Re: Last Call: Modern Global Standards Paradigm

SM <sm@resistor.net> Sat, 11 August 2012 19:06 UTC

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Date: Sat, 11 Aug 2012 11:41:58 -0700
To: ietf@ietf.org, IAB <iab@iab.org>
From: SM <sm@resistor.net>
Subject: Re: Last Call: Modern Global Standards Paradigm
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At 06:58 11-08-2012, Brian E Carpenter wrote:
>Traditionally, and still in some countries, the telecommunications
>monopolist *is* the government, so defending the monopoly is directly
>in the government's financial interest. In other countries, where
>there's still a de facto monopoly, that monopolist is very good at
>political lobbying. So in both those types of country, the vested
>interest drives the government position. Add that to the governments
>that want central control and/or monitoring of information, and you
>get a strong bloc of political support for standards and regulations
>that support monopoly, control, and eavesdropping.

Yes.

Nowadays some governments only own a share of the telecommunications 
monopoly.  Other operators, for example some companies who are part 
of the European Telecommunications Network Operators' Association ( 
http://www.etno.be/Default.aspx?tabid=1239 ), have a financial 
interest in these monopolies.

The US does not need central control because most of the content 
accessed by its users is internal traffic.  It's easy to apply local 
laws.  The EU can also use its laws on a country basis.  Revenue 
which is a significant incentive for content providers.  Advertising 
revenue per user for a one content provider is as follows:

   US/Canada  $9.51
   EU         $4.86
   Asia       $1.79
   Other      $1.42

Here is a rough estimate of users for one content provider:

   US     158,758,940
   Brazil  54,902,560
   India   51,925,180
   UK      37,569,580
   France  24,345,920
   Italy   21,822,640
   Canada  17,474,940
   Spain   16,075,560
   Egypt   11,513,720
   Russia   5,560,080
   Romania  4,928,100
   Tunisia  3,107,040
   Libya      608,380
   China      520,780
   Uganda     444,560

If tomorrow Italy decides to adopt a "sending party pays" model it 
may still be financially viable for the content provider to remain in 
that market.  It may not work that well for Uganda.

If tomorrow Libya decides that it would be in its interest to control 
access to the Internet, operators can route around the problem as we 
all know that's how the Internet works.  Well, not really, if most of 
the traffic passes through one international gateway.  You can send 
traffic over port 443 to prevent eavesdropping as that port is 
secure.  Well, not really, if the user already trusts the wrong SSL 
certificate.

If you are on an Internet governance soapbox you might as well talk 
about how the US is evil and it should not be the only country 
running the Internet.  You might also want to add that having only 13 
root nameservers is all part of a conspiracy and that the IETF must 
fix that.  Obviously someone must be running this Internet thing or 
else you will have to review your belief system.

At 07:56 11-08-2012, John C Klensin wrote:
>Remembering that there is no such thing as a Sector Member from
>a non-Member country, someone who was very cynical about these
>things might even suggest that the most effective way to get the
>ITU out of the Internet would be to have them pass these
>measures in their most extreme form with the medium-term result
>of wrecking their budget and, with it, their ability to
>function.   Or one might speculate that is the reason why ITU's

Yes.

>A form of that risk exists whether such treaties are created or
>not.  If a country considers it sufficiently necessary to its
>national interest to withdraw from the Internet and adopt a
>different and non-interoperable set of protocols, it will almost
>certainly do so with or without approval from Geneva.  I believe
>we should make that process as easy as possible for them,
>designing things so that they can't hurt others when they do so.
>Countries who isolate themselves from contemporary
>communications technologies have not been treated well by
>history, economics, or their own populations.

Yes.

>We also should not discount some possible advantages: for
>example, the withdrawal of a few selected countries from the
>Internet and enforced requirements there to use only
>non-interoperable protocols could do wonders to reduce the
>amount of malicious spam introduced into the network.  :-(

There are advantages in everything.

At 08:11 11-08-2012, Dave Crocker wrote:
>[1] The IETF-based characterization of this was by Marshall 
>Rose:  With enough thrust, pigs /can/ fly.

FWIW the original statement was different.

At 08:13 11-08-2012, Carsten Bormann wrote:
>(That's also what you choose your leadership for.
>If we don't like the outcome, we can always decide not to re-elect Russ :-)

I am taking bets on who will be the next IETF Chair. :-)

In traditional telecommunications the cost of sending one MB of data 
is around US$30.  A user can get a one GB Internet subscription for 
the same price.  In the traditional standards organization you don't 
have a say if in the baking of the standard.  In the IETF you wring 
the neck of the WG Chair or Area Director if he/she does not let you 
have a say.

As an anecdote, I was notified that I will be unsubscribed from an 
ISOC mailing list due to technical limitations.  It is unconceivable 
for that to happen in the IETF.

Regards,
-sm