Source Directed Access Control on the Internet (RFC2057)
Original Publication Date: 1996-Nov-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2019-Feb-16
Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)
This memo was developed from a deposition that I submitted as part of a challenge to the Communications Decency Act of 1996, part of the Telecommunications Reform Act of 1996. This memo provides information for the Internet community. This memo does not specify an Internet standard of any kind.
Network Working Group S. Bradner Request for Comments: 2057 Harvard University Category: Informational November 1996
Source Directed Access Control on the Internet
Status of this Memo
This memo provides information for the Internet community. This memo does not specify an Internet standard of any kind. Distribution of this memo is unlimited.
This memo was developed from a deposition that I submitted as part of a challenge to the Communications Decency Act of 1996, part of the Telecommunications Reform Act of 1996. The Telecommunications Reform Act is a U.S. federal law substantially changing the regulatory structure in the United States in the telecommunications arena. The Communications Decency Act (CDA) part of this law has as its aim the desire to protect minors from some of the material carried over telecommunications networks. In particular the law requires that the sender of potentially offensive material take "effective action" to ensure that it is not presented to minors. A number of people have requested that I publish the deposition as an informational RFC since some of the information in it may be useful where descriptions of the way the Internet and its applications work could help clear up confusion in the technical feasibility of proposed content control regulations.
2. Control and oversight over the Internet
No organization or entity operates or controls the Internet. The Internet consists of tens of thousands of local networks linking millions of computers, owned by governments, public institutions, non-profit organizations, and private companies around the world. These local networks are linked together by thousands of Internet service providers which interconnect at dozens of points throughout the world. None of these entities, however, controls the Internet; each entity only controls its own computers and computer networks, and the links allowed into those computers and computer networks.
Although no organizations control the Internet, a limited number of organizations are responsible for the development of communications and operational standards and protocols used on the Internet. These standards and protocols are what allow the millions of different (and sometimes incompatible) computers worldwide to communicate with each
Bradner Informational [Page 1]
RFC 2057 Source Directed Access Control November 1996
other. These standards and protocols are not imposed on any computer or computer network, but any computer or computer network must follow at least some of the standards and protocols to be able to communicate with other computers over the Internet.
The most significant of the organizations involved in defining these standards include the Internet Society (ISOC), the Internet Architecture Board (IAB), Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG), and the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). The following summary outlines the relationship of these four organizations:
The Internet Society (ISOC) is a professi...