Another case of political interdiction of the end-to-end Internet has come up. Thanks to Paul Venezia for the link to this story about the blocking of VoIP UDP ports in Panama.
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." ... 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. [ Linux and Main: Panama begins blocking IP ports]
Here's part of the official decree, as translated from Spanish by Babelfish:
FIRST: TO ESTABLISH that within five (5) working days after the publication in the Official Newspaper of the present resolution all the concessionaires of the Service of Telecommunication no. 211 denominated "Internet Service for Public Use" will have the obligation TO BLOCK the following well-known ports of access... [ ENTE REGULADOR DE LOS SERVICIOS PÚBLICOS, by way of Babelfish]
Apparently there are already efforts underway to route around the damage. The inherently subversive nature of IP ensures those efforts will succeed. In so doing, they'll kick off the next round of the arms race.
If telcos can't wrap their heads around the idea of managing abundance rather than rationing scarcity, we may live to see Palladiumized routers.
Former URL: http://weblog.infoworld.com/udell/2002/11/05.html#a499