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5th May 2006 | 07:36

The classrooms are close to being ready now that the PCs are no longer crammed into the staging area where they had FreeBSD installed. The classroom switches are being configured and the last bits of network are being deployed.

There was an interesting discussion at breakfast which I mostly just listened to. Apparently, the Nigerian government is keen to set up one or more local Internet exchange points - but it turns out that it won't be an IXP in the usual sense (organized as a multilateral agreement between ISPs) but a government-run transit provider that buys and sells international bandwidth. Furthermore, the idea came from the government's security people, and there's a background plan to funnel Internet traffic through this organization so that it can be monitored more easily. Pity.

We also talked about PACNOG, which will happen soon. This is the Pacific Islands analogue of AfNOG, and it turns out the ISPs in these sets of countries have similar difficulties - satellite links, poor resources, lack of knowledge.

A lot of the western instructors here are heavily involved in NOG workshops around the world, and the African instructors are key people in their countries' technical Internet communities.

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Comments {1}

Suresh Ramasubramanian

from: hserus
date: 5th May 2006 14:30 (UTC)

Heh. I'm sure you met Woody, Philip and all the rest - have a ball at AFNOG.

By the way, the nigerian govt's idea is mostly aimed at catching all the 419 spammers spamming through webmail .. they think asking ISPs to setup a transparent filtering proxy that, when it detects 419 spam, blocks it + generates an alert with the IP and mac address that's the source of the request. I got asked about it last year when I was at Abuja, at a nigerian government conference on economic crime (that included 419 spam of course)

Two hassles -

* Such proxies are not too easy to deploy / scale, and nor are they particularly cheap (at least the websense variety ones) .. squid with some hooks into spamassassin might probably do it, but the open source developers (Justin Mason etc) that I asked didnt have the time for it - though they did say it was an interesting idea.

* A lot of nigerian internet connectivity goes through satellite - and the satellite providers are not nigerian ISPs - they're french (loral orion), israeli (gilat) etc.

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