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Several categories of service here

Several categories of service here

Posted Jan 3, 2008 16:28 UTC (Thu) by kirkengaard (guest, #15022)
In reply to: We need ISPs to be able to do a certain amount of filtering by james
Parent article: The future of unencrypted web traffic

The ISP, in its capacity as an email provider, should filter spam and other nuisances _within
email traffic_, but only to the extent to which these are contained within email traffic
directed to or provided by users of its email services.  This is a service provided through
that company's internet service provision, but separate from it.  This is filtering done by a
mail server or associated apparatus on mail arriving over the TCP/IP stream.  This should not
violate common-carrier status because they don't care what the bits are until they become an
endpoint.

Services provided to the user to filter traffic at the user end, such as optional parental
filtering, are not therefore filtering done at the discretion of the ISP, but end-user defined
filtering of end-user defined traffic.  This should not violate common-carrier status because
the ISP retains its neutrality as a carrier, and filtering is done per-endpoint/per-user at
user request.

Monitoring and disconnecting virus-infected computers is a grey area as far as caring what the
content of packets are, because it does require analysis without being an endpoint.  It is,
however, undeniably malicious content.  This intent to harm the user is the valid reason for
filtering, just as the parallel filtering of the mail systems for explosives, toxins and other
undeniably hazardous content.  Users that desire hazardous materials for legitimate purposes
need to go through separate carrier systems and much red tape from the recipient end to
request such materials.  This asserts the express non-malicious nature of that particular
'packet' of hazardous-to-the-user material.  The ISP has a customer safety burden which makes
virus filtering and quarantine a legitimate intrusion upon carrier neutrality.


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