[atoca] Government Gateways.

"Mark Wood" <mark.wood@drcf.net> Wed, 26 September 2012 09:52 UTC

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Subject: [atoca] Government Gateways.
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Thanks for bringing this up Art, this may seem like a segue in the context
of this conversation about authentication and authorisation wrappers, but it
is not, because the technology has to fit the politics and the demands of
the participating networks in this situation, so in considering any alerting
mechanism, it has to have the capabilities that are required as a condition
of their participation.

For example, when Cell Broadcast first came under consideration by cellular
networks, one of their concerns, (and a perfectly valid one) was any
possible liability if their networks broadcasted an evacuation order which
subsequently proved to be overly pessimistic. They were worried (quite
rightly) about shop keepers suing them over loss of revenue caused by
fleeing residents etc (you know how it is!). It's true that the 'Chicken
Little' will face his own music, and good luck to him, but the networks are
not concerned about that. 

All networks value their relationship with their customers and absolutely
will not risk irritating them in any way, so any participating network would
want to protect their reputation with their customers, by having a non
repudiation trail back to the originator of a message, and also very robust
methodology for making the government liable for vetting authorised
officials. Their (completely reasonable) position is that to vet lots of
mayors and police chiefs (which have constant churn) would be a unreasonable
burden upon them. 

This is why the government managed gateway solution is demanded by the
networks in the CMSAC report for example, and is reason for IPAWS OPEN.
Every country that I have worked with takes the same view of this. 

So any 'instance of participating network' (no matter what technology) will
probably be well advised to get its public alerting messages from the alert
gateway specified by the sovereign state concerned, rather by some fuzzier
discovery methodology which may prove very complex to manage and be full of
litigation liability.

Google, for example, would need to pay different attention to civic mandates
than it would to purely observational information. But thanks to CAP, the
gateways are designed to handle this so any distribution outlets of any sort
can participate with the gateway under the terms of their own MoU.


-----Original Message-----
From: atoca-bounces@ietf.org [mailto:atoca-bounces@ietf.org] On Behalf Of
Art Botterell
Sent: 25 September 2012 22:42
To: Mark Wood
Cc: atoca@ietf.org
Subject: Re: [atoca] Next milestone

On Sep 25, 2012, at 2:28 PM, Mark Wood wrote:

> ...but if you want to say "leave your home and go to high ground now",
this is
> completely different and only a properly authorised agent of the sovereign
> state may lawfully do that.

Well, not everywhere,  Here in the U.S. anyone may say that... and may be
held accountable for the results afterwards.  (Which accountability can be
so dire that folks generally hesitate before taking the risk, so the end
effect is essentially the same, but arguably with a bit more flexibility for
extreme circumstances.)

But that does vary from place to place.  As John Perry Barlow once reminded
Americans, "the First Amendment is a local ordinance."

So... is it permissible to shout "fire!" in a burning theater?  Yes, but
perhaps not in a burning theatre!  By which spelling variation I mean to
suggest that in different places this question is subject to different laws
and different notions both of sovereignty and of individual (and/or
corporate) duty.

- Art

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