Subject: Re: OT: orbz.org - help needed
To: None <email@example.com>
From: Greg A. Woods <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 01/29/2002 13:42:46
[ On Tuesday, January 29, 2002 at 17:11:04 (+0100), Thomas Michael Wanka wrote: ]
> Subject: Re: OT: orbz.org - help needed
> We have several ISPs here, that give you dedicated
> internetconnections with static IPs, but will not allow you to
> install "server services" (like a web server). Allthough there are no
> court decisions currently available to that topic, it is pretty shure
> that this is against "good habits" as it does not matter for the
> provider if the customers spend their traffic for surfing or for
> server services.
Technically it does make a huge difference. Most Internet wide area
connections are full duplex. An ISP may wish to sell service that will
be used primarily for customer downloading surfing, etc. in order to
utilize the "unused" portion of their bandwidth. If those customers
start serving files then they will be competing with the other (perhaps
higher paying) customers who are supposed to have the reserved bandwidth
for their primarily outbound services.
Furthermore there's the support issue. A bunch of end users who start
running servers will inevitably put more drain on an ISP's support
infrastructure, if only to deal with the inevitable increase in
complaints from outside parties.
Finally note that through careful use of packet filters and policy based
routing it's possible to implement a service that can only be used for
client services (web browsers, mail readers, etc.).
In other words an ISP who decides to sell client-only services, for
whatever reason, should be blocking attempts to connect to servers
running at these client-only customer sites. Doing so is the more
direct way of preventing accidental creation of a multi-level open
relay. Another way to prevent having the ISP mail server become a
multi-level open relay is to simply require every customer who runs
their own mail server to do their own direct delivery, i.e. not allow
them to use your mailer as a smarthost if they accept connections on
If a customer willingly signs up for such a client-only connection then
how can it possibly be considered to be against "good habits"?
You are right though that there are legal jurisdictions in the world
where ISPs must be careful how they define their services lest they come
under unwanted regulation by their governments or by their legal system.
No doubt in many jurisdictions in the world if an ISP is naive enough to
offer fixed-IP connections to customers and then only after the fact
decide to limit those connections to client-only service then they risk
being legally complled to either restore service or compensate their
former customers for loss of service.
Greg A. Woods
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