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Subject: IP: DDoS -- The new kiddies

  • From: David Farber <>
  • Date: Mon, 13 Aug 2001 04:03:57 -0400

>From: "Bob Frankston" <>
>To: "David Farber" <>
>Subject: DDoS -- The new kiddies
>Date: Sun, 12 Aug 2001 23:09:51 -0400
>Just found a few hundred hits on /default.ida on my server and I'm sure 
>I'm not alone. So far, in the last day, there were 450 requests from 94 
>distinct sites -- generally cable modem and DSL users. This is actually a 
>very small number considering what is possible and, perhaps, likely in the 
>next few days.
>But they don't worry me as much as those who see it as their duty to 
>protect us by taking away our ability to be full network participants. 
>That's the real tragedy of terrorism; the fear that results in responses 
>that make those most frightened act as terrorist's agents. I expect to see 
>increasing noise from those who wish to save the Internet by allowing only 
>those with proper credentials to participate. Unfortunately there are too 
>few people who understand that this accomplishes little more than 
>destroying the Internet and bringing back the centrally controlled and 
>limited economy.
>Playing into fears and superstitions allows the telecommunications 
>companies to impose arbitrary restrictions in the name of doing good. And, 
>for the most part, I accept their claim that they have no nefarious 
>purpose. But that's because keeping the Internet itself open to innovation 
>is simply not part of their mission. Their primary mission is to provide 
>closed services like telephony and television. Those who advocate openness 
>are marginalized by being framed as crazies. The fact that simply blocking 
>port 80, or checking the character string of email addresses frustrates 
>normal users while doing little to address the real problems gets lost in 
>the panic.
>Even the Economist, a publication that I normally consider an advocate for 
>open markets, uses the term "Cyber-Libertarian" (in a recent editorial) as 
>they defend the need to tame the Internet. It reminds me of the attempt in 
>the late 1800's to shut the patent office because everything worth 
>inventing had already been invented.
>What is missing is advocacy for connectivity and innovation; a company 
>whose business is meeting demand rather than disqualifying customers (and 
>normal DSL procedure). At the recent celebration of the twentieth 
>anniversary of the PC I was glad to see Andy Grove come out and say 
>explicitly that the telecom industry is holding back the growth of the PC 
>industry. I spoke to others who are beginning to see this as a key issue.
>We must remember that protecting the status quo comes at the price of 
>innovation and its economic benefits.
>Bob Frankston

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