||[Jan. 19th, 2006|01:33 pm]
Ars Technica:From |
In other words, if Company X is selling music from the xTunes Music Store—the theory goes—why shouldn't the carriers get a cut from Company X? Cut the carrier in for a piece of the pie, and they'll ensure a smooooth flight for Company X's packets from point A to point B. Cut them out, and Company X may find that it's packets have been diverted through Toledo—unless that's where they were heading, in which case they'll be shipped through Poughkeepsie. Sure, they'll get where they're headed... eventually.
We (in the IT department at a high school) used to do this all the time. You see, this was before the time of COPA and mandatory filtering to get federal dollars, so the school district went with the "You can get anything online; we don't block anything; but we do monitor everything, and if we catch you, there will be hell to pay" policy since we didn't have the budget or staff to implement anything, and Legal felt that by attempting to block access, we would be liable for anything that managed to get though. Hence, no blocking.
Now, this was in the time of a program referred to as "napster." You may have heard of it. This "napster" thing was eating away all of our bandwidth, but we didn't really have anyone above us with the testicular fortitude to allow us to block it. So, an inventive solution was designed & implemented.
An access list for the napster ip address ranges redirected that traffic to a 33.6kbps modem bank. Each separate ip connection resulted in a modem dialing out (mmm... dial on demand routing). After 8 connections, all modems in the bank were used, and an ICMP host unreachable message was sent back to any other napster clients trying to get online. For those who actually managed to get online, the time involved in getting modem sync and negotiating a public ip was longer than the default tcp/ip timeout time in the napster client, so they never got to search for copyrighted material. Problem solved.
It's amazing that we didn't consider it technically "blocking." Sure, latency inducing. Sure, limited resources. But the client sorta blocked itself :)
Later, once certain presidents signed certain laws which affected the schools and libraries division of the universal service fund, we blocked stuff, first with surf control, then later on with websense. Not that it stopped anyone, but that's a story for another day.