Subject: Free Canadian hosting of NetBSD International with strong crypto.
To: None <netbsd-advocacy@NetBSD.ORG>
From: Alicia da Conceicao <email@example.com>
Date: 07/06/1999 07:12:59
Some time ago, there was some talk of setting up NetBSD International.
Basically it would mirror the existing "ftp.netbsd.org", with the only
difference being that strong crypto would be enabled by default in all
NetBSD current and snapshots.
In Canada we have the odd situation in that it is legal for Americans
to export strong crypto to Canada, and for Canadians to export strong
crypto to the rest of the world. This is something that the OpenBSD
folk take advantage of. Americans in the NetBSD core can openly upload
(export) strong crypto to a Canadian ftp/web server, which anyone in
the world can download from, without breaking any US laws.
Well, I wish to formally offer, on behalf of myself and my company, free
Internet hosting of a NetBSD site/mirror in Canada. My only conditions
are that there is a reasonable effort that strong crypto (especially the
"domestic" stuff) be made fully available to all by default, so that we
can get strong crypto versions of current and snapshots; and a brief
mention of my company on some acknowledgement section on the NetBSD website.
This offer includes a guarantee from us that we will not put in any
advertising, banner ads, etc. on the site/mirror. We can host the NetBSD
site/mirror on an existing server (running NetBSD OS of course) and provide
the necessary people with full shell access, or even set up a dedicated
server and give the NetBSD core complete root access, so that they can
configure it as they wish.
We can have an independent server hosting NetBSD, or set up a mirror using
something like wget and do daily bulk transfers from a password protected
server currently hosting NetBSD. We are also open to any other
Our server room has with dual UPS, climate control, fire control systems,
restricted access, and raw fibre with a T3 Internet feed. (It used to be
the main server room of the Hudson Bay Corporation, the oldest corporation
in the world, before they moved to another building.) And it is located
in our new office, which is located in the heart of downtown Toronto,
across the street from the city hall. Anyone involved with NetBSD core or
advocacy is invited to drop by and visit us, whenever they are in Toronto.
My company and I have been strong advocates and long time users of NetBSD.
Putting in strong crypto by default and making it available to all would
solve a sore point with many NetBSD users, especially those who are
overseas. As a bonus, it would also provide NetBSD a leg up on OpenBSD,
which constantly promotes itself on its builtin strong crypto support.
Well there is my offer. It requires full support from the NetBSD core.
Under no circumstance do I want to repeat the mistake of OpenBSD and
fracture NetBSD yet again. Who knows, maybe with strong crypto, we can
get some of the OpenBSD folks back. (Or maybe that is just wishful
thinking on my part.)
BTW, a recent court ruling in the US states overturn the restrictions on
exporting source code with strong encryption, since it violated freedom of
speech. Since NetBSD is distributed with source code, the main NetBSD
server could also make strong crypto available to all in the world by
default. This would obviously be an ideal situation, and would eliminate
the need for a NetBSD server in Canada. However, there may still be those
Americans who are still afraid of crypto export restrictions or worthless
(stupid) patents on mathematical algorithms like RSA, which is why I am
making my offer for free Canadian hosting.
Please consider this offer carefully, and do not hesitate to contact me,
ask questions, or make other suggestions that would achieve the goal of
making strong crypto in NetBSD available to all by default,
Yours truly, Alicia.