Omniscience Protocol Requirements (RFC3751)
Original Publication Date: 2004-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Apr-01
Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)
There have been a number of legislative initiatives in the U.S. and elsewhere over the past few years to use the Internet to actively interfere with allegedly illegal activities of Internet users. This memo proposes a number of requirements for a new protocol, the Omniscience Protocol, that could be used to enable such efforts.
Network Working Group S. Bradner
Request for Comments: 3751 Harvard U.
Category: Informational 1 April 2004
Omniscience Protocol Requirements
Status of this Memo
This memo provides information for the Internet community. It does
not specify an Internet standard of any kind. Distribution of this
memo is unlimited.
Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2004). All Rights Reserved.
There have been a number of legislative initiatives in the U.S. and
elsewhere over the past few years to use the Internet to actively
interfere with allegedly illegal activities of Internet users. This
memo proposes a number of requirements for a new protocol, the
Omniscience Protocol, that could be used to enable such efforts.
In a June 17, 2003 U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, entitled
"The Dark Side of a Bright Idea: Could Personal and National Security
Risks Compromise the Potential of Peer-to-Peer File-Sharing
Networks?," U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), the chair of the
committee, said he was interested in the ability to destroy the
computers of people who illegally download copyrighted material. He
said this "may be the only way you can teach somebody about
copyrights." "If we can find some way to do this without destroying
their machines, we'd be interested in hearing about that," Mr Hatch
was quoted as saying during a Senate hearing. He went on to say "If
that's the only way, then I'm all for destroying their machines."
Mr. Hatch was not the first U.S. elected official to propose
something along this line. A year earlier, representatives, Howard
Berman (D-Calif.) and Howard Coble (R-N.C.), introduced a bill that
would have immunized groups such as the Motion Picture Association of
America (MPAA) and the Recording Industry Association of America
(RIAA) from all state and federal laws if they disable, block, or
otherwise impair a "publicly accessible peer-to-peer file-trading
Bradner Informational [Page 1]
RFC 3751 Omniscience Protocol Requirements 1 April 2004
The attitude of some of the copyright holders may be that it's OK for
a few honest people to have their computers or networks executed as
long as the machines and networks of the dishonest are killed. But
it is not likely that any measurable error rate would be acceptable
to the public. Clearly, anyone implementing laws of this type need
some way to reduce the error rate and be sure that they are dealing
with a real bad guy and not an innocent bystander.
Part of determining if someone is a "bad guy" is determining his or
her intent. Historically, western jurisprudence has required that
prosecutors show that a person intended to commit a crime before that
person could be convicted of committing that crime. [Holdsworth,
Restatement, Prosser, United States v. Wise, Garratt v. Dailey]
Because it can be quite difficult to establish a person's intent
lawmakers have, in some cases, reduced the requirement for
prosecutors to establish intent a...