Papers on the history of interactions between the IETF and
This web page contains links to documents about the history of
interactions between the IETF and various governments' policies.
The links are organized by topics:
Internet Emergency Preparedness,
Controlling traffic at country boundaries,
- IAB and IESG,
IAB and IESG Statement on Cryptographic Technology and the Internet,
"The IAB and IESG would like to encourage policies that allow ready
access to uniform strong cryptographic technology for all Internet
users in all countries."
The IETF's position on technology to support legal intercept,
October 11, 1999.
Email to the
raven mailing list.
"The wiretap question has come up
in one of these working groups, but the IESG has concluded that the
general questions should be discussed, and conclusions reached, by the
entire IETF, not just one WG."
Down on Net Wiretaps,
WIRED, February 3, 2000.
"It took four months, a grim debate, and thousands of mailing list
messages, but the group that sets Internet standards has decided not to
Earlier reports from
November 9, 1999,
November 11, 1999.
- IAB and IESG,
IETF Policy on Wiretapping,
"The IETF has decided not to consider requirements for wiretapping as
part of the process for creating and maintaining IETF standards."
of the Internet Emergency Preparedness (ieprep) Working Group in the
"The Internet community needs to consider how it can best support
emergency management and recovery operations."
Related topics that might not directly involve the IETF:
Panama requires ISPs to block Internet telephony,
November 4, 2002. Email to the
politech mailing list.
"In an apparent attempt to stem telephone company revenue losses due to
Internet telephony, the government of Panama has decreed that 24 UDP
ports be blocked by all Internet service providers."
Update: Panama's supreme court suspended this decree on November 27, 2002.
Business Week online,
Panama cracks down on Net telephony, November 25, 2002.
"The Panamanian government has ordered local Internet service providers
to take steps aimed at blocking Internet telephone traffic that passes
through the country."
"Panama is one of dozens of countries that ban VoIP services."
G. Pascal Zachary,
Searching for a Dial Tone in Africa,
New York Times, July 5, 2003.
"In parts of Africa the Internet is serving as a powerful force for
change, primarily by allowing companies and individuals to make
international telephone calls far less expensively than through
China Has World's Tightest Internet Censorship, Study Finds,
New York Times, December 4, 2002.
"China has the most extensive Internet censorship in the world,
regularly denying local users access to 19,000 Web sites that the
government deems threatening, a study by Harvard Law School researchers
"The study offers fresh evidence that the Internet may be proving
easier to control than older forms of communication like telephones,
facsimile machines or even letters."
Jonathan Zittrain and Benjamin Edelman,
Documentation of Internet Filtering Worldwide,
Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Harvard Law School.
"With this project we seek to document and analyze a large number of Web
pages blocked by various types of filtering regimes, and ultimately
create a distributed tool enabling Internet users worldwide to gather
and relay such data from their respective locations on the Internet."
Poor Connections: Trouble on the Internet frontiers,
Rand Review, December 2002.
"Numerous obstacles keep the information revolution from spreading
unfettered to the furthest reaches of the globe.
RAND researchers have looked at four regions where the "information
superhighway" has hit roadblocks: China, Russia, Latin America, and
parts of the Middle East."
- John Markoff,
Agency Weighed, but Discarded, Plan Reconfiguring the
Internet, New York Times, November 22, 2002.
"The Pentagon research agency that is exploring how to create a vast
database of electronic transactions and analyze them for potential
terrorist activity considered but rejected another surveillance idea:
tagging Internet data with unique personal markers to make anonymous use
of some parts of the Internet impossible."
United States, The President's Critical Infrastructure
A National Strategy to Secure Cyperspace,
John Markoff and John Schwartz,
Bush Administration to Propose System for Monitoring Internet,
December 20, 2002, New York Times.
"The Bush administration is planning to propose requiring Internet service
providers to help build a centralized system to enable broad
monitoring of the Internet and, potentially, surveillance of its
John Markoff and John Schwartz,
Many Tools of Big Brother Are Up and Running,
December 23, 2002, New York Times.
"In the Pentagon research effort to detect terrorism by electronically
monitoring the civilian population, the most remarkable detail may
be this: Most of the pieces of the system are already in place...
It is XML, a refinement of the Internet's original World Wide Web scheme,
that has made it possible to consider welding thousands of databases
together without centralizing the information."
U.S. should fund R&D for secure Internet protocols, Clarke says,
Government Computer News, October 31, 2002.
"Presidential cybersecurity advisor Richard Clarke today renewed his
call for government funding to support R&D for more secure Internet
Clarke told reporters that security and reliability of the basic
protocols underlying the Internet have not received enough attention
because no one has a proprietary interest in them."
Security department may oversee Internet infrastructure,
April 1, 2003.
" The Homeland Security Department may take more of a direct role
coordinating the security of the Internet's infrastructure, a top
administration official said Tuesday."
Funding a Revolution: Government Support for Computing Research,
CSTB publication, 1999.
"Funding a Revolution examines the history of computing since World War
II to elucidate the [U.S.] federal government's role in funding computing
research. It ... summarizes key historical advances in which
government-sponsored research played an important role."
From Chapter 7 on "Development of the Internet and the World Wide Web":
"The development of the Internet demonstrates that federal support for
research, applied at the right place and right
time, can be extremely effective."
Citations to New York Times articles probably require a (free) subscription
to the New York Times.
For suggestions of citations to add to this web page,
send email to
Thanks to Senthilkumar Ayyasamy and Vern Paxson for additions to this web page.
Last modified: April 2003.