as
unacceptable, I believe that it's important to keep in mind that the
ISPs are by and large not innocent bystanders being victimized, but
to a major extent have themselves created the present environment by
virtue of their various business-related decisions and motives over

But what constitutes acceptable blocking?  For instance, BCP38
filtering is used at the edge of the ISP network.  That seems an
acceptable case since it's traffic that, in theory, should never be
seen on the Internet at large.  Further in, port 25 is blocked, as
well as some well-known virii exploit ports such as Netbios.

So where does one stand on Neutrality with something like this?  On
one hand, the ISP is blocking ports.  On the other, they are trying to
protect the consumer.  And since a large number of the consumers are,
likely, computer impaired, this helps considerably.  In many circles,
it's considered to be good netiquette to block like this.  Where does
NNSquad stand on this?

NNSquad Moderator