Linked by Kroc Camen on Fri 10th Dec 2010 14:28 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes I know that there's a number of readers who don't like it when OSnews covers political topics, I'm one of them. These political upheavals however spell danger for operating system hobbyists and so I dedicate this article to framing the political news within the context of what we are here to read about: operating systems.
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Member since:

Unlike most everyone else, I'd like to discuss the substance of the essay, rather than engage in self-gratification on site policy.

This passage in particular stuck out:

What company in their right mind would agree to route the unknown, random, and legally unvetted traffic of everybody else, with no agreement or payment from the originator?

I'm reasonably sure that you're onto something, but you're pretty badly confused on specifics.

(1) Telephone companies have been routing "unknown, random, and legally unvetted traffic of others" for how long now? It's called a phone call. Before the internet, we had BBS's, many of them owned and operated by individuals on their personal computers. Arguably, a world of BBS's would be much harder for governments to control than the internet: decentralized, in the hands of private individuals, etc. On the other hand, decentralization also makes it harder to engage in the sort of large-scale organizing that you see with things like WikiLeaks, Anonymous, etc.

And long before BBS's, phone companies were routinely routing unknown, random, and legally unvetted conversations.

(2) In any case, the originator is paying. In this case, the "originator" is whoever owns the internet account you're using to access the internet. If you personally aren't paying for your point of access, the analogy is still bad, since lots of people use phones & their networks without paying for them.

You refer to an operating system as if it were an originator and participant, but it's not. The operating system is merely a tool for the user, comparable to the hardware inside a phone.

Reply Score: 5

Lennie Member since:

Also, I don't think many route "unknown, random,.." traffic.

You have 2 types of relationships when doing internet routing:
- peering
- transit

Usually when you buy transit, you pay your upstream provider for getting all the routing information needed to route your traffic out to the whole world and your routing information will also be send all other the world. Thus any traffic coming your network could pass through the transit network and any traffic destined for your network could also pass through your network.

When you are doing peering, you are only exchanging the routing information of the 2 networks involved (and their customers). Usually this is not paid.

So in both cases you are exchanging traffic to/from your network (or your customers). That is hardly unknown or random.

Reply Parent Score: 2