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hoaxes, off-topic posts, and common sense
From: RJ Atkinson <rja () inet org>
Date: Thu, 13 Sep 2001 10:30:30 -0400


Hi,

        It would be very helpful if folks would try to apply
common sense to what they hear or see in the media or in 
anonymous phone calls.  It is clear that a number of hoaxes
are being perpetrated (or attempted) around the US these days.

        It would also be helpful if folks would try to keep some
operational content in each posting.  I know that NANOG traditionally
never has any operational content, but -- despite that -- the charter 
for the list does say it is for operational matters.  There are lots 
of other lists for the other topics to be discussed.  Perhaps someone 
can create a nanog-offtopic () somewhere list that these can be moved to
if no other place can be found (if so, please drop ME from the -offtopic
version of the list :-).  If one MUST post off-topic non-operational
stuff so that one won't die, it would help if one put a token (perhaps
"[offtopic]" into the Subject: line so that folks can filter appropriately.

        Now, for my own operational content, I'll note that the US
DoD has several separate very large private global IP networks.
They also have several other networks built on other technologies,
including a private telephone system, ATM desk-to-desk networks, and
significant RF/SATCOM communications systems.  Some of these are 
secure networks with cryptography.  Others are insecure.

        The US DoD is NOT normally using the commercial IP networks 
for its internal or critical traffic (though obviously there are mail 
bridges so that DoD folks can exchange email with the rest of the Internet 
and they do browse the web (often via a proxy server or through a firewall)
just like other folks at any other business/organisation).  So 
unauthenticated claims via phone/fax/email (all of which are easily
forged, absent PGP or other authentication) that one needs to disconnect 
one's customers "to conserve bandwidth" obviously fail the common-sense test.

Thanks,

Ran



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