FC: Panama requires ISPs to block Internet telephony

From: Declan McCullagh (declanat_private)
Date: Mon Nov 04 2002 - 20:01:35 PST

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    [Forwarded with grateful acknowledgement from Dave Farber's IP list. --Declan]
    From: "Robert J. Berger" <rbergerat_private>
    Date: Mon, 04 Nov 2002 13:21:39 -0800
    To: Dewayne Hendricks <dewayneat_private>, Dave Farber IP
    Subject: Panama begins blocking IP ports to prevent VoIP
      Panama begins blocking IP ports (updated)
    Date: Sunday, November 03 @ 21:36:03 EST
    Topic: News
    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.
    The ports include ones that are commonly used for voice over IP as well as
    some that are used for other purposes, apparently with the idea that these,
    too, could be used to circumvent the POTS (plain old telephone system, a
    term of art) in making telephone calls.
    In the decree
    the Panamanian government requires "that within 5 days of publication, all
    ISPs will block the 24 UDP ports used for VoIP and any other that could be
    used in the future (which could end up being all UDP ports)," according to a
    reporter and computer consultant there, and that "the ISPs will block in
    their firewall or main router and in all their Border routers that connect
    with other autonomous systems."
    This "unequivocally decrees that all routers, including those not carrying
    traffic from Panama, but that might be traversing Panama, have the 24 UDP
    ports blocked."
    The significance of the government action affects areas far beyond that
    nation. Due to its geographical location, numerous undersea cables connect
    in the country, making it a substantial hub for international IP traffic.
    Among the services that are to be disrupted are NetMeeting, Dialpad, and
    Net2phone, which labels itself "communication without borders," a claim
    which apparently will no longer be true if one of those borders is
    Panamanian or communication is between two countries whose IP traffic passes
    through Panama.
    The decree is apparently rooted in complaints by Cable & Wireless Panama
    (Motto: "If you're worried about your data, voice, or Internet service
    provider, we're here to help"), which says it is losing money due to users
    employing the Internet to make otherwise expensive internetional telephone
    calls -- calls that would otherwise be listed on Cable & Wireless bills.
    The UDP ports involved include: 1034, 1035, 2090, 2091, 5000, 6801, 6802,
    6803, 9900, 9901, 12080, 12120, 12122, 22555, 26133, 30582, 35061, 38000,
    38100, 38200, 47563, 48310, 51200, and 51201.
    The decree was published October 25.
    Among the services that employ some of those ports are "nlockmgr," the NFS
    lock manager responsible for rpc.statd and rpc.lockd, which in turn are
    responsible for crash recovery functions for locked files and for processing
    file locking requests, respectively; telnet; and numerous VoIP services.
    In addition to those who wish to save on their phone bills, the government
    order blocks the perfectly lawful use of those ports by businesses that have
    legitimate VoIP applications allowed in the country.
    There were reports late Sunday that Panamanian ISPs were planning a
    demonstration aimed at exhibiting their displeasure with the government
    Update: A call has been issued for proxies that can be used for VoIP,
    preferably more important, less-easily blocked ports. Anyone with knowledge
    of this may contact us here and we'll see that your message gets through.
    US Citizens:  Vote for Regime Change in the United States on Tuesday Nov 5
    Robert J. Berger - Internet Bandwidth Development, LLC.
    15550 Wildcat Ridge Saratoga, CA 95070
    408-882-4755 Fax: 408-490-2868 rbergerat_private http://www.ibd.com
    From: "David P. Reed" <dpreedat_private>
    Date: Mon, 04 Nov 2002 17:45:51 -0500
    Subject: Re: <[IP]> Panama begins blocking IP ports to prevent VoIP
    The Panama "UDP Port block" is interesting from a technical point of view.
    Routers are not supposed to inspect anything outside the IP header in
    making their routing decisions.   That's what the Internet standard says.
    If some device looks at the UDP data (which technically means the first few
    bytes of the data in an IP datagram that has a particular protocol number),
    it is not a router.   It is something that is sometimes called a
    What Panama is doing is asking for the Internet to be redesigned and
    rearchitected in order to inflict a policy that relates to
    competition.  The result is not the Internet.
    It is important for the IAB and IETF to point out to the government of
    Panama that the service they are asking to be deployed is NOT the
    Internet.   It violates the Internet standards, by incorporating an
    end-to-end protocol into the routers between adminstrative domains.
    This is not trivial.  The Internet architecture is designed so that the IP
    transport layer does not need to know, and cannot know, the meaning of the
    bits contained in the data portion of the datagrams.
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