Internet partitioning event regulations (was: RE: Sending vs requesting. Was: Re: Sprint / Cogent)

That having been said, jurisdiction is a red herring. Every
transit-free provider does at least some of its business in the United
States. Economic reality compels them to continue to do so for the
foreseeable future. That's all the hook the Feds need.

Are you saying that if any part of a network touches US soil
it can be regulated by the US govt over the entirety of the
network? For my part, this is not an attempt to change the
subject or divert the argument (red herring). It is a valid
question with operational impact.

That's not how companies work. What you see as a single
company operating a single worldwide network, is actually
a web of companies with interlocking directorships and
share structures. In each country they will probably have
3 or 4 corporate entities. One owns the network assets,
one employs all the people in Sales, another employs
the network ops people, and 4th one mops up the other
employees and is a holding company for the other three.
None of them do any billing because that is all done by
subsidiary companies in Luxembourg and Ireland. Etc, etc.

This is done for a variety of reasons but regulation is
definitely one of them. In most countries you need a
licence to operate telecom networks, and the licence
holder will be the local operating company, not the
head office company that consolidates the ownership
underneath a share symbol traded on your favorite stock

Spend some time hanging out with finance and legal people
in a big company. You may find it almost as fascinating
as designing networks.

An additional point is that when one company acquires another
and it gets reviewed for potential antitrust issues, this
often impacts the company structure because a local regulator
wants to see that the local corporate entity is not 100%
controlled by a foreign corporation. This makes it easier
for the government to target regulations at the domestic

--Michael Dillon

A good friend of mine who works for a local (Australian) bank is constantly
complaining about SOX compliance, which he has to do because there's a
related entity to the company he works for which does financial business in
the US.

It's not beyond the realm of possibility for a government (any government,
not *just* the US) to say "if you want to do business in our jurisdiction,
you will abide by the following rules", which may include rules regarding
what related entities located in other countries do.

Not that you'd really need such a regulation for peering; so much of the
"core backbone" is US-based[1] that even just a regulation controlling how
peering worked for equipment and entities in the US would have the desired
effect -- after all, the US government would (in the short term, at least)
mostly be interested in making sure that the Internet worked within the US.
It might also (further) encourage companies to host more stuff in the US, if
they can lower their risk of connectivity problems to US-based eyeballs.

- Matt

[1] How many depeerings have happened in other countries that have had such
a major effect on global connectivity?

To add to Michael's point, I will say that while US Laws cannot apply
to a company globally, it is perfectly reasonable for the US govt to
say "If you wish to do business in this country, your operations
within the USA will follow these rules." This is how every other
industry is regulated. Just because the internet is less tangible
doesn't make this particular sort of regulation any less valid. It
just has to restrict itself in scope to interactions within US
goverened territory. (Wherever the physical equipment is, thats the
country you're in and those are the rules you follow. That has already
been established.So if something were desired, there is no reason it
cannot be deemed enforcable.


Who owns the DNS root?

The US Government claims to. However, asserting authority over the DNS root is a different matter to a mere claim to ownership, and if the US Government were to unilaterally decide on an action which directly acted against the interests of various other stakeholders in the DNS root (say, the rest of the world - and hey, did anyone mention that there are about 6.4 * 10^9 people outside the USA?), then there are a variety of remedies to the situation, most of which involve balkanisation and all of which are pretty unpalatable to all stakeholders, including the US.

IOW: the DNS root is a system based on trust, rather than mandate of the the USG.