Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 30th Jul 2006 15:42 UTC
Internet & Networking This week, The Register ran a story on how the US supposedly had given up its 'control' over ICANN. ICANN, the body which assigns IP addresses and domain names worldwide, currently falls under the US Commerce Department via a contractual agreement; this means the US government can control ICANN. El Reg claimed the US had given up this control; Ars was quick to respond, stating that "the existing arrangement was likely to continue, at least for another year." Since the US had stated that it wanted to fully privatise ICANN by 2000, we'll have to wait and see what ICANN looks like in a year. In the meantime, do we really want the US to open up ICANN?
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My only hope
by Bit_Rapist on Sun 30th Jul 2006 16:11 UTC
Bit_Rapist
Member since:
2005-11-13

If control is given to the rest of the world my only hope is that they take the time to plan correctly for the transition and that the global rules of governing the system are hammered out FIRST.

If giving control to the world causes problems as different parties *debate* about how it should be done or run then we aren't going to get anywhere.

In short if it can be done right, then I am all for it.

P.S - Yes I'm in the US and am OK with this! ;)

Edited 2006-07-30 16:14

Reply Score: 3

compatibility
by arpan on Sun 30th Jul 2006 17:00 UTC
arpan
Member since:
2006-07-30

Railways across the world are not compatible. You can't just take a train from one country and run it in another country with modifications.

The best thing about having a single authority deciding things, is that everything remains compatible, ie, I, from India, can access OSNEWS a US site, without any problem.

If each country built their own networks with their own standards, this would be very difficult to maintian, having to build seperate compatibility gateways between the different internets.

I don't have much respect for the UN, since all they do is quarrel, and don't really do anything about the people that are suffering (example: in Africa), and I don't see a single example of what they could do better than ICANN.

As far as I'm concerned, if it isn't broke, don't fix it unless you have a really really good reason.

Reply Score: 5

RE: compatibility
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 30th Jul 2006 17:02 UTC in reply to "compatibility"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Railways across the world are not compatible. You can't just take a train from one country and run it in another country with modifications.

Yet, I can take the train from London, and go all the way to Beijing if I want to.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: compatibility
by Wondercool on Sun 30th Jul 2006 18:03 UTC in reply to "RE: compatibility"
Wondercool Member since:
2005-07-08

Sorry Thom, but I think Arpan has a point.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rail_gauge

In fact railways a vastly different between countries.
It's highly unlikely that you can take the same train to different countries. It's like power plugs in this respect. Your electrical equipment will work, but only after conversion, adding to ineffeciency and cost.

Just imagine that the internet works the same. It would mean you need to have conversion to get your packet to another country.

It's more likely we have so many railroad standards because England did NOT control the railroads.

Maybe the internet standards are already so strong that it doesn't matter anymore who controls them as they won't change anymore (no I am not talking about HTML standards but about lower level protocols like TCP/IP)

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: compatibility
by hobgoblin on Sun 30th Jul 2006 21:59 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: compatibility"
hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

no, you cant take the exact same physical train all the way to beijing. but you can jump from train to train like a ip package jumps from router to router.

somhow i think that tcp/ip would still be the international standard as its a software solution, and fully free to implement for anyone out there (iirc that is).

the concept of railroad is the same the world over, while the physical implementation have slight variations depending on what nations and where inside the nations your at.

hell, they managed to build a phone system that allows me to call someone on the other side of the globe without goverment intevention outside of their national borders, didnt they?

the trick is to agree to a comprimise that have some positives for each side, not force your view on the other side.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: compatibility
by Budd on Mon 31st Jul 2006 08:34 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: compatibility"
Budd Member since:
2005-07-08

I think that Thom analogy works.The rail gauge may be different, but the end result is the expected one: a person or a load of freight reaches destination no matter what differences exist among the networks.Sure,there is dead time when you have to load/unload the freight from one network to the other,but so it is in networks when you pass from one region to the other. You can't expect all regions to have the same infrastructure. What is important is the link between these networks.Together,they form a big (somehow controlable) network. Last time I checked that is the internet too.

Reply Score: 2

RE: compatibility
by MikeGA on Sun 30th Jul 2006 17:05 UTC in reply to "compatibility"
MikeGA Member since:
2005-07-22

Please tell me that awful pun wasn't intended!

Oh, and I believe that OSNews is a Dutch site in fact, not that it really matters.

I don't think the suggestion is to give control of each country''s internet to a body within the country itself (which like you say could lead to incompatibility issues).

Instead, the idea is simply to remove any link from the US government itself. So, I don't think you have to worry about too much squabbling (hopefully!).

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: compatibility
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 30th Jul 2006 17:32 UTC in reply to "RE: compatibility"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Oh, and I believe that OSNews is a Dutch site in fact, not that it really matters.

I'm Dutch. OSNews, and all people working on OSN besides me, are American.

Reply Score: 1

RE: compatibility
by Cloudy on Sun 30th Jul 2006 20:54 UTC in reply to "compatibility"
Cloudy Member since:
2006-02-15

If each country built their own networks with their own standards, this would be very difficult to maintian, having to build seperate compatibility gateways between the different internets.

This is true. It also has nothing to do with ICANN. ICANN doesn't set any internet standards. It merely applies the subset of standards that relate to DNS. from their web site:

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is responsible for managing and coordinating the Domain Name System (DNS) to ensure that every address is unique and that all users of the Internet can find all valid addresses. It does this by overseeing the distribution of unique IP addresses and domain names. It also ensures that each domain name maps to the correct IP address.

The only thing that would change with a change of control of ICANN is who gets to decide how IP addresses and domain names are handed out.

Reply Score: 2

RE: compatibility
by OMRebel on Mon 31st Jul 2006 14:24 UTC in reply to "compatibility"
OMRebel Member since:
2005-11-14

Arpan,

Even though you've made an excellent point, the problem is that so many people here are anti-US that they do not care. They view anything associated with the US as evil. Nevermind this whole uproar that started this entire debate is about some EU countries wanting more money. We can bring up the facts about the French wanting to levy taxes on emails. That'll get ignored. We can discuss your point on compatibility, and how you're right about it. That'll get ignored. The only thing so many on here are concerned about is continuing to lash out at the US over any issue.

Take Thom's article for example. I get sick and tired of hearing the anti-US crowd try to trumpet up Tim Berners-Lee as the most important figure head of the Internet. That is an extremely flawed statement. Berners-Lee has this direct quote, "If you are looking for fathers of the Internet, try Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn..." Lets see here. Bob Kahn - American. Vint Cert - American. And what about David Clark? - American. DARPA - American. Berners-Lee did make a contribution (HTTP), but IP and email weren't his doings. They were American inventions.

Look, I'm not posting this to get into a US vs the world type of debate. I'm just setting the record straight, as every single time this discussion comes up, the anti-US crowd jumps in with their slams and bashes, and try to spread their misinformation on the subject. I'm just setting the record straight. America did invent the Internet, and others made big contributions to new technologies. However, no need in spreading lies and refusing to give credit where credit is due when it comes to which country really invented it.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: compatibility
by Michael on Mon 31st Jul 2006 14:44 UTC in reply to "RE: compatibility"
Michael Member since:
2005-07-01

We can bring up the facts about the French wanting to levy taxes on emails.

Yes, let's do that. According to a quick google search on the subject, "the French" is actually a single French MEP who has backed off from the ludicrous suggestion. As the EU has no tax raising powers, there was never any danger of this becoming law. Furthermore, this has sod all to do with ICANN.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: compatibility
by OMRebel on Mon 31st Jul 2006 17:36 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: compatibility"
OMRebel Member since:
2005-11-14

Come now. Alain Lamassoure proposed it, but do you believe that he was the only person that actually suppoted it? What about the EU Internet Tax?
http://www.geek.com/news/geeknews/2002may/gee20020509011626.htm

It's about money in the EU's eyes. The EU doesn't care about the porno extension of .xxx. Some on here may, but the EU doesn't. They want the ability to make money.

Of course it has something to do with the current subject. Ever hear the saying, "give a man an inch and he'll take a mile"? Do you honestly not believe that the politics of this will continue, or do you honestly think it would stop? In reality, this will not ever stop until each country can do whatever they want with the internet (tier taxes, email taxes) for any of the domains that have their .xx country extension. This is where this is headed. To say otherwise is being narrow minded.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: compatibility
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 31st Jul 2006 17:41 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: compatibility"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Come now. Alain Lamassoure proposed it, but do you believe that he was the only person that actually suppoted it? What about the EU Internet Tax?

"Internet Tax" is a misleading term in this case, as it implies that internet usage itself is being taxed. This is not the case. Buying software online is taxed; NOT internet usage itself. It's more a sort of VAT.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: compatibility
by OMRebel on Mon 31st Jul 2006 18:29 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: compatibility"
OMRebel Member since:
2005-11-14

I admit that I'm not as familiar with the Internet Tax as you are. Can you help explain this to me:
"Some EU countries may charge VAT on AdSense & affiliate earnings"
http://www.jensense.com/archives/2006/06/some_eu_countri.html

Thanks.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: compatibility
by Michael on Mon 31st Jul 2006 19:34 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: compatibility"
Michael Member since:
2005-07-01

Very well. The EU is not a federal thing like the US. "Some EU countries" means exactly that - some countries, which are in the EU. They are, of course allowed to raise taxes in accordance with whatever system of government they have. It's probably not good economic sense, but as it can only apply to businesses in each country, they have democratic accountability. This is *not* the EU raising taxes.

While I'm here, your slurs on the character of European governments ("give them an inch...") are in very much the same spirit as those anti-US sentiments you protest about so much. There is an awful lot wrong with the way the EU is run but it's powers are limited and will remain so until it becomes truely representative. I'm in no way a fan of the European Commission, or for that matter, the UK government, taking control of ICANN. I just want some international accountability in the way the international .com, .org and .edu domains are run.

I fail to see what's stopping the French taxing internet usage in their own country right now if it's what they really want. I also fail to see what it's got to do with an American. If they start taxing foriegners for accessing French websites, it would be economically disastourous, not to mention impossible to manage, ICANN or no ICANN. But if that's what they want to do, what's stopping them? If ICANN under the US governement is all that's keeping the 'net free, how come China is successfully censoring google, yahoo etc.?

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: compatibility
by OMRebel on Mon 31st Jul 2006 19:57 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: compatibility"
OMRebel Member since:
2005-11-14

Michael,

Thank you for your response. First off, I wasn't making a slur. The "give a man and inch and he'll take a mile" saying applies to many people and many situations in life, regardless of their nationality.

Secondly, you said that you fail to see how any of this (regarding the French taxing the Internet) has anything do to with an American. Currently, it has nothing to do with Americans. My concern is this: if the US releases control over ICANN to the UN, then the UN will have control over the domain names, correct? No big deal in my opinion over that one item. My worries come into play if the members of the UN deem it as not enough control, and more political ploying takes place with internation laws, etc., and a global tax on emails come out of this. Not knocking the French, but what if they decide to tax any emails that are sent to a .fr email account? So, if I emailed a french citizen, I would be subject to paying a tax to send the email. A step further, lets say Denmark (again, not picking on one country...just go with hypothetical) decides to levy a tax on Internet usage, and anyone that wants to access a server located inside of Denmark would have to pay a tax for the amounts of bytes that they download from the website (including text, images, etc..). Now, I'm not bringing up these worries as an American that wouldn't want to pay these taxes, but I believe that these situations would be hurtful to everyone (citizens of France, Denmark, Spain, Chile, India, etc....everyone).

It's looking down the roads at the "what if's" that worries me about this situation. I think there is a larger picture here than just control of ICANN. Maybe I'm being paranoid in thinking this way. But just "what if"........ Do you understand what I'm trying to get at?

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: compatibility
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 31st Jul 2006 19:49 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: compatibility"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I admit that I'm not as familiar with the Internet Tax as you are. Can you help explain this to me:
"Some EU countries may charge VAT on AdSense & affiliate earnings"
http://www.jensense.com/archives/2006/06/some_eu_countri.html

Thanks.


Sure I can. First off, the blog post you linked to lacks credibility, as it cites no sources AT ALL to back up the claims that Denmark and The Netherlands (the mere fact she refers to my country as 'Holland' makes it kind of hard to take it without grains of salt; you don't see me referring to the US as "California" or "South Dakota" now do you) are going to instate VAT taxes on AdSense.

Other than that, AGAIN, paying taxes over AdSense income has nothing whatsoever to do with taxing internet usage. I have a hard time understanding why she refers to taxing income as "VAT", as Value Added Tax is something not at all related to taxing income. The tax she is talking about sounds like an income tax, and not a VAT. And I'm all for taxing income. If you do not tax income, you can't maintain a welfare state like the one I live in. However, because the blog post cites no sources, it's hard to really make anything of it-- it sounds to me she simply has no clue about taxes (please note I am too tired to look her up on the internet to see who she actually is).

Could you cite some more reliable sources?

PS: Even ICANN itself has a form of 'internet tax'.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/03/31/icann_2buck_fee/

:).

Edited 2006-07-31 19:59

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: compatibility
by arpan on Mon 31st Jul 2006 16:48 UTC in reply to "RE: compatibility"
arpan Member since:
2006-07-30

I am an Indian, and I know that it is unlikely that India is going to be having much of a say so in the running on the internet either way, so whether it is the US or the UN makes no difference to me. What I would not like is having compatibility problems, since most websites I access related to design, computers, web programming etc., are located outside India.

And a point related to different languages. I don't know how it is in other countries, but in India, we have over 20 major languages, each languages having a number of different font implementations, meaning that if I were to type some text in Telugu in one font from one company, and then wanted to use a font from another country, suddenly all the characters have changed. Basically, because there is no default standard, we have to deal with different font implementations. So which one will be considered correct in this case? And who decides what is correct?

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: compatibility
by Budd on Mon 31st Jul 2006 17:12 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: compatibility"
Budd Member since:
2005-07-08

...and this have anything/something to do with internet infrastructure and/or domain control ?

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: compatibility
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 31st Jul 2006 17:38 UTC in reply to "RE: compatibility"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

America did invent the Internet, and others made big contributions to new technologies. However, no need in spreading lies and refusing to give credit where credit is due when it comes to which country really invented it.

Like I said, the US had a major stake in the 'invention' of the internet (it is more of an 'evolution' than an invention, by the way, as it is not as if someone woke up one day and said "Hey, I'll build the internet"), but what I am disagreeing with is that that automatically should mean that the US should control the ENTIRE internet, even though 98% of the internet is built and runs OUTSIDE of the United States.

If you think it does, than I figure you also have no problems with giving up the control over US railroads to the British Crown, I guess?

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: compatibility
by OMRebel on Mon 31st Jul 2006 18:17 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: compatibility"
OMRebel Member since:
2005-11-14

If you think it does, than I figure you also have no problems with giving up the control over US railroads to the British Crown, I guess?

That's an Apples and Oranges comparison Thom. To use railroads in the comparison, then the US would have to be demanding control over Britian's railroads. The US built it's railroads itself. In this case with the Internet, other countries are demanding control over something another country built. The US is not stopping anyone from building their own "railroad" if they do not like riding on the US "railroads".

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: compatibility
by Soulbender on Tue 1st Aug 2006 06:52 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: compatibility"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

"The US built it's railroads itself.

Funny, just how Sweden, Holland, Japan and China etc all built their own network infrastructure.
Btw, Asia (and Japan in particular) and Europe are leading the Ipv6 migration efforts. I guess we should just expect them to control and own IPv6 worlwide in the future then since "they built all the infrastructure".

"In this case with the Internet, other countries are demanding control over something another country built."

Noone's demanding control over anything you built, the rest of the world just want to have something to say in how the major, worldwide operation of a protocol that is very important to how the *global* internet works is managed.

"The US is not stopping anyone from building their own "railroad" if they do not like riding on the US "railroads"."

On the internet, everyone's riding everyone's railroad.
You, and so many others in these threads, are confusing the internet infrastructure with a protocol (DNS) and one deployment of it (the ICANN root). DNS is not an infrastructure protocol, it's merely a means to make the infrastructure more usefull. It is kind of like a map of the internet and ICANN are the ones drawing the rough outlines of it and making the overall decisions on how it should look.
There ARE other maps but they are yet not as widely used or complete as the ICANN map.
Since this map is very important it is only natural that people want to have a say on how it is maintained and managed.

Edited 2006-08-01 07:03

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: compatibility
by MysterMask on Mon 31st Jul 2006 18:07 UTC in reply to "RE: compatibility"
MysterMask Member since:
2005-07-12

Look, I'm not posting this to get into a US vs the world type of debate.

Funny - because that's exactely what you do.

America did invent the Internet

Did they? Well, wich part of America was it? Some people from Peru? Or Canada? Native americans? Some immigrants from Europe? Or China?

Your post is a good example why people hate the US. It's the selfishness, arrogance and the bigotry.


Back on topic: I guess it doesn't matter if ICANN is run as a private company or not because as soon as some part of the US govt think they are 'in danger' of loosing control, some form of US market protection will kick in (of course all under the term of 'freedom').

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: compatibility
by OMRebel on Mon 31st Jul 2006 18:25 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: compatibility"
OMRebel Member since:
2005-11-14

Your post is a good example why people hate the US. It's the selfishness, arrogance and the bigotry.

No, I think it's out of envy is a good number of cases. If your hatred of an entire nation comes from something a persno posted on the 'net, then you must have alot of hatred towards alot of countries built up in ya.

The Internet is an important economical vehicle. The US has done a great job. Being that the US supplied the backbone for the Internet, and hasn't screwed anything up with it, and hasn't excluded any nations from using the 'net, then I fail to see the problem. I think it comes from the "little man mentality" to be honest, with other nations wanting to take control from the big, bad, evil USA. The US cannot be forced to give up control, and frankly, I have yet to see a real reason why it should, and there's too many reasons why it shouldn't give up control.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: compatibility
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 31st Jul 2006 19:39 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: compatibility"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

That's an Apples and Oranges comparison Thom. To use railroads in the comparison, then the US would have to be demanding control over Britian's railroads. The US built it's railroads itself. In this case with the Internet, other countries are demanding control over something another country built.

And yet, you are demanding control over OUR networks through ICANN. You seem to think that Americans have laid all the internet cables/routers/hubs in the world!

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: compatibility
by OMRebel on Mon 31st Jul 2006 20:18 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: compatibility"
OMRebel Member since:
2005-11-14

And yet, you are demanding control over OUR networks through ICANN. You seem to think that Americans have laid all the internet cables/routers/hubs in the world!

No I'm not. I think that countries should be free to do whatever they want with their network. How am I demanding control of it? Is the US telling other countries what content they can and cannot have? Would you want the UN to control it with nations such as China having input?

What benefit do you really think we'd have if ICANN were controlled by a body like the UN?

In your article, you said:
However, the problem with governmental control is that a government is not supported by 100% of a country's population, let alone that of the entire planet--

What's your point? People will always disagree no matter who is control. Anarchy is not good. That's the beauty of democracy - elected officials who represent the majority of the country's citizens' interests of views. If they don't, then they don't get re-elected.

Also, you wrote about the "personal feelings" of the US government when it came to the .xxx domain. The .xxx was a lame idea, and wouldn't have done any good, and would have caused more problems. The reason for that is because ICANN would then have to deal with censorship on its own, determining what is porn, and what isn't. A company that sold clothes, along with sex toys, could be forced to move over to .xxx because of it's pornographic merchandise? Who makes the call on that? You said it would do "no good nor no harm", however, you'd be forcing censorship on certain domains. Censorship is bad.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: compatibility
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 31st Jul 2006 20:34 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: compatibility"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Is the US telling other countries what content they can and cannot have?

YES! ICANN gives out domain names and IP adresses to countries, did you not know that?? That is the whole problem!

What benefit do you really think we'd have if ICANN were controlled by a body like the UN?

AAARGGGHHH. You are really pushing my limits here, buddy. READ, for crying out loud. WHERE did I say the UN should control ICANN? WHERE?

Also, you wrote about the "personal feelings" of the US government when it came to the .xxx domain. The .xxx was a lame idea, and wouldn't have done any good, and would have caused more problems.

I give up. You seem to have not read my column well at all. Let me simply repost the relevant part of my column:

"The whole .xxx domain saga has showed us that the US government exerts quite a bit of control over the direction of ICANN. ICANN had approved a plan to setup the .xxx domain in June 2005, but after concerns raised by the US government over the apparent 'legitimisation' of the adult industry, ICANN reversed that decision on May 10th of this year. And that is just plain scary, to me.

The usefulness of the .xxx domain is highly debatable. I too think it would do nor good nor harm to the internet. However, that is completely besides the point of the US controlling the internet. The fact of the matter is that the US government, inspired by its own personal feelings towards the adult industry, has influenced a decision making process that should in fact be free of governmental control. Remember, to illustrate the extent of control the US government has over ICANN, that the decision, as well as the plans to execute it, had already been made. Please note that this is not about the outcome of the decision itself; I would be equally worried if it had been the other way around (the US government reversing a decision by ICANN to not create a .xxx domain)."

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: compatibility
by OMRebel on Mon 31st Jul 2006 20:46 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: compatibility"
OMRebel Member since:
2005-11-14

Not pushing buttons. I'm simply disagreeing with you as you didn't make a convincing argument.

Your point centers around the .xxx domain. The .xxx domain would have been a bad thing because it would lead to censorship on the Internet. Somebody would have to decide what was porn and what wasn't. Who would make that call? How would that not be censorship? Why would a porn company chose to go to .xxx anyways, knowing that a parent's internet filter will have that blocked from their kids? It would have been a failure.

Thom, I'm not arguing with you just for the sake of arguing. What I'm getting at is the whole debate is lacking any real substance, and appears to be just a "I don't trust the US government" problem, rather than how things have actually been run.

Reply Score: 1

Very good article
by ralph on Sun 30th Jul 2006 18:03 UTC
ralph
Member since:
2005-07-10

It doesn't happen to often, but on this issue I fully agree with Thom.

I especially agree with his assumption that it's only a matter of time till the US gives up control.

The internet is a global phenomenon, this is it's very strength and above all, the internet is part of the crucial infrastructure for many countries and those countries simply will not allow the US to stay in control forever.

Reply Score: 1

UN
by netpython on Sun 30th Jul 2006 18:43 UTC
netpython
Member since:
2005-07-06

I hope not to many will have their say.Otherwise it will be like the UN where there is a lot of talk but nothing really happens.

Reply Score: 3

RE: UN
by samad on Sun 30th Jul 2006 21:55 UTC in reply to "UN"
samad Member since:
2006-03-31
RE[2]: UN
by Soulbender on Mon 31st Jul 2006 04:38 UTC in reply to "UN"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

"where there is a lot of talk but nothing really happens."

Hey, just like the current ICANN.

Reply Score: 1

It's not a matter of free speech
by samad on Sun 30th Jul 2006 21:42 UTC
samad
Member since:
2006-03-31

The US government is a pretty open institution–America is unusually free. The British government can legally enter BBC offices and censor a news story; the US government has no such rights. I wouldn't be too worried about the US government trying to censor material.

ICANN is opening up more so because more businesses and people from other countries are using the Internet.

I'm much more worried about the Net Neutrality ruling. Handing internet traffic priviledges to corporate control is far more insidious than the US government's control over domain names and IP addresses.

Reply Score: 2

hobgoblin
Member since:
2005-07-06

why is that? because they allow pages to dodge the laws of individual nations.

right now i can create a .com or whatever page, put it on a server in some copyright haven, make the main language english and then dodge anything up to a para-military taskforce aimed at shutting down said server...

then add to this that many sites think that .com is equal to .us (the national tld for USA). just enter www.samsung.com and your presented with the samsung page thats supposed to cover the US market (most noticable because the mobile phones section is split between diffrent us carriers).

remove the TLD's that are not coverd by some nation or group of nations, or hand their legal control over the a multinational group like the UN.

that way the US goverment can pass all the laws they want for their little corner of the net, but it does not have any effect on whats done inside the non-national TLD's.

Reply Score: 2

... Its a Bunch of Tubes
by nzjrs on Sun 30th Jul 2006 21:57 UTC
nzjrs
Member since:
2006-01-02

Gesus, the internet is not like a railway system, its a bunch of tubes!

Thats the reason America should retain control, they obviously understand the internet better than the rest of the world!

Reply Score: 1

RE: ... Its a Bunch of Tubes
by hobgoblin on Sun 30th Jul 2006 22:10 UTC in reply to "... Its a Bunch of Tubes"
hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

because they know raw sewage better then anyone else?

Reply Score: 0

Flawed analogy
by JaredWhite on Mon 31st Jul 2006 00:56 UTC
JaredWhite
Member since:
2005-07-06

The difference between railroads and the Internet is that railroads deal with commercial goods, of which no sane government could argue against (for the most part) -- whereas the Internet deals with information, and that, my friends, is a huge problem when it comes to government. Frankly, in spite of some issues, the US has a better track record than almost anyone else in the world when it comes to the free flow of information. The "wild west" mentality of blogging, IM, etc., is an American-inspired concept and it scares the heck out of all kinds of other countries, most notably China. If Internet control shifted out of the US into a UN-style global forum, I would have grave fears about increased regulation and control of Internet information. The US hands-off policy on network traffic has worked well. Why change it now in mid-stream? (Hmm, isn't that what the Net Neutrality people have been saying these past months?!?!?)

Jared

Reply Score: 3

RE: Flawed analogy
by hobgoblin on Mon 31st Jul 2006 01:54 UTC in reply to "Flawed analogy"
hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

if information is a intellectual property, isnt allso the internet about moving commersial goods?

as for how scared some nations are about the freeflow of information over the net? only as long as they didnt understand how it worked. now we have the "great firewall of china" and all that stuff.

still, icann isnt as much about the down and dirty traffic control of the net as it is about the addressing of the net. basicly they are similar to that swiss get together about the worlds postal services, and how to handle international addressing and so on.

net neutrality and all that is way outside of icann's control.

thats realy the whole issue here, the internet is just that a network of networks. so for laws passed for the networks inside a national border no-one but that nation have anything to say about it.

what the icann and any future organization (under UN or not) can say, is how the addressing is to be handled between said networks so that there are little or no problems connecting them together.

the real issue is the one i pointed out earlyer, that some top level domains are non-national (com, net, org and so on) yet they often are managed as if they are US domains. if the US wants to manage them, they should be .com.us, .org.us and so on.

the real thorny issue about net neutrality is what happens when a non-us citizen goes to a us address. should they automaticaly get the non-premium traffic because they (or their isp) do not have a agreement with any backbone providers they come into contact with?

abandoning network neutrality in the sense of paying for priority is a mess waiting to happen. instead one should look into some way for the diffrent networks to get an agreement that a any current or future protocol that have a latency requirement should get priority over bulk traffic like downloading static images and similar.

but one problem then is that many protocols now pretend to be http traffic to bypass firewalls and filters.

another is, how meny tiers of priorty should there be? and should, for example, game and video-on-demand traffic be at higher tier then bulk traffic? they are often latency sensitive, but they are not life threatening (yet) if they dont arrive in time.

there is allso the trick of hiding one protocol inside another to get priority...

basicly the internet is the mother of all disruptive technologys. and the disruptiveness becomes bigger and bigger as its used to move more and more information.

Reply Score: 2

The good, the bad, and the probable
by DigitalAxis on Mon 31st Jul 2006 02:38 UTC
DigitalAxis
Member since:
2005-08-28

Ok, so best case scenario, the US gives up control of ICANN and the UN (or a multinational nonprofit organization) takes over, and everything continues (or improves on- I saw that comment about ASCII-only... and what about IPv6?) being free, fair and open.

Worst case scenario: Somehow a totalitarian government get hold of the internet and start rationing it, trading it for political favors, and cracking down on those it dislikes. (As much as I'm known for being critical of the US government, I'm kinda amused that THAT's the behavior many would seem to expect from the United States... and yet the Internet seems (from my perspective, at least) fairly fair and open). Alternately, fighting countries end up destabilizing and destroying the internet.

Probable cause: Well, I don't know which is more likely. As usual, it's probably somewhere in the middle. As for the UN, I like its ideals, but the UN is only as powerful as its constituents make it, and when so many of them are at odds, no WONDER the UN doesn't quite work right.

So... I'm a bit dubious about UN control over the internet. As long as ICANN isn't a contentious or politically profitable issue, ICANN would probably do fine. But as soon as countries decide they need to put their mark on it, or it becomes a politically contentious issue, ICANN will be doomed. Special interests and ignorant power brokers will push their way into power, over those genuinely interested in internet management, and BOOM! Mismanagement because people only want power. (I could probably phrase that better, but you get the idea)

Since its inception, the US has been relatively content to leave ICANN alone, for better or worse (ASCII). I guess we better hope it doesn't become a big deal for the United States Government, or the USA might start playing around.

I think it should stay with the USA for the time being, and quietly transfer to the UN at a later date, once the hoopla quiets down and cooler, genuinely interested heads are available to take over.

Reply Score: 1

the problem is sensorship
by TechGeek on Mon 31st Jul 2006 02:44 UTC
TechGeek
Member since:
2006-01-14

The real problem is censorship. What happens when its China's turn to run the net? Or how about India? They are a pretty democratic government and yet they were censoring stuff just the other week. Maybe we need to re-design DNS so that each country has a few TLD and sites have to use the TLD of the country they are hosted in. That way, your countries laws will apply to your domain as far as censorship, content, copyrights and such.

Reply Score: 2

Mention SEV on main page
by XemonerdX on Mon 31st Jul 2006 08:18 UTC
XemonerdX
Member since:
2005-07-03

Maybe it's an idea to mention in the short version on the main page that this is a Sunday's Eve Column instead of only in the long version, like with the other Sunday's Eve Columns. Nice column btw.

Reply Score: 1

Unrealistic fears.
by Michael on Mon 31st Jul 2006 10:28 UTC
Michael
Member since:
2005-07-01

best case scenario, the US gives up control of ICANN and the UN...Worst case scenario: Somehow a totalitarian government get hold of the internet...Probable cause: Well, I don't know which is more likely.

What? The only totalitarian government with any power at all is China and they nowhere near outweigh the power of the USA, the EU, India and the democratic far East. Dude, democracy doesn't start breaking down the moment you leave the states.

What happens when its China's turn to run the net? Or how about India?

Now the only institution I know of that's run like that is the EU presidency, and no-one's going to model *anything* on that!

All that's being discussed here is privatising ICANN. It would probably still be run by a US company, just not under the thumb of the US government. Presumably you would need an international regulator, representing the interests of those who are paying for it.

No-one's going to accidentally let China take sole control of Internet addressing. Governments can be idiots at times, but not when it comes to protecting vested interests, of which there are billions wrapped up in the 'net.

Reply Score: 1

Opening up ICANN
by antwarrior on Mon 31st Jul 2006 15:08 UTC
antwarrior
Member since:
2006-02-11

You know ,this will get heavily politicized when the issue is more about funding a flexible way of governing a global technology. Having the ICANN under UN control will make internet governance unnecessarily detailed and encumbered. Some of the arguments for opening up the ICANN are sound and are good, and difficult to disagree with but with such a large international body ,with so many countries with different agendas do you really think this will be for the good of the Internet or Technology , for that matter

I am not going to give a story book sob story on freedoms etc but I would like to point out that particular impracticality. What I think ( just my opinion ) is that you'll have a melting point of very fragmented ideologies , i.e a European view(German/French), British view , an American view , an Asian view. I mean come on , it will become politicized and unwieldy.

It's inevitable though, the powers that be don't like America ( I'm European British ,we love to hate American and Israel ,apparently ;-) ) so it will get pushed to this one day , so enjoy the internet as you have it because it won't be this way very long.

Reply Score: 1