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[ih] [IP] EFF calls for signatures from Internet Engineers against censorship

On 12/20/2011 5:37 PM, Vint Cerf wrote:
> I spent 2 hours with ICE reviewing their domain seizure practices and
> have committed to engage the technical community to look for
> alternative mechanisms to fight piracy in lieu of domain name seizure
> or the mechanisms of the ill-conceived SOPA/PIPA. I may be calling on
> some of you to engage.


This is good news.  It would, indeed, be far better to engage in a constructive, 
proactive discussion than to have little choice but to sign an opposition note. 
  As with others, I'm glad to contribute to those discussions.

A basic, underlying challenge is a pervasive tendency to believe that, for the 
Internet, there are technical solutions to social problems.  This has been a 
major, continuing impediment to policy discussions involving spam, for example.

Outside of the Internet, smart people have not been able to eliminate crime.  We 
all need to be careful about assuming that smart people can eliminate any forms 
of it on the Internet.  On the other hand, some reductions certain must be 
possible, as has been true outside of the Internet.

So there should certainly should be efforts, but they need clarity, modesty and 
balance in setting expectations and defining mechanisms.

For example, the view at the policy level often is that it is acceptable to make 
changes that result is major constraints on /legitimate/ use, nevermind that 
there is often little empirical basis for knowing that the change will be 
effective in countering the problem behaviors.

Typically, folks proposing changes have a narrow range of personal experience, 
whereas the policy mandates will affect a broader range.  (For reference, this 
limitation in perspective is often a problem in /technical/ groups, nevermind 
policy groups.)

So one of the challenges in the discussions is to educate about the broader 
range and its importance.


   Dave Crocker
   Brandenburg InternetWorking