S.S. St.LouisWith Trump's "extreme vetting" extending to Pakistan and others, nearly all U.S. institutions with a global reach will be cut off from some members. Internet Society Board Member Walid Al-Saqaf, from Yemen, can't attend the IETF meeting next month in Chicago. Board Member Alice Munyua from Kenya may also have to skip the event. "There is a high threat from terrorism in Kenya," the British government reports. Kenyans likely will require extreme vetting. ICANN board member Kaveh Ranjbar, born in Iran, has also been appointed to the IETF Administrative Oversight Committee. Update: Keveh posted that he has been blocked from attending an ICANN Board event in Los Angeles despite having a current U.S. visa and a Dutch passport. Update 2 Jari Arkko, IETF Chair, just blogged that the IETF is reviewing plans for future meetings in the United States. Below

From now on, people from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and others will face, per Trump, "Extreme vetting. It’s going to be very hard to come in. You’re going to see. You’re going to see. We’re going to have extreme vetting in all cases. And I mean extreme. And we’re not letting people in if we think there’s even a little chance of some problem.” Anyone from Syria, Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan are blocked. New reports suggest the extreme vetting will apply to anyone with ties to countries with what he calls a terrorism problem. Egypt, Nigeria, and Mali face active insurgencies resulting in many casualties. So does India, both in Kashmir and West Bengal.  Update: Jari Arkko of IETF blogged, "We are already reviewing what to do as far as location for the next open North American meeting slot."

IETF has a "mandatory" requirement to include in site selection whether "Travel barriers to entry, e.g. visa requirements that can limit participation, are acceptable."

I doubt they will consider moving the March meeting from Chicago but the U.S. is under consideration for future meetings. There is an active discussion on the IETF.org mailing list. It's open, so anyone can read the comments and weigh in. If you do, be thoughtful and stay on topic. The IETF list is not the place to argue the merits of the Trump actions. What the IETF should do about the difficulties of members attending is pertinent. Jari Arkko 

Although not automatically excluded, "extreme vetting" and quite possibly exclusion will affect Cherine Chalaby, a citizen of Egypt on the ICANN board. Fellow Board member Khaled Koubaa is Tunisian and might be allowed to enter the U.S. He has worked actively with Internet organizations across the Arab world, including some in the excluded countries. That's almost certain to raise issues if he wants to enter America. 

The violence in Israel and Palestine has taken thousands of lives in recent years, which would place the territory on any list of where "terrorism" is significant. The Internet Society has a strong chapter in Palestine, whose members will have difficulty coming to events in the U.S. 


I believe I serve my readers best by simply reporting the facts, as I'm trying to do here. It's also more persuasive. However, readers should know the bias of a reporter. I'm Jewish, a grandson of immigrants. When I was young, my mother told me of the voyage of the Saint Louis (pictured,) to help me understand what I might face in life. She also told me about Father Coughlin, a strong supporter of America's First. In the event, I've been lucky. As far as I know, antisemitism hasn't had a big effect on my life.


Kevah Ranjbar posted on Facebook "Ok, so here is the situation: I was supposed to land at LAX right now, but instead, I am in Amsterdam. As one of 20 ICANN Board members, I was supposed to join the ICANN board workshop in LA. I have both Iranian and Dutch nationalities and passports and I even have a multiple entry US visa in my Dutch passport but apparently none of that matters! Being born in Tehran means that at least for the next 90 days, I can't get into the US. This also means I will miss Chicago IETF, where I am being officially appointed to the IETF Administrative Oversight Committee (IAOC). Of course I will join all relevant meetings remotely, but that is beyond the point. At the end, I love the Internet and will do everything in my power to make sure things run smoothly, decisions are made sanely and we have a clear and open path to an innovative and reliable Internet. That's why being objective and trying to keep it non-personal is a challenge. I will happily join my remote meetings and believe the most important thing is to focus on the issues related to our business, Internet. I would also like to use this opportunity to thank all of my friends and colleagues who wrote to me or called and offered help, support and comfort. Thank you all."

From the IETF 

We believe that Internet protocols develop best when people of many backgrounds can offer their contributions, and we are negatively impacted by policies that prevent such collaboration.
IETF meeting venues are always reviewed for potential impact on attendance by participants from different countries. Our next meeting is planned for Chicago, and we believe it is too late to change that venue. We recognize, however, that we may have to review our other planned meeting locations when the situation becomes clearer. We are already reviewing what to do as far as location for the next open North American meeting slot.
Jari Arkko, IETF Chair Leslie Daigle, IAOC Chair Andrew Sullivan, IAB Chair
The response, especially from the technical community, has been strong. 44 Nobel Laureates have signed the petition at https://notoimmigrationban.com/. So have all the Fields Medelists since 1990, including Elon Lindenstrauss of the Hebrew University and Iranian-American Maryam Mirzakhani of Stanford. 9,000 U.S. faculty have also signed. The number is rising almost hourly. 

The world needs a good news source on Internet and telecom policy. I hope to create one. Catch a mistake? Email me please.  Dave Burstein


Professor Noam's "Many Internets" http://bit.ly/ManyNets

Until about 2010, everyone agreed the Net was a "network of networks," not a monolithic entity. There was a central authority, ICANN, keeping track of domain names, but that was a minor administrative function.
Columbia Professor Noam suggests we might be better off accepting that some nations or groups might want to organize their networks differently. It's easy to see demand for an Internet with much more effective filters against material some think harmful to children. (Any 10 year old can easily find porn today. Many do.)
Internet translation is getting better very quickly. You might want an "Internet" that translates everything into your language. Google Chrome translation isn't perfect but I was able to research most of this story on Russian language sites. With a few more years progress, I might welcome an alternate that brings me everything in English, including caching for better performance.
De facto, Internet news is already split, as hundreds of millions only get their news from Facebook. Google AMP pages, including for news, also favor selected parts of the net
Centralizing the DNS doesn't prevent censorship, as the Chinese have demonstrated. There are many Jewish and Muslim fundamentalists who want to block what they consider blasphemy and limit free speech. See http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/21/nyregion/ultra-orthodox-jews-hold-rally-on-internet-at-citi-field.html . More from Noam http://bit.ly/ManyNets

Russia Orders Alternate Root Internet System http://bit.ly/RussiaDNS
It's actually practical and not necessarily a problem.The Security Council of the Russian Federation, headed by Vladimir Putin, has ordered the "government to develop an independent internet infrastructure for BRICS nations, which would continue to work in the event of global internet malfunctions ... This system would be used by countries of the BRICS bloc – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa." RT
Columbia University Professor Eli Noam and then ICANN CEO Fadi Chehadé have both said such a system is perfectly practical as long as there is robust interconnection.
Actually, the battle over ICANN and domain names is essentially symbolic. Managing the DNS is a relatively insignificant task, more clerical than governing. ICANN Chair Steve Crocker pointed out they had very little to do with policy.
Some will claim this is about blocking free speech but that's rhetoric. Russia doesn't need to fiddle with the DNS for censorship, as the Chinese have demonstrated. The wonders of the Internet will continue so long as the resulting nets" are robustly connected. The ICANN and U.S. policy goal should be to help create that system for interconnection.
I expect contentions that “The Russians are taking over our Internet” and “They are splitting the Internet.” The Internet is a “Network of Networks.” It is not a monolith so what would “splitting” it mean or do?
After the WCIT, China realized that ICANN and the DNS are side issues not worth bothering about. They have been building alternate institutions including the World Internet Summit in Wuzhan and the BRICs conferences.  The Chinese have put their main work where decisions that matter are made. Wireless standards are set by 3GPP, where nothing can be approved without China's consent.
The American battle at ITU is proving to be a historic mistake.
Why does Russia want an independent Internet?
They fear that Western sanctions on Russia could cripple the Russian Net. Communications minister, Nikolay Nikiforov, worries about, "a scenario where our esteemed partners would suddenly decide to disconnect us from the internet." I think that's highly unlikely but Nikiforov points out, “Recently, Russia is being addressed in a language of unilateral sanctions: first, our credit cards are being cut off; then the European Parliament says that they’ll disconnect us from SWIFT."
It makes sense for the Russians to be prepared for such a contingency as the Cold War has been warming up on both sides. "Britain's top military chief Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach just made headlines warning Russian subs "could CRIPPLE Britain by cutting undefended undersea internet cables." Much more http://bit.ly/RussiaDNS

ICANN Continues Excluding Russia & China From the Board http://bit.ly/CEOPromises
No wonder Russia wants an alternate root. Three years ago, ICANN CEO Fadi Chehadé promised "a seat at the table" to Chinese Premier Li. ICANN welched and this year added two more Americans.
Almost all the ICANN board is from the U.S. and close allies; only about 4 of the 18 board members are from countries on the other side of the North/South divide in Internet policy.  Claiming ICANN represents the Global Internet is inappropriate. China is 1/3rd of the Internet but has no representation on the board.
I know many of the board members. They are all basically honorable but generally share a strong opinion on North-South issues.
Larry Strickling of the U.S. government knew just what he was doing with the IANA transition. He handed over to a board with similar positions as the U.S. government.
"The system is unsustainable while it excludes half the world," I have been saying since 2012. More, including the transcript of Fadi's statements,http://bit.ly/CEOPromises

Sorry, Ajit Pai: Smaller Telcos Did Not Reduce Investment After NN Ruling http://bit.ly/SorryPai
Pai justifies his NN choice with the claim, "The impact has been particularly serious for smaller Internet service providers." #wrong (Actually, NN has minimal effects on investment, up or down, I’m convinced. Competition, new technology, customer demand and similar are far more important.)
The two largest suppliers to “smaller ISPs” saw sales go up. Adtran's sales the most recent nine months were $540M, up from $473M the year before. 2016 was $636M, 2015 $600M. Calix the last nine months sold $372M, up from $327M. The full year 2016 was $459M, up from $407M in 2015. Clearfield, a supplier of fiber optic gear, was up 8% in sales in the smaller ISPs.
There is nothing in the data from others that suggests an alternate trend. Anyone could have found this data in a few minutes from the company quarterly reports.
The results in larger companies are ambiguous. I can "prove" capex went up or went down by selecting the right data. The four largest companies' capex - two/thirds of the total - went up from $52.7B in 2015 to $55.7B in 2016. The result remains positive after making sensible adjustments for mergers and acquisitions. That's as close to "proving" that NN led to increased spending as the facts chosen to prove the opposite.
Actually, whether capex went up or down in 2016 tells us almost nothing about the choice on neutrality. Everyone knows a single datapoint could be random or due to other causes. Much more, including the source of the errors http://bit.ly/SorryPai

Elders Bearing Witness: Vint, Timbl, & Many More http://bit.ly/VintTim
Vint Cerf, Tim Berners-Lee, Steve Wozniak and more than a dozen true Internet pioneers wrote Congress to protect Neutrality. The best Congress money can buy didn't listen but I wanted to reproduce their letter.
I hope they are wrong believing "is an imminent threat to the Internet we worked so hard to create." My take is the impact will be moderate in the short run.
From the letter:
We are the pioneers and technologists who created and now operate the Internet, and some of the innovators and business people who, like many others, depend on it for our livelihood. ... The FCC’s proposed Order is based on a flawed and factually inaccurate understanding of Internet technology. These flaws and inaccuracies were documented in detail in a 43-page-long joint comment signed by over 200 of the most prominent Internet pioneers and engineers and submitted to the FCC on July 17, 2017.
Despite this comment, the FCC did not correct its misunderstandings, but instead premised the proposed Order on the very technical flaws the comment explained. The technically-incorrect proposed Order ... More, including the full list, http://bit.ly/VintTim