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[ NNSquad ] Re: Peering dispute cuts off Sprint<->Cogent Internet traffic

From: Ed Jankiewicz <edward.jankiewicz@sri.com>
Subject: Total Filtering

As many news organizations are now reporting, Sprint-Nextel (Embarq) has decided to sever its Internet connection with Cogent, another Internet service provider. This action has caused a "hole" or "rip" in the internet, meaning that Sprint-Nextel (Embarq) and Cogent customers may find they cannot access resources hosted by the other company's customers. Similar standoffs have occurred in the past, and usually one company backs down after a few days, but no one can predict what will happen in this case.

OK, so what has happened to the "treats censorship as damage and routes around it" Internet? Even if Embarq and Cogent are no longer talking to each other, the routers should be automatically finding routes via other carriers and sending the packets -- around Robin Hood's barn if necessary, but the Internet is supposed to be _robust_. Jon Postel designed it that way -- I've read the RFCs. That's what ARPA specified when they paid for the development of first the ARPANet and later the Internet -- and what NSF paid for when they branched off NSFNet and allowed commercial traffic.

Are these guys programming their routers to just drop packets with certain destination IP addresses, instead of finding the shortest available route?

I'm beginning to think that Congress (or perhaps an international body similar to the WTO) should make the core RFCs (IP, TCP, BGP, FTP, HTTP, SMTP, and RFC 822) have the force of law. And anybody who violates those protocols should be fined and/or have their connections turned off.