> Can a process spawned by a CGI stay around after the CGI request is done?
> Can it establish its own TCP/IP communications, and can these stick
Not in general. In the face of firewalls, HTTP requests may get through where all other sockets are denied. In the limit, it may be that the right thing to do is to get the IANA to assign an official port number for VAT services, and start encouraging firewalls to allow it.