Announcing GCTIP - New Forums for Internet Transparency, Performance, and ISP Issues

Announcing GCTIP - New Forums for Internet Transparency,
                          Performance, and ISP Issues


Greetings. I'm pleased to announce the availability of a new venue
for discussion, reporting, analysis, information sharing, queries, and
consumer assistance regarding Internet performance, transparency, and
measurement, plus a wide range of topics associated with consumers and
their interactions with Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

Called GCTIP Forums:

this project -- The "Global Coalition for Transparent
Internet Performance" -- is the outgrowth of a network measurement
workshop meeting sponsored by Vint Cerf and Google at their headquarters
in June, 2008 for a number of academic network measurement researchers
and other related parties. This is the same meeting that formed the
genesis of the open platform M-Lab ("Measurement Lab") project that
was recently announced ( ).

GCTIP was the original name for the mailing list that I maintained for
that Google meeting and subsequent discussions (full disclosure: I
helped to organize the agenda for the meeting and also attended).

Unless we know what the performance of the Internet for any given
users really is -- true bandwidth performance, traffic management,
port blocking, server prohibitions, Terms of Service concerns, and a
wide range of other parameters, it's impossible for anyone who uses
Internet services to really know if they're getting what they're
paying for, if their data is being handled appropriately in terms of
privacy and security, and all manner of other crucial related issues.

While transparency and related concerns do have impacts on "network
neutrality" issues, neither GCTIP nor GCTIP Forums are oriented toward
network neutrality discussions.

The purpose of GCTIP Forums is to provide a free discussion
environment to act as a clearinghouse for all stakeholders (technical,
consumers, ISPs, government-related, etc.) to interact on the range of
"network transparency" and associated topics. The focus is on
collecting, analyzing, and disseminating reports relating to Internet
measurement/test data -- plus associated concerns, discussions, etc.,
in manners that are most useful to the network community at large.
There are many groups working in the network measurement area, but
surprisingly little data sharing, coordination, or ongoing reporting
in a form that is useful to most ordinary Internet consumers or other
interested observers.

An area of particular concern is helping to assure that measurement
tests and perceived consumer problems with their ISPs aren't
misinterpreted by users resulting in unfair or simply wrong
accusations against those ISPs. I feel strongly that consumers need a
place to go with these sorts of issues where the broader community and
experts can help interpret what's really going on. Guilty firms
should be exposed, but the innocent must not be inappropriately

All current GCTIP Forums topics can be viewed without signing up on
the system. Simple registration is required to post new discussion
threads and replies, but no non-administrative topics are currently
pre-moderated (any reported materials confirmed to be inappropriate
will be deleted promptly).

GCTIP Forums exist to enable the exchange of relevant ideas, queries,
data, and other information for anyone concerned about the Internet

The Forums are seeded with five top-level discussion topics to get
things rolling, but suggestions for additional categories are welcome.
New threads (e.g. discussions of particular measurement tools,
measurement results, specific ISP issues and concerns, etc.) can be
created by registered users, starting right now.

Please note that I am running GCTIP on my own dime at this point. At
such a time as any outside support funding becomes available for the
project (which would be very much appreciated!) it will be publicly
announced of course.

Spread the word! This is your chance to help yourself and everyone
else better understand what the Internet is <b>really</b> doing, and
by extension, where it is going tomorrow.

Thanks very much. Be seeing you ... at: ...

Lauren Weinstein or
Tel: +1 (818) 225-2800
Co-Founder, PFIR
   - People For Internet Responsibility -
Co-Founder, NNSquad
   - Network Neutrality Squad -
Founder, PRIVACY Forum -
Member, ACM Committee on Computers and Public Policy
Lauren's Blog: