Thank you Patrick.
Proxies are fine WHERE CUSTOMERS HAVE AGREED TO THEIR USE.
STEALING someone's packet flow to force it through a proxy is NOT fine.
I think this is the heart of Karl's argument. (Karl, feel free to correct
me if I'm wrong.) The rest of the rant about how transparent caches, proxy
server, etc. work and other opinions about how the Internet and web content
will look in the future is ... not my concern at present.
Proxies not only intercept and redirect packets, they replace packets with
older ones, rather and allowing a fresh packet to come through. There are
many circumstances where this is unacceptable.
Most contracts imply raw packet streams, unless specified otherwise.
Filtering a raw packet stream is technically a breach of contract. If done
to us, it will cause us to switch upstream providers, make us renumber our
hosts, and cause us much grief/anxiety/emotional harm/lost business, which
we will be glad to bill back to the upstream provider, in court if need be,
at inflated values if we can get away with it.<grin> If our upstream
provider is not the one directly doing it then *they* can forward our bill,
tagging on their own expenses, to their upstream provider, and so on. By
the time this little shit-ball hits the one doing the filtering, they may
decide that sipping umbrella-drinks, on the beach, or collecting welfare,
may be a better business model to persue.
But the original topic is of great concern to me. Is there one person on
this list - even someone from DIGEX - who can give me one reason why
altering the destination of a packet a customer paid you to deliver,
without that customer's consent or foreknowledge, is in any way morally or
ethically permissible? Hell, for that matter, is it even legal?
It can be considered simple contract breach (see above, I was not being
facitious) with appropriate penalties for "willful failure to perform", aka
fraud, possibly wire-fraud under the right circumstances. There's a whole
range of civil and criminal law that are specifically designed to extract
pounds of flesh, out of such perpetrators.
I know that when my downstreams pay me for transit and give me a packet, I
do my damnedest to get that packet TO THE DESTINATION. If I can give my
customers better service though proxy or caching or any other method, I
will definitely OFFER it to them. (We are currently looking into
transparent and other caching techniques, but have not begun such an
offering as of yet.) However, I will not shirk my responsibility to
deliver packets where the customer (rightfully) expects them to go without
the customer's permission. I find it repugnant that one of my peers has
done so. I would be interested in how other's feel about it - without all
the discussion about whether caching is any use or not.
Agreed, I would offer such a value-added service, but not at the expense of
a raw data-feed.