All Favorites

BGP and Car Safety

You use your seatbelt when you’re in a car, right? It’s like common sense at this point. But, do you use it because you know beyond the shadow of a doubt that you need to use it to survive an accident? Or are you encouraged to use it because there is a fine for not wearing it if you’re caught by the local police? I must admit that growing up on a farm at an early age discouraged me from wearing seat belts because half the time they didn’t work in a farm vehicle. It took a lot of encouragement for me to finally start wearing them, thanks in no small part to the specter of a significant fine from law enforcement.

Ivan Pepelnjak uses this great analogy in a blog post discussing some of the foibles of BGP and why we’re still finding issues with implementations. He cites a response to an earlier post about using a traffic fatality analogy and even takes it a few steps further to discuss how the implementation of mandatory safety and security protocols can indeed solve many issues at the expense of increasing oversight and regulation.

One of the gems from his post made me chuckle:

Then there’s the totally incomprehensible lack of common sense. Default EBGP Route Propagation Behavior RFC was published in 2017, 23 years after the first BGP-4 RFC and at least 20 years after I kept repeating “as a customer you have to take precautions not to become a transit AS” in my BGP course. We have no idea how many fat-finger SNAFUs could have been stopped if only we had this simple idea implemented decades ago!

Make sure you check out the rest of the post for some more sage-like (Ivan-like?) wisdom and a giggle or two.

Read more on Ivan’s blog here: BGP and Car Safety

About the author

Tom Hollingsworth

Tom Hollingsworth is a networking professional, blogger, and speaker on advanced technology topics. He is also an organizer for networking and wireless for Tech Field Day.  His blog can be found at

Leave a Comment