Sunde first mentioned his intent to create an alternative to ICANN's root servers in a message on Twitter, but before that message, he was already not particularly happy with the way ICANN handles its business. One of his domains was seized earlier, after the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry filed a complaint which was handed to ICANN, who then handed it to a "resolution handler that was consisting of mostly Ifpi", he claims.
The idea has since gained traction, and a temporary blog has been set up, and an IRC channel created. "We haven't organized yet, but trying to," Sunde writes, "The background for this project is that we want the internet to be uncensored! Having a centralised system that controls our information flow is not acceptable."
The plan comes in two stages: first, they want to create an alternative DNS root server. This is nothing new, as several alternatives to ICANN's already exist. The second stage of the plan, however, is indeed something I think we haven't seen before: a distributed, P2P-like DNS system. Apparently, "it's in the making (...). It's not advanced, it's p2p and more secure".
"By using existing technology for de-centralisation together with already having a crew with skilled programmers, communicators and network specialists, an alternative system is not far away," Sunde further details, "We're not going to re-invent the wheel, we're going to build on existing technology as much as possible."
It's a very intriguing idea, but major roadblocks - certainly in the adoption department - remain. Personally, I'd sign up right away for a distributed, de-centralised DNS system beyond any individual's or government's control, simply because while you may have some form of very limited influence over your own government, you don't control foreign governments. I shiver at the idea of someone like Sarah Palin gaining influence over ICANN because she becomes the next president of the US.
Isn't she pretty, though?