North American Network Operators Group

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Re: Hi, we're from the government and we're here to help

  • From: Patrick Greenwell
  • Date: Tue Mar 14 01:23:36 2000

On 12 Mar 2000, Sean Donelan wrote:

> On Fri, 10 March 2000, Patrick Greenwell wrote:
> > I believe this to be such a common communication protocol and procedures
> > for handling issues to be of great necessity and desireability. If 10% of
> > the vast number of people that have expressed their opinions on these
> > issues were each willing to put up a little money, we could solve this
> > problem once and for all.
> I used to work for a company which spent several hundred thousand dollars
> every year on memberships to various groups, and more money to send
> people to various meetings.  My question always is when somone proposes
> forming yet another group, which groups should I drop my support so I
> can join your new group?
> If all the existing groups are broken, CERT, CIX, CNRI, FIRST, IETF, IOPS,
> NANOG, RIPE, etc, can any of them be fixed?  Or is a new group the only
> option.

I don't belive I ever stated that any of the existing groups were
"broken" nor would I make the claim that they are. I would however
question the efforts(if any) that any or all of the above organizations
have made towards sastisfactory addressement of these issues. If the
problem of NOC<->NOC communication and event handling had been
"solved" then we would all be sitting around exchanging email about
hypotheticals, would we?
> In reality money isn't the biggest issue. 

I would humbly suggest that you are very much mistaken. In my
experience, money is the gating factor in many non-profits, and Internet
trade associations are no exception. 

> VCs were willing to give me lots of money.  The real problems were time,
> people and information.

Money solves at least two out of three of those issues(people and

> Companies are more than willing to join new groups, and add their logos
> to the membership page. 

Which is perhaps where this group might differ a bit. There would be
reasonable preconditions to joining such as "you must maintain a current
contact list where a human can reach someone 24X7X365" or somesuch. It
isn't as simple as paying a fee and slapping a logo on your site. This is
seemingly the common view of "industry self-regulation" which is a very
poor joke.

> But too often their engineers are told they are not allowed to
> contribute or acknowledge any issues or problems.  All they can do is
> say "Here" when roll is called.

One problem at a time.... I'd look at the value proposition: if I were to
sign up with an organization that guaranteed access to member information
and a defined set of processes in event handling, I could reasonably place
some value on that capability.....
> I can start setting up the infrastructure tommorrow, but until something
> happens to permanently scare the heck out of the boards and stockholders,
> any new group will just be a shell.

Either the industry stops playing lip-service to self-regulation or
various governments will do it for them....

                               Patrick Greenwell                          
                       Earth is a single point of failure.