North American Network Operators Group

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Re: peering wars revisited? PSI vs Exodus

  • From: William Allen Simpson
  • Date: Tue Apr 04 12:27:12 2000

"Majdi S. Abbas" wrote:
>         So, it's acceptable to publish a leaked circuit design?
> Software design?  Source code?  All those things are marked
> Company Confidental too...  Where does it stop...
In a word, yes!  Perhaps you are too young to remember the "Pentagon 
Papers", car companies suing car magazines, and other examples.  Well 
established case law here.

Admittedly, this is the "North American" NOG, and case law elsewhere 
(China as a recent example) differs considerably, where such a notice 
might be considered a state secret.

> > 7.  Exodus has a problem. In marking that customer confidential it
> > appears to me that it was trying to cover up its own problem and I
> > imagine in doing so it was making some already upset customers
> > further upset.
>         I don't see how an Exodus problem or lack thereof justifies
> poor ethical behaviour.
Actually, as a matter of ethics, revealing the circumstances behind a 
network degradation is considered a "public service", and highly ethical. 

Cover-ups are unethical.

I've just heard that a bill will be introduced in Congress that would 
exempt outage and security incident reports to government from FOIA. 
This would be a disaster!  Full disclosure is very important.

>         If you were truly trying to cover this, in a journalistic
> sense, why not talk to PSI, and ask them about it?  

Here, I agree.  Good reporting requires thorough investigation.  

>         I think that many of us would have no problem with you
> reporting the information, had you done so without leaking that
> notice.  

And you would be wrong.  The notice is a "primary" source.  Weren't 
you taught in 7th grade to examine primary sources, rather than
relying on secondary information? 

I am glad to have the actual document, rather than a synopsis.

> Reporting consists of a lot more than leaking confidential
> information.
Agreed.  Cook is lazy.  But not unethical in the case at hand.

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