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Versions: 00 01 02

Network Working Group                                          J. Manner
Internet-Draft                                                  N. Varis
Intended status: Experimental                           Aalto University
Expires: January 13, 2011                                     B. Briscoe
                                                           July 12, 2010

                      Generic UDP Tunnelling (GUT)


   Deploying new transport protocols on the Internet is a well-known
   problem, as NATs and firewall drop packets with e.g. new protocol
   types or unidentified TCP options.  Tunnelling over UDP is one way to
   make IP packets hide the actual payload and enable end-to-end
   delivery.  This document proposes a simple UDP tunnelling
   encapsulation and end-host operation to enable new (and old) IP
   payloads, e.g., new transport protocols, to be deployed on the

Status of this Memo

   This Internet-Draft is submitted in full conformance with the
   provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79.

   Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
   Task Force (IETF).  Note that other groups may also distribute
   working documents as Internet-Drafts.  The list of current Internet-
   Drafts is at http://datatracker.ietf.org/drafts/current/.

   Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six months
   and may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other documents at any
   time.  It is inappropriate to use Internet-Drafts as reference
   material or to cite them other than as "work in progress."

   This Internet-Draft will expire on January 13, 2011.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2010 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents
   (http://trustee.ietf.org/license-info) in effect on the date of
   publication of this document.  Please review these documents

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   carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect
   to this document.  Code Components extracted from this document must
   include Simplified BSD License text as described in Section 4.e of
   the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as
   described in the Simplified BSD License.

Table of Contents

   1.  Terminology  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
   2.  Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
   3.  Basic operation  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
     3.1.  Extension headers  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
     3.2.  Sender operation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
     3.3.  Receiver operation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
     3.4.  Example with one NAT-PT between the initiator and
           responder  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
   4.  Deployment Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
   5.  Encapsulation of protocols without port numbers  . . . . . . . 12
   6.  Security Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
   7.  IANA Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
   8.  Summary  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
   9.  Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
   10. References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
     10.1. Normative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
     10.2. Informative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
   Authors' Addresses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

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1.  Terminology

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   document are to be interpreted as described in BCP 14, RFC 2119

   In addition, we use the following terms:

   Native: the IP protocol that will, or has been, encapsulated by GUT,
   e.g., DCCP, SCTP, etc., even protocols like ICMP or RSVP.  We also
   refer to native IP packet as the IP packet that carries the native IP

   Initiator: the node that has sent the first packet belonging to an
   exchange by the native protocol.

   Responder: the node that received the first packet of the native

   Data packet (D-packet): a GUT packet that carries an encapsulated
   native protocol.

   Control packet (C-packet): a GUT packet that carries only extension

   Data-Control packet (DC-packet): a GUT packet that carries an
   encapsulated native protocol and an extension header.

2.  Introduction

   New IP paylods, e.g., transport layer technologies, such as SCTP
   [RFC4960] and DCCP [RFC4340], have well-known problems with
   deployment on the Internet.  Firewalls drop IP packets with unknown
   (too new) transport protocol types or protocol extensions, e.g., TCP
   options, and NAT boxes do not know how to translate these protocols.

   Tunnelling over UDP has often been mentioned as a means to traverse
   middleboxes.  Mostly the solutions are ad-hoc and protocol-specific.
   In order to make deployment of UDP tunnelling at least somewhat
   consistent, this document proposes a simple mechanism to realise the
   goal.  The benefit is that with a generic solution we avoid the need
   to define tunneling specifications for each IP protocol separately.
   The fundamental goal of GUT is to mitigate the problem of existing
   NATs and firewalls, while still allowing middleboxes that
   deliberately want to block to do so.

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   The basic idea of GUT is to encapsulate the native transport protocol
   and its payload (in general the whole IP payload) within a UDP packet
   destined to the well-known port GUT_P. Between the outer UDP header
   and the inner transport header, we have a 4-byte GUT header that
   carries information about the encapsulated protocol to help
   decapsulation on the receiving side.  GUT also introduces extension

   GUT does not specify, nor need, a specific tunnel setup protocol.  It
   just encapsulates the native protocol and its payload - to any
   middlebox on the way this looks like a normal UDP flow to port GUT_P.

   In other words, this specification, i.e, GUT, only defines

   1.  The encapsulation of the native IP payload,
   2.  The GUT header structure and content, and
   3.  The state machine on the initiator and responder sides.

   If the native protocol has a handshake or any back-and-forth
   messaging, these are run automatically within the UDP-tunnel created
   by GUT: GUT is meant to be fully transparent to the native protocol.
   Note that GUT can also tunnel protocol types which do not have any
   port informations, such as RSVP or ICMP.  The GUT encapsulation is
   agnostic to the IP protocol version being used (IPv4 or IPv6).

3.  Basic operation

   The basic idea of the protocol is to encapsulate the problematic
   native IP payload within a UDP header and send the packet to a well-
   known UDP port GUT_P - any return packets from the responder will be
   tunneled to the UDP source port used by the initiator.  The responder
   will get the UDP packets, check the encapsulated payload and evaluate
   if it wants to receive the packet, reconstruct the native IP packet,
   and forward it for further processing within the network stack; GUT
   is not meant to bypass explicit firewall rules and configuration.
   Figure 1 shows the encapsulation.

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           +------------------+           +------------------+
           |                  |  ------>  |                  |
           |                  |           |                  |
           |   Payload data   |  ------>  |   Payload data   |
           |                  |           |                  |
           |                  |  ------>  |                  |
           +------------------+           +------------------+
           |                  |  ------>  |                  |
           | Nat. payload hdr |           | Nat. payload hdr |
           | (DCCP, SCTP,...) |           | (DCCP, SCTP,...) |
           |                  |  ------>  |                  |
           +------------------+           +------------------+ <--|
           |                  |           |   GUT header     |    |
           |    IP header     | \         | Next header|IHL  |    N
           |                  |  \        +------------------+    E
           +------------------+   \       |                  |    W
                                   \      |    UDP header    |    |
                                    \     +------------------+ <--|
                                     \    |                  |
                                      \-> |    IP header     |
                                          |                  |

                        Figure 1: GUT encapsulation

   The GUT header is 32 bits and carries three pieces of information
   that enable reconstructing the native IP packet and perform checksum

   1.  The GUT Header Length (12 bits) gives the length in bytes of the
   headers after the 4-byte GUT header and before the encapsulated
   payload.  Any IP option headers encapsulated from the native IP
   packet are included.  The GUT header itself is not included.  Thus, a
   value of 0 indicates straight encapsulation, no headers between the
   GUT header and the encapsulated protocol.

   2.  The IPv4 Header Length (IHL, 4 bits) field from the native IPv4

   3.  The IP protocol number (next header, 8 bits) of the native IP
   packet (v4 and v6).  The value 255 is used to indicate a GUT
   extension header (this value is Reserved in the IP protocol numbers
   registry).  Thus, all extension headers carry the same Next header
   value but a different internal type.

   The first 8-bit field is currently unused.

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    0                   1                   2                   3
    0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1
   | Reserved      |    GUT Header Length    |  IHL   |  Next header   |

                           Figure 2: GUT header

3.1.  Extension headers

   In addition to the GUT main header, we define extendion headers,
   objects.  An extension header can be added into a GUT packet carrying
   an encapsulated native protocol frame, or it can be sent standalone,
   without an actual native protocol, i.e., below the GUT header we have
   one or more extension headers but no further payload.  Any extension
   headers MUST be appended straight after the GUT main header and
   before any encapsulated native protocol.

   Each extendion header begins with a fixed 32-bit part giving the
   object Type and object Length and Next header.  This is followed by
   the object Value, which is a whole number of 32-bit words long.

    0                   1                   2                   3
    0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1
   |E|r|r|r|     Type      |      Length           | Next header   |
   //                             Value                           //

                   Figure 3: Extension header structure

   E flag (extensibility): A value of "0" indicates that if the object
   is not understood, the whole GUT packet must be silently discarded.
   A value of "1" indicates that the unknown object can simply be
   ignored and the rest of the packet processed as usual.

   Type (12 bits): An IANA-assigned identifier for the type of object.

   Length (12 bits): Length has units of 32-bit words, and measures the
   length of Value.  If there is no Value, Length equals 0.  If the
   Length is not consistent with the contents of the object, the message
   MUST be discarded.

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   Value (variable): Value is (therefore) a whole number of 32 bit
   words.  If there is any padding required, the length and location are
   be defined by the object-specific format information; objects which
   contain variable length (e.g. string) types may need to include
   additional length subfields to do so.

   This specification introduces three extension headers.  All these
   extension headers are sent as Control packets, i.e., without an
   encapsulated native protocol.

   o  TEST: to test if the responder supports GUT.
   o  TEST-REPLY: a reply to a TEST.

   A TEST object can be sent to check whether the receiving host
   supports GUT.  The Responder SHOULD reply with a TEST-REPLY if it
   supports GUT.  A TEST object MAY carry a Value field giving a nonce
   that should be send back in the TEST-REPLY.  A nonce MUST be copied
   to the TEST-REPLY if the Responder is going to answer the TEST.  The
   Responder MUST NOT store a flow state when receiving a TEST message.
   The TEST handshake is a similar function than the ICMP ECHO, i.e.,
   both can be used to test if the other end point is alive (without
   assurance, though, since replying is voluntary).

   o  KEEPALIVE: to maintain a flow state on a middlebox.

   A native protocol, e.g., a TCP flow, may be using keepalive messages
   to maintain middlebox states for a flow.  Since GUT makes the native
   flow appear to be UDP, the timeouts of the native flow may be longer
   than what the middlebox is configured to use for a UDP flow.  A GUT
   node MAY send KEEPALIVE headers in Control packets to maintain the
   state in middleboxes on the path.  A GUT node that receives KEEPALIVE
   Control packets MUST discard them.  The keepalives are always
   associated to a certain unique GUT flow.  Therefore, the receiver MAY
   use the keepalives as an indication that the native protocol flow is
   still active and thus maintain it's own states for the flow.

3.2.  Sender operation

   In implementation terms, the GUT process running on a host or router
   (proxy) receives the native IP packet, the whole packet including the
   IP header, grabs the bytes immediately after the native IP static
   header, adds a UDP and GUT header, and sends the packet to the
   destination indicated in the received IP packet.  Header checksums
   are recalculated and IP options are encapsulated.

   The sender MAY limit the UDP checksum coverage to just the octets
   outside the native transport header, i.e., not include the
   encapsulated payload.  This is purely for efficiency - to avoid

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   running the whole payload through the checksum calculation twice -
   with all the memory shifts that will entail.

   The source port in the UDP header MAY be chosen freely, although if
   the native encapsulated protocol had a notion of port numbers, the
   sender SHOULD choose the same source port (note that the source port
   may already be used by another process, thus the processing may have
   to choose another port number).  The IP header indicates a UDP
   transport, the GUT header is the first 4 bytes of the UDP payload.
   The Total Length field in the IP header gives the length of the whole
   datagram including the encapsulated transport protocol packet.  The
   GUT IP header length gives the length of any encapsulated IPv4
   Options; this value is actually copied directly from the native IP

   The current value of GUT_P is 4887 (rule of thumb 1-800-GUTP)

   The GUT daemon is not considered as an IP hop, thus, when the sender
   builds the IP header, it MUST use the TTL from the native IP packet.
   Similarly any ECN and DSCP bits are copied from the native IP packet
   to the outgoing IP packet.

   GUT adds 12 octets of headers (UDP+GUT) which may cause fragmentation
   to happen.  GUT is meant as transparent a functionality as possible.
   Thus, in principle GUT relies on the network stack to do IP packet
   fragmentation and reassembly.

   If the native IP packet had IP options, those are preserved within
   the GUT encapsulation.  Here the processing must store the original
   IHL-field from the native IPv4 packet to be used on the responder
   side for building the native IP packet properly.

   It is possible, that the sender gets fragmented IP packets from the
   network stack to be GUT-encapsulated.  In such case, the GUT process
   MUST reassemble the whole IP packet before adding the UDP and GUT
   header.  The subsequent packet is given back to the network stack for
   transmission, and may be fragmented at that point to fit the MTU of
   the link.  The initiator may decide to use Path MTU Discovery when
   the first packet of a flow is received for encapsulation, yet, this
   will add a delay to the transmission of the first packet and may
   result in the native protocol to react accordingly.

   The initiator has to store state, the 5-tuple or 3-tuple (or any
   information that enables tracking a particular flow), for each
   initiated GUT encapsulation.  This state is needed for properly
   catching potential return packets of the native IP protocol from the
   responder (e.g.  DCCP, SCTP).  This state can be made to expire after
   a certain timeout, or an implementation can decide to monitor open

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   sockets in the operating system, and remove state of encapsulated
   native protocols that have their socket closed.

3.3.  Receiver operation

   On the receiver side (responder and initiator), the GUT service
   receives UDP packets, verifies the checksums, does further analysis
   about whether it wants to process the packet further, and either
   drops the packet or continues processing.

   GUT must be able to receive packets with two distinct destination
   port ranges:

      GUT_P port: this port number is seen when the packet was sent by a
      flow initiator.
      Any other UDP port: the flow initiator has chosen a source port
      number and if the encapsulated IP protocol included two-way
      messaging (e.g. a handshake, acknowledgement packets, etc.), it
      will receive return packets to this UDP port.

   When the host receives packets to port GUT_P, i.e., it is the
   destination of the flow, the responder, it MUST store the 5-tuple or
   3-tuple (or any information that enables tracking a particular flow)
   of the encapsulated IP packet flow.  This state information is needed
   to send back packets belonging to the same flow.  An implementation
   may optimize the overall resource consumption of the state in GUT by
   omitting state information for flows where the source ports of the
   native- and UDP transport protocols match.

   After decapsulation of the 32-bit GUT header and the UDP header, the
   GUT processing reconstructs the native IP packet by using the
   received IP header fields but exchanges the encapsulated next header
   and IHL fields found in the GUT header.  Then the rebuilt packet is
   injected into the network stack for further processing.  Any
   checksums are recalculated.  Any IP options will now be visible to
   the network stack.

   A responder should never receive fragmented IP packets since the
   operating system IP stack will take care of rebuilding the fragments
   into a full IP packet.

3.4.  Example with one NAT-PT between the initiator and responder

   The following figure describes how various protocol fields are mapped
   on a two-way IP packet flow.  The example shows a DCCP-transfer going
   from A to B. The figure presents the content of IP packets as they
   are sent out from a component on the path.  Note that if the
   encapsulated protocol does not have port numbers, the GUT processing

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   is even simpler.

   [Source, IP A]  [GUT@A] [NAT, ext IP C] [GUT@B] [Dest, IP B]

   ------------- Source A to destination B -------------------
   1. [IP: A->B, DCCP]
   2. [DCCP: E->F]

   3.              [IP: A->B, UDP]
   4.              [UDP: E->GUT]
   5.              [GUT-hdr, DCCP]
   6.              [DCCP: E->F]

   7.                      [IP: C->B, UDP]
   8.                      [UDP: P->GUT]
                           [GUT-hdr, DCCP]

   9.                                      [IP: C->B, DCCP]
   10.                                     [DCCP: E->F]

   ------------- Destination B to source A -------------------
   11.                                             [IP: B->C,DCCP]
   12.                                             [DCCP: F->E]

   13.                                     [IP: B->C, UDP]
   14.                                     [UDP: GUT->P ]
   15.                                     [GUT-hdr, DCCP]
   16.                                     [DCCP: F->E]

   17.                     [IP: B->A, UDP]
   18.                     [UDP: GUT->E]

   19.             [IP: B->A, DCCP]
   20.             [DCCP: F->E]

                    Figure 4: GUT encapsulation example

   A few details from the figure above:

   o  Line 4: the GUT process takes GUT_P as the destination port, and
      chooses a source port based on the DCCP header.
   o  Line 8: the NAT may choose a new source port P, instead of E, and
      rewrite the UDP header.

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   o  Line 10: before giving the packet to the local IP stack, the GUT
      process takes note of the source IP and port numbers, and the
      encapsulated protocol.
   o  Line 11-12: the tunneled protocol has not seen the GUT
      encapsulation, thus, it will use the native port numbers in the
      reverse traffic.
   o  - Lines 13-16: the GUT process has earlier stored state about the
      flow, knows now that the packet is for an existing stream, and can
      direct the flow to the right destination port "P", instead of
      sending it to GUT_P, as if the packet belonged to a new stream.

4.  Deployment Considerations

   The basic goal of GUT is to look like generic UDP messaging to any
   middlebox on the path.  If the native transport protocol has support
   for congestion control, GUT encapsulated packets that are lost will
   trigger the native transport to react.

   As GUT-encapsulated traffic looks like an ordinary stream of UDP
   packets, existing NAT traversal protocols and techniques work out of
   the box.  For example, a responder GUT-daemon can, when needed,
   maintain the GUT_P open at the NAT using any suitable NAT-traversal
   protocol.  The KEEPALIVE extension header in Control packets may also
   be used to maintain the state on middleboxes.

   GUT was originally designed to be used for host-to-host
   communication.  Yet, nothing actually prohibits to have a network
   node that takes the IP packets coming from a host, and tunnels them
   through GUT.  Similarly, a network node on the receiving side of the
   connection can decapsulate the packets before they actually hit the
   receiving end-host, so essentially making a GUT-proxy service.

   There is yet one critical issue to consider, namely when to
   encapsulate a transport protocol in GUT, and when not.  GUT
   introduces the TEST/TEST-REPLY handshake that can be used to verify
   if the receiver has support for GUT; the TEST extension header could
   be sent at the same time as the initial packet of a native protocol.
   When using a TEST Control packet, the Initiator may get back an ICMP
   port unreachable ICMP message.  This is a clear indication that GUT
   is not supported by the receiver.

   A further option is to trigger GUT when replies to a transport
   protocol Y's connection initiation are not received within a given
   timeout.  Using GUT can also be a configuration parameter, say, e.g.,
   the host always encapsulates DCCP packets into GUT; this operation is
   fully transparent to the inner transport protocol.

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   This document does not try to define all potential cases and triggers
   that might result in an initiator to employ GUT for a certain flow.
   The actual triggers will emerge as GUT is experimented with.

5.  Encapsulation of protocols without port numbers

   GUT is originally designed to counter the problems of deploying
   relatively new transport protocols on existing Internet.  Yet, GUT
   can also be used to encapsulate any other protocol, e.g., RSVP or

   Note that some protocols may not involve port numbers, e.g., RSVP.
   In such cases, GUT is free to choose a random port for the
   initiator's port number; the responder's port is always GUT_P.

6.  Security Considerations

   In general GUT has the same security concerns as the IP protocol it
   encapsulates.  For example, if the encapsulated protocol can be
   harmed by injecting false packets into the stream, GUT can not
   prohibit this.

   The main additional concern GUT introduces is the increased state
   needed to properly tunnel packets back-and-forth.  Yet, here an
   implementation SHOULD analyze the encapsulated IP protocol and drop
   the packet, without storing state, if it does not match the
   expectations.  For example, if the host does not have a transport
   port open at the indicated destination port, GUT SHOULD drop the
   packet silently.  Also, in case the native IP packet flow does not
   have a notion of port numbers to enable more accurate matching of
   pakcets, an implementation may consider storing more information
   about the flow that just the 3-tuple.  This has the downside that GUT
   must be more aware of each individual native IP protocol - currently
   GUT basically only needs to know if the native protocol has a notion
   of port numbers or not; thus, a GUT implementation only needs special
   treatment of native UDP, TCP, SCTP and DCCP packet flows.

   Packets belonging to a GUT encapsulated flow will go through a
   firewall processing twice, (1) once when the IP packet arrives,
   either locally or from the network, and before it is given to GUT,
   and (2) when GUT sends out the encapsulated IP protocol inside UDP.

   GUT itself does not employ any security functions for content
   protection.  Yet, one could use any one-way mechanism, or purely rely
   on the security functions of the inner payload.  If security measures
   are used on GUT, it should be a one-way scheme, which does not rely

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   on back-and-forth signalling; we don't want to force two-way
   signaling within GUT, this may or may not happen due to the inner
   protocol being tunneled.

   The TEST/TEST-REPLY hanshake can be used for DoS attacks.  Therefore,
   the Responder SHOULD employ rate limitation when answering TEST
   Control packets.

7.  IANA Considerations

   This document requests IANA to

   1.  Allocate a new UDP port number GUT_P as referred to in the

   2.  Create a GUT extension headers repository and allocate three
   values for TEST, TEST-REPLY and KEEPALIVE.  The values are 8 bits

8.  Summary

   Essentially this document define a generic mechanism for tunneling
   any IP payload over a UDP tunnel.  The benefits are:

   1.  Existing IP protocols, with or without port information, work
       without changes.
   2.  Deployment can be done on the end-host or a network proxy.
   3.  No changes are required for existing NAT and firewall devices.

9.  Acknowledgements

   This work was partly performed and funded by Trilogy, a research
   project supported by the European Commission under its Seventh
   Framework Program (INFSOICT-216372).

   The authors thank Robert Hancock for various ideas behind the generic
   UDP tunneling concepts.

10.  References

10.1.  Normative References

   [RFC2119]  Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
              Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, March 1997.

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10.2.  Informative References

   [RFC4340]  Kohler, E., Handley, M., and S. Floyd, "Datagram
              Congestion Control Protocol (DCCP)", RFC 4340, March 2006.

   [RFC4960]  Stewart, R., "Stream Control Transmission Protocol",
              RFC 4960, September 2007.

Authors' Addresses

   Jukka Manner
   Aalto University
   Department of Communications and Networking (Comnet)
   P.O. Box 13000
   FIN-00076 Aalto

   Phone: +358 9 470 22481
   Email: jukka.manner@tkk.fi
   URI:   http://www.netlab.tkk.fi/~jmanner/

   Nuutti Varis
   Aalto University
   P.O. Box 13000
   Espoo  FIN-00076 Aalto

   Email: nvaris@cc.hut.fi

   Bob Briscoe
   B54/77, Adastral Park
   Martlesham Heath
   Ipswich  IP5 3RE

   Phone: +44 1473 645196
   Email: bob.briscoe@bt.com
   URI:   http://bobbriscoe.net/

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