Posts categorized "Internet"

Keynote at AstriCon on Oct 14: Open Source And The Global Disruption Of Telecom - What Choices Will We Make?

Astricon danyork 660px

Two weeks from today I'll be in Orlando giving the opening keynote address at AstriCon 2015. The abstract of the session is:

Open Source And The Global Disruption Of Telecom - What Choices Will We Make?

Wednesday, October 14th, 2015 - 9:00 am to 9:45 am - Pacifica Ballroom 7

There is a battle raging for the global future of telecommunications and the Internet. Taking place in networks, board rooms and legislatures, the battle will determine how we all communicate and what opportunities will exist. Will telecom support innovation? Will it be accessible to all? Will it give us the level of security and privacy we need to have the open, trusted Internet? Or will it be restricted and limited by corporate or government gatekeepers?

The rise of voice-over-IP has fundamentally disrupted the massive global telecommunications industry, infrastructure and policies. Open source software such as Asterisk has been a huge driver of that disruption and innovation.. but now what? What role do platforms such as Asterisk play in this space? And what can be their role in a telecom infrastructure that is now mobile, increasingly embedded (Internet of Things) and more and more using proprietary walled gardens of communication?

Join the Internet Society's Dan York in an exploration of what the future holds for telecom infrastructure and policy - and how the choices we make will determine that future.

Sounds great, eh?

Now I just have to deliver on that lofty rhetoric! :-)

Seriously, though, I'm very much looking forward to giving this presentation and I'm delighted that the folks at Digium asked me to speak. We're at a critical time in the evolution of our global communications infrastructure... with everything moving to IP and also moving to mobile, there are incredibly important choices we have to make for our future.

In the talk, I'll be speaking about the scenarios we have for what our future Internet could look like. I'll be talking about the role of open source. I'll be challenging the audience with some questions to ponder. I'll touch on some of the incredibly important - yet hard to understand - global policy issues such as the upcoming WSIS+10 Review in December - and why an open source developer should even remotely care! I'll of course hit on security issues and the rise of mobile... and more...

I'm excited!

I'm also excited to finally attend an AstriCon event. I used to write about Asterisk a good bit and for a while was running my own server in my home office for VoIP... but in all that time I never was able to work in attending an AstriCon!

If you are going to be there in Orlando, please do say hello! (There's still time to register!)

P.S. And yes, Olle Johansson, I'll be sure to work in at least one reference to IPv6! And TLS, too! Don't worry! :-)

Four Years At The Internet Society

ISOC geneva 400It was four years ago today that I joined the Internet Society staff... and what an amazing four years it has been!

If I go back and read my long post here about joining ISOC in September 2011, my passion and motivation continues to be the same - if anything, that passion has only gotten stronger!

As I wrote about last year in my three-year post, the "Internet of opportunity" that we all value is under severe threat.

The big change for me this past year, was, of course, the big change of joining the Internet Society Strategic Communications team in March 2015 (you can also listen to an audio recording).

That's been a wonderful yet crazy change!

If you go back and look at what I wrote last year - or two years ago - it's all about the technology behind the Internet and how we need to improve the infrastructure to make the Internet work better, be faster and be more secure.

The change this year is that now I'm more involved in other areas of Internet Society work, particularly in the public policy space. You can see that in some of the posts I've been writing for the main ISOC blog (scroll down my bio page to see the list). I've been very involved in adding content to the public policy and Internet governance sections of the website - and I've been working on our overall content strategy for a range of different websites (whereas in the past I mostly just focused on the Deploy360 site).

I've also found myself involved in projects such as standing up a web site for our Call For an Open WSIS+10 Preparatory Process... which it was only after getting it all set up that I really sat back and realized we were coordinating a coalition of organizations that was calling on action from the President of the United Nations General Assembly! Quite a different level of advocacy than I've been involved with in the past! (And still open to sigantories, by the way...)

My new role this year has given me an amazing view about all the work the Internet Society is doing around the world... it's truly inspiring to see it all.

Perhaps most inspiring is to see that the work is ultimately about helping people have better lives. Yes, technology is definitely a large part... but the work we do is about how technology enables better communication, connection, collaboration, creativity and commerce... it's the effect on people that matters most.

The new role is crazy busy... I'm definitely NOT sitting around playing Solitaire or Tetris! :-)

But we have a great team... and we as an overall organization are working on getting more focused on what activities we can do to have the biggest impact on ensuring the "Internet of opportunity" is available for all.

I'm VERY much looking forward to what the fifth year brings!

P.S. Recently Russ White published a very nice overview of the Internet Society on the PacketPushers site - and if you're interested, becoming a member of the Internet Society is free and can connect you to others around the world who want to see an open Internet available to all!

An audio commentary is also available:

There Was Power In What Happened Last Night (At InterCommunity 2015)

Icomm15 all

There was an amazing power in what happened last night. There was a "magic" ... that I can't quite explain.

I sat in a room in Ottawa, Canada... but yet for 2.5 hours I was connected into a global meeting that brought me together with people all around the world... sitting in their homes, offices... or wherever. And gathered in large groups in New Zealand... Tunisia... El Salvador... Uruguay... New York... DC... the Dominican Republic... more...

The event was the Internet Society's InterCommunity 2015 ... something I wrote about on Circle ID, wrote about here, and talked about twice in my TDYR podcasts: episodes 258 and 259.

For that 2.5 hours we talked about how we are collectively working to bring the opportunities of the Internet to the 50% of the world that doesn't yet have access... we heard stories about the amazing work people are doing... we heard about our new 2015 Global Internet Report that highlights the rise of the "mobile Internet" and both the awesome potential - and pitfalls - that we are seeing... we talked about "Collaborative Governance" and how we need to work together to address the changes the Internet has brought to governance - and how governments adapt to the Internet... we heard from people in different parts of the world about the work they are doing... we talked about Internet security and how our "Collaborative Security" approach can be applied to activities people are doing... we had excellent questions about encryption and open vs closed systems... we talked about needing to speak in clear simple voices to explain these challenges... about the need for a stronger identity for the Internet Society... and so, so, so much more.

But it was FAR more than just the conversations... which were excellent.

It was the CONNECTION that I could feel...

Over 2,300 people registered for the event and some % of those folks were online for the first session last night...

There was power in seeing the faces of all the people around the world.

There was power in hearing the voices of the all the people around the world.

There was power in reading the text comments in the chat or on Twitter and social networks.

For that period of time... geography didn't matter... nationality didn't matter... race didn't matter... gender didn't matter...

We were just people ... connecting ON the Internet... and for the Internet.

Exploring together how we could truly bring about the "Internet of opportunity" that would be available to everyone, everywhere, and that could be trusted for our communication... our conversations... our commerce... and indeed our connections.

Talking really NOT about the technology, but rather the impacts of the Internet on our society... and on our daily lives.

It was a remarkable event.

And this was just the first session! While we in the Americas timezones were getting some sleep, another group of participants was having a second session bringing together even more people across Europe and Asia.

I woke up to see a steady stream of outstanding tweets using the #icomm15 hashtag - as well as email from colleagues and others - showing that the second session was equally amazing.

There was power in what happened last night.

The challenge now, of course, is to move what happened last night from beyond just conversation into the action that we need to truly realize the potential of the Internet.

That will be our task in the days, weeks, months and indeed years ahead...

For me, as I get ready now to make the 7-hour drive back home from Ottawa to New Hampshire, I'm still processing in my mind what it was all about. It may take some time - and reflection - to truly understand.

Yes, on one level it was "just" a meeting of different people tied in via video connections all across the Internet and streaming out to individuals via the Internet. No big deal, right? We can do this all the time, right?

But it was also something more...

There was power in what happened last night.

P.S. Here are some more photos taken by Glenn McKnight of the Ottawa node ...

InterCommunity 2015 on July 7/8 - Join In To Voice Your Opinion! (And I'll Be In Ottawa)

Intercommunity2015 squareHow do we as a society address some of the most critical concerns about Internet governance? Internet security? connecting the entire world? (including all the Internet of Things?) This week on July 7 and 8 you have a unique opportunity to get involved with discussions - and actions - related to these questions at the Internet Society's InterCommunity 2015 event.

It is an event happening ON the Internet... not tied to any one physical location but rather bringing together thousands of people around the world in a global conversation.

You can register for free at:

You can join in from your home, office, or wherever you have connectivity. The meeting will be taking place in two different sessions:

  • 7 July 2015 from 20:00 to 22:30 UTC
  • 8 July 2015 from 06:00 to 08:30 UTC

(Use this time zone converter to find out what times these are for you!)

As the agenda shows, we'll have sessions on Internet access, governance and security - and a chance to interact with people on all of these issues.

Now, there are what we call "regional nodes" around the world where larger groups of people will be gathering together to have face-to-face conversations and to also join into the global conversation. If you are near one of those locations you are welcome to go to the meeting place there to meet other people in your region.

I'll actually be in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, at the node there... if you are in Ottawa I look forward to seeing you there!

I'm very much looking forward to this meeting in part because these issues are so critical... and also because InterCommunity 2015 is an experiment in doing a global meeting across the Internet - and that is to something we need to do more of! So I'm looking forward to seeing how it all works out!

Please do join with us over the next few days and be part of this conversation!

P.S. InterCommunity 2015 is a meeting of the members of the Internet Society, but if you are not already a member (membership is free) you can join as part of the registration process.

P.P.S You can also follow the #icomm15 hashtag during the event on Twitter ( ) and other social networks.

Net Neutrality: Did We "Win" A Battle, Only To Possibly Lose The War?

FCC logo

Friends don't understand why I'm not jumping for joy after the FCC's "Network Neutrality" decision yesterday.  After all, they've been hearing me passionately argue for years about how we need to wake up and pay attention to the choices we have to make for the future of the Internet.  They've heard me rail against the Internet access providers here in the US who seek to be the new gatekeepers and require people to ask permission or pay to get new services online.  They've heard me strongly say that "The Internet Way" is for services to be "decentralized and distributed".  They've seen me write about "permissionless innovation" and the dangers we could face.  In fact, I'll be in Austin, TX, next week speaking at the NTEN conference about "Our Choice of Internet Futures"

They know that I joined the Internet Society in 2011 specifically to fight for the open Internet - and that a large goal in my life is to be one of the voices helping advocate for the open Internet and ensuring that my children have the same "Internet of opportunity" that I've been able to have.  Friends could hear in the closing words of FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler many of the same phrases and words that I have been so passionately advocating about over many years.  
Why, then, am I not dancing in the streets?
Two reasons.
1. What Is In The FCC Order? - Seemingly lost in all the media euphoria yesterday was a basic fact:
No one outside the FCC Commissioners and their staffs have seen the actual "Order" that the FCC voted on yesterday.  Sure, we've heard all the lofty rhetoric and seen the summaries... but the rumors are that the actual document is over 300 pages and full of details.
Perhaps I’m just cynical, but the telecommunications industry in the United States employs hundreds of lawyers in Washington, DC, to influence and shape legislation and regulations in ways that benefit the telecom industry - and they've been doing so for over 100 years.  And so while some of the companies may line up to file lawsuits against this FCC Order, odds are very good that their lobbyists and specialists have been hard at work attempting to shape these new regulations. I know some people at the FCC who are strong open Internet advocates and who I'm sure are trying to do the right thing... but I also know that 300+ pages has a whole lot of room for things to slip in.
My greatest fear is that when we actually see the full text, we may find that while there are some provisions we like, there are many others we don't - and there may be loopholes big enough to drive an entire residential network through.  

"The other problem with rules is that they are brittle. Teams of lawyers will comb through whatever the FCC finally publishes and find any loopholes. There will be defined bright lines going forward and, make no mistake, ISPs will now get as close to those lines as they can. Whatever the Internet's rough consensus of "acceptable" was before, it's about to be thrown out in favor of a set of rules written by lawyers. Ironically, that may end up resulting in a regulated network that is less neutral than what we have today."
2. The Internet Is Not (or WAS Not) The Telephone Network - For so many years (in fact, decades for some people), we who are advocates of the open Internet have said at every chance we could one simple fact:
The Internet is NOT the telephone network.  The Internet is NOT the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network).
And therefore the Internet should NOT be regulated like the traditional telecom network.  The Internet should not fall under traditional telecom legislation and regulation.  The Internet should not be regulated by the traditional telecom authorities and telecom regulators.  
You cannot apply the old rules of telecom to the new world of the Internet.
The Internet is something new.  The Internet is NOT telecom.   Again and again and again and again we've all said this.  Going back many, many years.
If you remember back to 2012 and the whole World Conference on International Telecommunication (WCIT) where so many were concerned that the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) was going to try to assert authority over the Internet, millions of us around the world rallied together to encourage our advocates in governments and organizations to say at WCIT that: 

The Internet is NOT telecom.  You cannot apply the old rules of telecom to the new world of the Internet.
And the outcome of WCIT was that the Internet was left alone and was recognized as being outside the scope of a treaty focused on telecommunications/telephony.
We all within the Internet have been saying this consisistently again and again:
The Internet is NOT telecom.  Those are old rules - we are living in a new medium.
But guess what?  
Yesterday's ruling by the FCC says (as best we understand it) - the Internet does fall under telecommunication regulations.  Internet service providers should be classified under Title II just like all the other telecommunications service providers.
The FCC has effectively said: 
The Internet IS telecom.  The old rules DO apply.
I am not sure that is something to celebrate.
Many countries around the world have followed the lead of the US in treating the Internet lightly - but now that the FCC is effectively declaring the Internet to be like the telephone network, what is to stop those countries from doing the same?  Indeed what is to prevent the ITU from now using this action to justify a larger role for it in regulating the Internet?  After all, it's just telecom now.
I would have personally been far happier if the U.S. Congress had come up with new legislation that enshrined the principles of the open Internet in a new form  of legislation that didn't carry with it all the legacy baggage of 100 years of telecom regulation. Yes, the legions of lawyers might have made it a hard fight, but it would have at least been something new - and at least we would have known more of what was actually being voted on. But that didn't happen - and so here we are today.
The "devil is in the details", as they say... and now we have to wait to see what exactly the FCC actually did yesterday.  I'd like to be wrong and just be cynical and jaded.  I fear that I am right.
I applaud FCC Chairman Wheeler for the lofty language he and the other commissioners used yesterday.  It is a huge victory to have the heads of the FCC saying publicly so many of the things that so many of us have been advocating about for so many years.  It is also a huge victory to have so many millions of people, not just in the US but all around the world, rise up and pay attention to these issues as a result of this whole issue here in the U.S. That is HUGE.  We've needed something like this to wake people up to the choices we have to make.
But I do worry that in "winning" this victory yesterday, we may in fact be setting ourselves up to lose the larger war to keep the Internet open.

Video: VUC 528 Provides An Update On And Wire

Vuc logoLast Friday's VUC conference call / podcast / hangout provided some interesting updates about the ongoing work at to build services for scalable, distributed and federated collaboration systems as well as some discussion of Wire, the app I've written about here. Guests included Matthew Hodgson and Amandine Le Pape from, as well as the usual cast of characters and a couple of live demonstrations, too.

You can view the episode web page and listen to the show here:

I joined the show about mid-way through and naturally wound up talking about IPv6, the Internet of Things (IoT), ICANN, DNS and other topics.

FYI, some good info about can be found in their FAQ. Back in November 2014, there was also another VUC episode focused around

It was an enjoyable show and I'd encourage you to give it a listen.

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Join Me On VUC Today At Noon US EDT To Talk IPv6, IoT, WebRTC and more...

Today at 12 noon US Eastern (in about 3.5 hours), I'll be part of a panel on the VoIP Users Conference (VUC) talking about IPv6, WebRTC, the Internet of Things (IoT) and much, much more... you should be able to watch it live at or embedded here:

VUC host Randy Resnick had a scheduled guest be unable to attend and so he asked a group of us to come on for what he is calling a "VUC Vision" session. I will be on there, as will, I believe, Tim Panton and a number of others. I expect the discussion should range over good variety of topics. It should be a good time... you're welcome to join in the discussion.

It's probably best to also join the IRC backchannel where links are shared, questions are answered and other comments occur. You also can visit the Google+ event page for the VUC session today where there may be additional links and info.

If you won't be at your computer, you can also call in via:

  • sip:[email protected]
  • +1 (646) 475-2098

The session will of course be recorded so you can listen/watch later.

Vuc vision 20141003

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Talko Looks Very Cool, But Needed A Firewall Change To Work

Talko directoryThe big telecom story today certainly seems to the be launch of Ray Ozzie's new "Talko" application for iOS. Tons of attention in the tech media, and many of my friends on social media have been trying it out. There's a brilliant article posted on Medium about the "Brave New Phone Call" along with a great blog post from Ray Ozzie about how this new app will revolutionize the voice experience.

I think Talko has great potential to do so, particularly after using it.


... I had to change my firewall rules in order to make Talko work. :-(

And I don't know how long it will continue to work.

Perhaps worse than that... it wasn't clear initially that I had a firewall problem. Frequent testing partner Jim Courtney sent me a message and after installing the Talko app on my iPhone I tried to talk to him, but all I seemed to be able to do was send him a voice message or a text message.

Subsequently I tried connecting to Tim Panton and again could only send voice messages. It made for a very asynchronous "walkie-talkie" style of communication that clearly seemed to not be what was described in the article.

At that point my many years in VoIP kicked in and I realized the firewall at the edge of my network was probably blocking something. Sure enough, when I pulled up the live firewall log and filtered on my iPhone's IP address I could see blocked connections from my iPhone that were intended for an IP address in Amazon's EC2 cloud. These blocked connections happened when I tried to initiate a voice conversation within Talko.

I first tried to create a firewall rule that would allow specific ports through, just by guessing from the firewall logs what ports Talko might be using. However, they jumped around and what I ultimately had to do was create a rule allowing any connection from inside my network to the specific IPv4 address of what I assume is one of Talko's servers on Amazon EC2.

Once I did this, I was able to have a voice conversation with Tim perfectly fine. It was actually rather cool how it would record the conversation and let me easily go back, listen again, advance through it, etc.


... poking a hole in my firewall to a specific IP address is very definitely NOT the way to have a telecom application work.

And... Talko will only work on my network as long as that destination IP address doesn't change. If they add more servers or change their architecture, it's dead to me. At least... dead on my home WiFi network. Presumably it could still work on my mobile data network (at a cost to me).

Now, to be fair, I'm a bit more security-paranoid than the average home user and so I run a Linux-based firewall/server/gateway on the edge of my home network with a fairly restrictive set of firewall rules. The default policy is to deny outbound connections unless they fit into various rules. I've had to add rules allowing VoIP and IM protocols... and it's not uncommon for me to have to add new rules for applications like this. For instance, I had to do so for Tox when I was playing with it a few months back.

Odds are Talko will probably work fine for the vast majority of connections from WiFi networks with less paranoid firewall rules.

But... for an app like this to really challenge the existing telecom infrastructure, it needs to work from almost anywhere. This is why Skype usage is so ubiquitous - Skype "just works" and has its ways to work around firewalls. Within the SIP and WebRTC communities there are all the STUN / TURN / ICE servers and technologies that enable this kind of transit of a firewall. The technology is out there. And there will certainly be some enterprises and other businesses that set up firewalls at least as restrictive as mine is.

I realize today's news is the initial public launch and that this is early days for the app. I hope the Talko team can figure out a way to make the voice conversation work through firewalls. I really like what I see inside the app.

Meanwhile... I'm just hoping they don't change the IP address of the server with which my app is communicating!

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Three Years At The Internet Society

Internet sign london

Today marks three truly amazing years at the Internet Society.  It was September 19, 2011, when I visited the main office in Reston, Virginia, and began this wonderful journey.  I wrote back then about why I was taking this job to fight for the open Internet - and in truth the reasons haven't changed.

If anything, the situation has only gotten worse.  

There are now far more threats to what I've taken to calling the "Internet of Opportunity" ... the kind of Internet we have today where anyone can start any kind of service or publish any kind of information.  

Within the Internet Society (or "ISOC" as we are often called) we call this "permissionless innovation", not needing to ask permission of anyone to innovate.  If you have a new idea or a new service or product... you can just do it. You don't have to plead with a "gatekeeper" or pay someone in order to launch your service out onto the Internet.

But that could change.

Some of the legacy telecommunications companies who have lost out on revenue as everyone has moved away from phone calls would really like their revenue back.  Some of the entertainment and traditional media companies would like their revenue and control back, too.  And many governments would like to regain some of their control - and tax revenue.

Money and control.

As I wrote in that article three years ago, there is a great quote from the 1992 movie Sneakers:

“There’s a war out there, old friend. A world war. And it’s not about who’s got the most bullets. It’s about who controls the information. What we see and hear, how we work, what we think… it’s all about the information!”

That is definitely the case.  And that war is only gotten stronger... and it's going to get even more fierce in the years ahead.

I'm personally glad that there are a group of organization including the Internet Society that are dedicated to shining the light on the changes that are happening... and arguing for why we need to keep the current "open" nature of the Internet so that we and our children, and their children, can all benefit from the kinds of opportunities we've had to date with the Internet.

Last year I wrote a good bit about how pleased I was to be part of the Internet Society.  That hasn't changed!  My passion for the work that ISOC does around the world has only grown stronger in this past year as I have learned more of the amazing things happening around the world.  I continue to love my own work with the Internet Society Deploy360 Programme - I wake up each morning excited to write more and do more to help people learn how they can deploy new technologies to make the Internet work better, faster and be more secure.  I absolutely love what I do!

But I was reminded this week of how many other things are done by my colleagues all over the world.  I just game back from a 4-day all-staff retreat at a hotel in Virginia.  This was the first time an event like this had been held in over 3 years and we've added so many new staff that many of us had never met each other.  We spent the time talking about what our priorities should be... where did we see the organization going... how could we best help the Internet... what could we do......

It was an amazing time.  VERY intense... although certainly with some time for fun mixed in.   We came out with some great ideas and plans that I'm looking forward to making happen in the weeks and months ahead.

What struck me most is that the people are amazing.  It's truly an honor and privilege for me to serve with them and to do what we do.

The mission of the Internet Society is quite simple:

To promote the open development, evolution, and use of the Internet for the benefit of all people throughout the world.

It's that mission that brought me here... and that's the reason I continue to be as excited as I am about what I do. As I celebrate three years with the Internet Society, I'm very much looking forward to the next three years... and the next beyond that!

P.S. One great way you can help is to join the Internet Society to stay up-to-date on current issues affecting the Internet - membership is free for individuals. You can also subscribe to my infrequent email newsletter where I hit many of these topics.

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Watch Live TODAY (Sept 19) - CITI State of Telecom 2014

Citi logoWhat is the future of telecommunications and the Internet? As more entertainment moves to being over the Internet, what are the implications for the media and for the technology?

Today, September 19, 2014, there is an interesting set of presentations happening at the Columbia Club in New York City, organized by the Columbia (University) Institute for Tele-Information (CITI) called the "CITI State of Telecom 2014". Subtitled, "From the Internet of Science to The Internet of Next Generation Entertainment Implications for Content, Technology and Industry Consolidation", the session description states:

The goal of the early Internet was to connect research institutions. Yet today 71% of all Internet traffic consists of video, games, and music, and that number is growing. This transition raises issues for media content, technology, industry consolidation, business strategy, and regulatory policy. Media companies, academics, policy makers, and technologists must think ahead.

You can watch it all live at:

The sessions are being recorded, too, and are available at that address.

The session agenda and list of all the speakers is available on the CITI event page. The quick summary is:

  • 9:00am Welcome and Introduction of Topic
  • 9:15am Session 1- Technology and business drivers of the transformation of the Internet
  • 10:25am Session 2- Emerging business, marketing, and transaction models for Next Generation Video (NGV)
  • 11:35am Coffee Break
  • 11:50am Session 3- Public Interest Dimensions in Next-Generation Video and Networks
  • 12:50pm Lunch
  • 1:50pm Session 4 - Consolidation in the network platform industry: drivers and impacts
  • 3:00pm Coffee Break
  • 3:10pm Session 5 - New TV and (video) OTT issues for telecom and media policy
  • 4:20pm Session 6 - Defining the future: initiatives to lead the next generation of internet video
  • 5:30 Closing remarks and reception

The sessions began 3.5 hours ago at 9:00am US Eastern and will continue for another 5 hours. I've learned a good bit from a number of the sessions - and am listening right now to the discussion around the challenges of getting Internet infrastructure deployed in rural areas of the USA.

Great sessions to listen to!

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