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The Internet Government United States Politics

US Control of Internet Remains an Issue 303

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the holding-all-the-cards dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "A UN-sponsored Internet conference ended with little progress on the issue of US control over the domain name system run by ICANN, a California-based nonprofit over which the US. government retains veto power. By controlling the core systems, the United States indirectly influences the way much of the world uses the Internet. As the conference drew to a close, the Russian representative, Konstantin Novoderejhkin, called on the United Nations secretary-general to create a working group to develop ''practical steps'' for moving Internet governance ''under the control of the international community.'' The United States insists that the existing arrangements ensure the Internet's stability and there's little indication that the US government and ICANN plan to cede their roles over domain names anytime soon. ''I think (there are) a small number of countries that are very agitated and almost don't care what the facts are,'' said Internet pioneer Vint Cerf, who stepped down as ICANN's chairman earlier this month. ''It's a very small vocal group bothered by this issue. ICANN has existed for eight years and done a great job with its plans for internationalization.'' With no concrete recommendations for action, the only certainty going forward is that any resentment about the American influence will only grow as more users from the developing world come online, changing the face of the global network. The next forum will held next year in New Delhi, India."
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US Control of Internet Remains an Issue

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  • by Xaositecte (897197) on Friday November 16, 2007 @07:41AM (#21377257) Journal
    Many are quick to point out the question "Why does the United States deserve to control the internet?"

    This quickly spins into a ridiculous flame war consisting of something along the lines of "We invented it" - (A claim contested by swedish apoligists), or some kind of line about how Libya is in charge of the UN council on human rights, whatever that has to do with it.

    These points, and many other historical arguements, are irrelevant. The only issue here is that the United States currently has control, and is being presented with no good (or even clear) reason why it should give that control up.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by foobsr (693224)
      The only issue here is that the United States currently has control, and is being presented with no good (or even clear) reason why it should give that control up.

      Maybe one can find a majority that does not like it ( http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm [internetworldstats.com] ).

      CC.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Xaositecte (897197)
        a Majority that is fully capable of forming their own infrastructure, and telling the United States to Sod off.

        • by Shakrai (717556) *

          a Majority that is fully capable of forming their own infrastructure, and telling the United States to Sod off.

          Go for it. No one is stopping you.

        • by Applekid (993327)
          Parent secretly +1 Interesting?

          Why can't the international community create a parallel DNS system and administrate its own domains? I mean, bits are bits, right? Wouldn't just be as simple as setting your DNS servers to ones on a "WorldDNS" network that don't communicate with the US lead system?
          • by Intron (870560)
            There is no reason why the 13 root servers could not be administered independently. Almost all of the administration of DNS is automated, anyway. Creating new TLDs is a joke. The only thing interesting going on with DNS is how to do i18n without opening up new phishing attacks.
          • by Kadin2048 (468275) * <[slashdot.kadin] [at] [xoxy.net]> on Friday November 16, 2007 @11:15AM (#21379803) Homepage Journal

            Why can't the international community create a parallel DNS system and administrate its own domains? I mean, bits are bits, right? Wouldn't just be as simple as setting your DNS servers to ones on a "WorldDNS" network that don't communicate with the US lead system?
            They can. You could create a new "root" DNS server in an afternoon if you really wanted to. There's no technical reason stopping you or anyone else. Then it's a question of money to put it in a datacenter with good uptime and fast pipes and building in a lot of redundancy.

            But this isn't really what the people bitching about U.S. control want. They don't really want control over the system as much as they want to take it away from the U.S. I doubt they would do anything different if they had the opportunity (assuming good faith on their part, i.e. that they wouldn't build in some sort of horrendous censorship features, which I think is a serious risk), and honestly I can't imagine they have much interest in the day-to-day operation of what's mostly an automated system.

            It's just a political football, nothing more. The countries involved know that the U.S. will never give it up, so it's an easy way to score points at little to no cost.
      • by Red Flayer (890720) on Friday November 16, 2007 @08:01AM (#21377423) Journal

        Maybe one can find a majority that does not like it ( http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm [internetworldstats.com] ).
        So?

        I mean, not to be callous, but just because something is unpopular doesn't mean it's a bad thing.

        I believe that a big reason a lot of people don't want the US in control is because that's the status quo, and people find reasons to dislike the status quo, deservedly or not. Another reason is the general ill will that exists towards the US government worldwide. Yes, there are concerns about network neutrality, and there are concerns about the US abusing its position.

        However, when the time comes that the US implements policy that damages the internet in a meaningful way, then we'll see alternatives used. It's how the internet works.

        For now, the status quo is fine. Why do we waste so much energy trying to fix something that works?
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by mordors9 (665662)
          You must not get out much. America bashing is always one of the more popular sports in much of the world. We know how China would run it, the Saudis just gave some woman 200 lashes for being raped (I know you are going to say it is more complicated than that) so I can imagine their idea on the free flow of ideas. But still the Yanks are the worst you know.
          • by daem0n1x (748565)
            Oh, you mean America's BEST FRIENDS, the Saudis?
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by idontgno (624372)

              Oh, you mean America's MOST USEFUL FRIENDS, the Saudis?

              There, fixed it for you.

              The U.S.'s dealings with most of the world are purely utilitarian. Assigning moral or social significance to them is a waste of breath or ink (or electrons), and trying to be sarcastic on that basis is just shooting blanks.

              • by daem0n1x (748565)
                I already know that. But being so brazenly amoral voids any right to preach moral on others.
        • by magarity (164372) on Friday November 16, 2007 @09:20AM (#21378225)
          I believe that a big reason a lot of people don't want the US in control
           
          It's not "people" who don't like US control, it's "people who run oppressive governments". Look at the summary: a Russian is complaining about US control at the same time his government is busy trying to copy the Chinese filtering techniques.
           
          Let's look at the Internet Usage By Region graph linked above that innocently labels by continental land masses as if all populations of the world yearn to be free from the USA's oppressive Internet policies. Compare it to the Internet Censorship worst offenders list [wikipedia.org] on Wikipedia. Oh, look, apparently as a suprise to many /. readers, the USA is at the bottom of the list, mainly for laws aimed at restricting offensive materials from children that are under constant attack in the courts. No one is in Chinese or Russian courts fighting to remove censorship there because it would just get the plaintiff disappeared. And don't be fooled by the Europeans. France and Germany are #8 and #9 of the top 10 list of Internet censors.
           
          Of all the major players in the world, the US has the by far best track record (not perfect, just best) of keeping the internet open.
      • by N3WBI3 (595976)
        A a majority of everyone not in the US thinks the US should cede control? thats a reason? If ew were to propose that everyone in the world give 90% their income to the people of China and India there would likely be a majority of the world population in favor of it, fortunately we dont live in a world where a simple majority can deprive an entity of controlling their own property.
        • by Shakrai (717556) *

          fortunately we dont live in a world where a simple majority can deprive an entity of controlling their own property.

          We would if the people that think the General Assembly should be the Governing body for the World had their way.

          • by Kadin2048 (468275) *

            We would if the people that think the General Assembly should be the Governing body for the World had their way.

            How many nuclear weapons does the General Assembly have?
        • I think the main argument about giving up control is an old saying we have here in the US:

          "If it ain't broke, don't fix it"

          If the other countries really care, they can build their own DNS infrastructure *today*, they don't need our root DNS servers for that. Their issue is that the big bad USA currently has control - so they want the UN to control it (effectively saying "we don't want you to control it, but we don't want to be responsible for setting up the new system ourselves").
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by dajak (662256)
          There is no property issue here. Taking "control" from the US is merely an issue of reconfiguring DNS in your own country: no goods are taken away from the US, its citizens, or its companies, and the permission of the US is not required. Neither is a democratic majority of the world population. The reason to bring this into the UN is to coordinate the operation.

          What's next? The US complaining if countries X and Y decide not to trade oil to eachother anymore in US dollars, or if country Z decides not to use
    • by Professor_UNIX (867045) on Friday November 16, 2007 @07:52AM (#21377339)
      What exactly is the US "controlling" anyway? They decide who is responsible for the content going into the root DNS servers and who assigns IP addresses, but that's about it. Nobody really HAS to use our DNS root structure, but everyone that has tried to setup an alternative one has failed miserably. Logically someone *should* be responsible for at least allocating IP addresses so they are globally unique or else you're going to have a ton of problems... but who is anyone really complaining about the way the ARIN/APNIC/RIPE arrangement is working? It seems to be handing out IP address space pretty efficiently.
      • The truth is that anybody can set up their own DNS servers and populate them with whatever names they want to.

        I think it is telling that all these other countries have not gotten together and actually done so. If many other countries united and put together their own DNS system, lots of people would use it. They probably can't even agree and work together.
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Frosty Piss (770223)

          They probably can't even agree and work together.
          This is why DNS should be put under the control of the UN, a solid organization know for organizational prowess.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Shakrai (717556) *

      or some kind of line about how Libya is in charge of the UN council on human rights, whatever that has to do with it

      It has to do with the respectability of that institution in the eyes of a lot of people. To a lot of people the UN hasn't done anything morally just since the intervention in the Korean War. Many of us are leery of ceding control over anything to an organization that comes off as quite hypocritical in many areas (the human rights council being one of them).

      Now I'm not looking for a flame-fest over the pros and cons of the UN. Just trying to explain the viewpoints of a lot of people. Personally, I al

      • there are many legitimate reasons not to setup yet another TLD

        Are there? Please enlighten me. I understand that the present system of TLD's was designed to be freely added to whenever required, without much fuss. However, allowing this to happen would make the domain name business a rather less valuable proposition, so this concept was quickly killed off. what I can see from where I am standing is that everything is run by a decidedly closed shop, with only pretenses to openness, and the whole thing happily handed over to a multi-billion dollar business with interest

        • by Shakrai (717556) *

          what I can see from where I am standing is that everything is run by a decidedly closed shop, with only pretenses to openness, and the whole thing happily handed over to a multi-billion dollar business with interests to protect

          Agreed. ICANN sucks donkey balls. But how does that relate to the United States? The argument isn't "ICANN sucks", the argument is "We can't trust the United States". How the hell do you expect Americans to respond to that?

          Are there? Please enlighten me. I understand that the present system of TLD's was designed to be freely added to whenever required, without much fuss

          Let me qualify what I said. There are no reasons to add more English language TLDs. What the hell is the point of .info, .museum, .name, blah blah blah? Not that many people are using them. All they do is send more money to the pockets of ICANN and the domain registers beca

          • ICANN sucks donkey balls. But how does that relate to the United States?...the argument is "We can't trust the United States"

            Well, I'm not really into this whole "US sucks/US is teh awesomeness" debate. It applies to this issues with regards to the fact that the US has veto powers over ICANN. This makes me uncomfortable, but in the same way that I would find it uncomfortable if any other single nation would have that kind of control over the web. It isn't really about the US sucking. But, to answer your question, that is how it relates to ICANN.

            What the hell is the point of .info, .museum, .name, blah blah blah? Not that many people are using them

            So? if not many people use them, that inversely means that some people use them. It

            • by Shakrai (717556) *

              It applies to this issues with regards to the fact that the US has veto powers over ICANN

              That's a legacy of the fact that the US Government funded the initial internet backbone and encouraged the growth thereof. It's your right to suggest changing that, but I think anybody looking at it rationally can understand why the US doesn't want to give it up and why your typical American citizen could have a problem with the UN being in charge of it (since that seems to be the most popular suggestion).

              Sure, the United States has an agenda on the World stage. But so does China. And Russia. And ev

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by ILuvRamen (1026668)
      what do you mean irrelevant? Yes we invented it. We should be suing every other country for copyright infringement except that we sold them the technology to make a profit. So that means it's still our technology and we can do whatever we want with it. If other countries are so mad about that, why don't they make their own private DNS network?
    • I think the number one reason to keep US in "control" of the internet is domestic stability. This is why a lot of foreign countries keep there money here in the US. The fact that we are democratic takes a back seat to stable.

      Face it, other than some stupid name resolution, what REAL control does the US have over the internet?

      If it's infrastructure, then this can be fixed by the foreign countries laying more cable...

    • or some kind of line about how Libya is in charge of the UN council on human rights, whatever that has to do with it.

      Not to degrade into that selfsame flame war, but here's the explanation on that: There is no way in hell the US should be willing to cede control of something as important as the internet to any organization that would put Libya in charge of human rights. It would be akin to walking over and handing the keys to your Porsche to some guy staggering out of a bar. You'd be an idiot.

      Oh, and y

    • by zerocool^ (112121) on Friday November 16, 2007 @09:04AM (#21378047) Homepage Journal

      Agreed. I love America, but I recognize our many flaws, and am quick to point them out, in order to facilitate the making of a better America. But, come on. For starters, this is one of the few international projects that we've gotten almost completely right! Secondly, as a sys-admin, I (and many others on slashdot) will be first to tell you: "If it ain't broke, and the new model doesn't add any needed functionality, don't fix it".

      I'm pretty sure this is just bitching about America because it's cool to kick the guy when he's down. If you're going to bitch about America, take a look at our foreign policy, our unilateral support for Israel on the UN security council, our plummeting currency valuation, our mixed-bag relations with China, our disappearing middle-class and rapidly-growing-richer upper class, or the state of our healthcare and education services. Leave ICANN alone.

      ~Wx
    • by Firethorn (177587)
      These points, and many other historical arguements, are irrelevant. The only issue here is that the United States currently has control, and is being presented with no good (or even clear) reason why it should give that control up.

      I find a lot of parrallels between this and Europe's Galileo program(GPS Alternative).

      I found figures that the program would cost 4 Billion - Whether you consider that an expensive duplication of effort or a cheap means of removal of European commercial and military dependence on
    • by jandersen (462034)
      On the other hand, there aren't really many reasons why the US shouln't give the control over to an independent, international body.

      It is good to see a pragmatic attitude in this matter - however, a truly pragmatic view would also include the fact that this seems to be an actual issue, even if there are no good technical or administrative reasons for changing things. The American government's stance demonstrates that they, at least, have strong reasons for not wanting to give away this control - so, they ar
    • The real issue is that the U.S. actually has very little control. The rest of the world could do whatever the hell they want with it and there's not much we could do about it.
  • obligatory (Score:2, Funny)

    by Xochi77 (629021)
    I, for one, welcome our Internet controlling Seppo Overlords...
  • As a European, I do feel there is a need to do something with this issue. Not to be disrespectful, but I don't think that USA are the best people for the job. Just look at all the problems they have now (packet shaping, net neutrality, etc...). And as a spanish speaker, I feel that it has taken faaar too long to get the "ñ" in domain names. And we only have one funny letter!

    Why don't we give the governance of internet stuff to somebody like Switzerland? They look like they could do a good job, they hav
    • by Shakrai (717556) *

      As a European, I do feel there is a need to do something with this issue

      Why, what's the problem with the current arrangement other then European mistrust of the United States?

      Just look at all the problems they have now (packet shaping, net neutrality, etc...)

      Disputes over packet shaping on the individual ISP level lead you to think that ICANN can't govern the root DNS servers effectively? Your kidding, right? And traffic shaping is hardly unique to the United States [azureuswiki.com].

      I feel that it has taken faaar too long to get the "ñ" in domain names

      And you think the technical obstacles would have been overcome faster by adding more bureaucracy to the process?

      Why don't we give the governance of internet stuff to somebody like Switzerland? They look like they could do a good job, they have the money and good reasons to do a good job on worldwide internationalization of internet.

      Because Swiss neutrality is slowly being erased in favor of closer t

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Smidge204 (605297)
      Is there a clear technical reason why "control over the internet" should be handed over to the "International Community" ?

      It issues you cite: "packet shaping, net neutrality, etc..." are all end-user (ISP level) issues. They do not effect the backbones and international communications at all. Furthermore, there is still no legislation at all regarding these issues (though the packet shaping/tampering thing is currently being "worked on")

      Putting things into the hands of the UN is a horrible idea, simply beca
      • Reading through this whole thread, there is clearly a vast gap between the American and non-American understanding of the problem (or non-problem, depending on your point of view). Here's a simple trick to help you understand the non-American viewpoint. Everywhere you read US, replace it with UN. Ignoring the detail of the arguments, the horror you feel at putting the UN in charge seems pretty similar to the horror I have of keeping the US in charge. Clearer now?
    • by canuck57 (662392)

      As a European, I do feel there is a need to do something with this issue. Not to be disrespectful, but I don't think that USA are the best people for the job.

      Mindless drivel. Euros are just out of joint because they didn't invent the internet but use it like heroin addict. And your governments foster this rhetoric as to them this is far too open and standardized for their liking. They would rather see government controls, like France for example on encryption. None of why governments want shared contro

      • "Getting a solution to Iraq/Afghanistan"

        The long term solution to that being finding ways to reign in the US. Iraq wouldn't be the problem it is now if the US just left them alone. Sure, Saddam is evil, but there were no serious WMD development programs, and certainly no nuclear programs. For an administration that claimed to be certain to having known where those programs were, they haven't been able to find them.

        And not being in Iraq would have meant not having diverted away the necessary support neede
      • by VJ42 (860241) *

        The UN should be more concerned about:

        Getting a solution to Iraq/Afghanistan

        First, why mix the two, they have absolutely nothing to do with each other; and why is it a UN problem? I don't recall either conflict being UN sanctioned.

        International law and terrorists, making smaller countries comply

        It can only do that when the larger countries start to lead by example. The UN only has the power of it's member nations, when the nations on the security council starts playing politics with the rule of law. It's the USA that consistently uses it's veto to block resolutions against Israel, why be surprised if the Russians and\or Chinese do the same in

    • by darthflo (1095225)

      And as a spanish speaker, I feel that it has taken faaar too long to get the "ñ" in domain names.

      I disagree on that one. Written language (I speak german and french, so äöü and àèéêîôç are kinda common to me) may sometimes rely on "funny" letters, but using them in domain names is hugely impractical for everybody with the wrong keyboard layout (and it tends to make stuff harder to find). The internet is, by it's nature, an international idea and to pre

    • It's fairly easy to get the Domain Name System to work for the main European languages - just allow 8-bit characters in the names using ISO-Latin-1. But real internationalization is harder - you not only have to deal with UTF-8 or other character sets, you also need to deal with right-to-left languages, and you have to deal with domain names that could have mixed character sets used for name-squatting. Or you can take the Punycode approach, which is way too ugly for anybody to want to deploy it unless the
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      > And as a spanish speaker, I feel that it has taken faaar too long to get the "ñ" in domain names. And we only have one funny letter!

      Thats exactly why this can't be given to an international political body. They will just turn it into an unusable mess. I'm a Greek speaker, should Greek letters and accents be in domain names?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by OS24Ever (245667) *
      Right now the packet shaping is happening at a consumer level, not at a backbone level. just because jim bob the file sharer in New York City gets his cable company to shape the local traffic so they don't have to buy a bigger link to their cable network.

      L3, and all the backbone providers aren't shaping crap.

      That being said, the UN handles the phones don't they? Somehow that's worked.

      While yeah, I do get a littly snippy when my tax money was used to create the internet, at what point does it go from an
  • by RandoX (828285) on Friday November 16, 2007 @07:56AM (#21377373)
    I'm going to start requiring my traffic to be sent in Euro packets. These American packets don't hold their value across long ping times.
  • I personally do not believe there is really going to be any improvement by handing the reigns over to "The International Community", because that community is not truly representing humanity, they only claim to. I personally have to be grateful that Mr. Bush has not given the Internet already to Newscorp. That said it appears that the gift The US Department of defense gave to humanity is currently held by the best of all possible stewards. I believe that the most vocal chorus against the US veto role ove
  • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Friday November 16, 2007 @08:02AM (#21377433)
    In the last thread (http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=356717&cid=21311105) when this came up I said rather than sit down and discuss what could be done, they'd just bitch. Well there you go. No talk about solutions to the problem of US control like, you know, actually setting up non-US groups to do this stuff, just whining that the US should "give up control."

    To me this seems similar to a bunch of kids whining that the kid who owns a really nice toy that he shares and lets them all play with should "give up control" of it to the rest of them.

    This is especially true since any sort of ceremonious handing over of control would do nothing to the reality of the situation. Sure the US could, in theory, tell ICANN they answer to the UN now (though there are limits to what they can legally make a private entity do). However it wouldn't change who really has ultimate control if everything remained in the US. If the government wanted to, they could still force ICANN to do what they said since, well, they have the guns.

    It would be the same thing as if you used a server in my house. Let's say it was my hardware, hosted on my net connection, but I let you use it as you pleased. However you didn't have root to it, I maintained it for you. You demand that since it is your server, I "give up control" to you in the form of root. I do that. Ok great, but I didn't really give up anything. Why? I still physically and legally control the computer. So at some point in the future I decide I don't like what you are doing I tell you to stop, you say no. I just go and unplug the server and change the configuration offline. The "control" you had was an illusion, I was still ultimately in charge because I maintained physical control and legal ownership.

    Hence for a real system that isn't US controlled, it requires other countries to set up their own services. Setup your own entity like ICANN, set up root servers that operate under it. Initially, have it just devoted to mirroring ICANN's zone file (there are some small DNS projects like this). However once you've got an established system that works well with good infrastructure backing it, then maybe you approach ICANN about splitting the zone. You take the TLDs relevant to your part of the world, they keep the rest, and you swap zone information. You might find they are quite open to something like that.

    Now if that was done in a number of places all over the world, you'd end up with a real robust DNS system that nobody really controlled. If any of the top level entities flipped out, the others could just stop accepting updates from them and their roots would continue to work fine. There wouldn't be any way for a single group to mess up the Internet.

    That's what I want to see, something where there really isn't ANY country in charge. However what all these idiots want to see is something where the US just pretends to give up control, we still have something the US retains ultimate control over, except that the day-to-day decisions become run by the UN and are incredibly bureaucratic.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by BobMcD (601576)

      To me this seems similar to a bunch of kids whining that the kid who owns a really nice toy that he shares and lets them all play with should "give up control" of it to the rest of them.

      This is a little harsh, but entirely true, I'd think.

      Imagine, if you will, that the US said, 'fine, you can have ICANN.' And walked away. The 'world' gets control and is happy. Then the US goes about setting up a separate infrastructure to host its own content. Imagine that somehow all US content is migrated to this new infrastructure. What happens? Is there a great-big split in the internet? Do the networks never touch because of DNS issues?

      Or would the world, wanting access to the US content, even

  • by CarpetShark (865376) on Friday November 16, 2007 @08:05AM (#21377453)
    The internet is designed to survive nuclear attack. There ARE no core systems. Surely if everyone else wanted to wrest control away from the US govt., all they would need to do would be setup a new system providing the same facilities, and then route traffic there instead.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Ephemeriis (315124)

      The internet is designed to survive nuclear attack. There ARE no core systems.

      That was the original idea... Back when it was a relatively small system. These days there are a lot of core systems. DNS isn't nearly as distributed as it should be. Someone could definitely take out root DNS servers with a few well-placed nukes. The Internet isn't as interconnected as it used to be either. Most traffic passes through a few specific backbone providers, which could also be taken out with some well-placed nuk

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by photon317 (208409)

      1) There are core systems and networks that make the network more vulnerable to physical attack than was originally planned. I'm hopeful that going forward, in the best interests of low latency and high bandwidth, we'll see more and more of the giant backbone providers doing mesh-like interconnects with each other all across their respective networks, instead of thinking in terms of discrete exchange points.

      2) "Routing traffic" isn't the issue. European traffic already stays in Europe (etc). This is an i
  • UN Hahaha (Score:5, Insightful)

    by canuck57 (662392) on Friday November 16, 2007 @08:07AM (#21377471)

    I can't help but think it would be better off in the US as non-profit than the UN. The UN is political, not a technical organization. So any changes they made would be driven from a political source with ulterior motives. Think, if they messed up commerce because of poor decisions they could argue 18 months about it before making a decision.

    And besides, there is nothing stopping any country from doing their own thing provided they are willing to pay for it them selves and not hide behind the UN. Last I checked every country does have their own 2 letter ISO code country assignments. I am not aware of any who are denied access to .com, net etc.

    It must have been a slow day at the UN. As if the UN had their way, one must remember it is stacked with mostly poor countries with most of the votes. Why should these countries with the least to lose have more control? Most can't even manage their own .iso.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by dave420 (699308)
      Fuck yeah! Why stop there? Poor people shouldn't get to vote in anything, because as you said - they have the least to lose! Votes for the rich!
  • So make your own! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Chicken04GTO (957041)
    So make your own DNS and your own interwebs and go forth and be happy.
    Americans dont trust the international community to do anything right except bitch about Americans.

    If you dont like it, no one is gonna stop you from going your own way. Make your own.
    Just stop complaining about it.
  • $500 billion dollars.
  • It works well. There are no problems with it. I dont want boards that can be clogged by china, russia, iran, libya or other crappy countries at the helm of internet.

    and im no american. im turkish.
  • by network23 (802733) *

    Start with regulating the ccTLDs. Today nobody cares about unethical principes by ccTLD owners, take a look at Nunames that revokes good .nu domains just for fun and/or to resell them later at a higher price. ICANN and IANA couldn't care less. Such unethical behaviour can ruin the trust in the domain name system.

  • Where would it go? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by IBBoard (1128019) on Friday November 16, 2007 @09:08AM (#21378085) Homepage
    Never mind the fact that people don't trust ICANN to be in charge of things* then that implies they want it to be moved to some other central location.

    If we put it under NATO or UN control or something then where do the main authoritative servers get put? The UN doesn't own any territory, which means it would have to put it in the territory or a member state. Either that or they put it somewhere completely neutral (middle of the sea?) at which point the connection is terrible.

    So, while it might be good to have it under less potentially influenced control, where would it all physically go?

    * which, TBH, if the US Government have a veto on them then I don't really, but that's not important
  • "It's a very small vocal group bothered by this issue."
    - Vint Cerf [nytimes.com]

    "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
    - Margaret Mead [wikiquote.org]

    -kgj
  • Solutions (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BlueParrot (965239) on Friday November 16, 2007 @09:15AM (#21378173)
    Step1: Implement ipv6 , that pretty much ends the issue with regards to who assigns ip addresses, because there will be enough for everbody, making it a moot point.

    Step2: Register domain names under your country code. ICANN has more or less promised not to fuck around with countries TLDs, and quite frankly they wouldn't be that stupid. If you happen to be a major international company that MUST have a .com address, then the cost will probably be lower than your accounting errors anyway, and if the name is taken just sue them under trademark violations ( because you DID trademark your company, right ? )

    The problem with non-latin characters is technical, not merely political, and moving to a UN organisation won't make the technical issues go away. You would have to come up with something which doesn't break existing implementations, but is simulataneously sufficient enough that you won't have to revamp it again in ten years time. When somebody comes up with a working implementation for this that won't break thinsg across the globe, and if ICANN rejects it on political reasons, then one could start discussing it.

    Of course, it would help if the US government would just stay the fuck out of ICANN decisions. .xxx was rejected on technical grounds, but it certainly didn't help ICANN or its credibility to have some asshats try to have it rejected on "moral" grounds and what not. Yea it gets a bit tiresome, but you can blame you know who...
  • by Culture20 (968837) on Friday November 16, 2007 @09:19AM (#21378209)
    USA, Russia, China pressure the UN to force OPEC to give up their control of Oil to a wider international body.
    Russia, Canada, Iceland, Finland, Sweden, Norway pressure the UN to force equatorial countries to give up their control of warm winters.
    China, and other heavily industrial countries pressure the UN to force the pacific ocean to give up control of clean air.
  • America in that past 20 years has constantly been making policy based on trying to be a good guy, and that just pisses people off because that's such a holier than thou attitude about things. If American policy was "If you want the internet, Russians/European Union folks, do something about it besides whining", it would make people upset in the short run, but if this was always policy, our true allies (not-Russia) would be happier because they benefited more. To quote Thucydides: "The strong do what they ca
  • Not for everyone.
  • by Bearhouse (1034238) on Friday November 16, 2007 @10:50AM (#21379445)
    I'm not sure that we need the Russians etc. to make sure that the Internet works.

    I'm a European, so no Bush fanboi, and I'm ashamed to say that we've got nothing better to propose. The EU, the UN? Hmmm...

    I offer the only parallel I can think of, (a free, global system, originally developed by - and for - the military), namely GPS.

    GPS is great - period. I travel all around the world, and my cheap GPS receiver always tells me where I am. Thanks to the Internet, I can even get maps/sat pics of 'forbidden' or 'unmapped' places beforehand, and find my way.

    Russia's GLONASS and the EU's Galileo are not operational, (think 2010 earliest). (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satellite_navigation_system)

    The Internet works pretty well too. Except when I travel to....guess where! China, the UAE, Saudi Arabia....in places that have shitty oppressive regimes, esssentially.

    So, tell me everyone, who do you want 'in charge' of the Internet?

  • by anticypher (48312) <anticypher@ g m a i l.com> on Friday November 16, 2007 @11:20AM (#21379879) Homepage
    I have been talking quite a bit with an economist who was in Rio all this week at the IGF. His take is more of watching what the economic situation will be when artificial, monopoly based, scarcity is introduced into the system. I can't wait to hear his take on the brazillian brawl this week.

    Specifically, what happens to IPv4 address [potaroo.net] allocation when there is no longer any freely available netblocks [ripe.net]. (Pay special attention to pages 27&29, and watch the accompanying video [ripe.net]). New allocations will come from returned address pools, so a queuing system will have to be implemented at the RIR level. Starting up a new ISP, or expanding your customer base and need more address space after 2010, and your request will go into a FIFO queue.

    Now, economists see two distinct futures for a market based on scarcity. One is where cooperation and fairness ensure that everyone gets along, which is the current internet model, and the other is known as the "University of Chicago School of Free Market Uber Alles^W^W^W^WEconomics" government enforced monopoly, where a few select companies are allowed to charge whatever the market will bear with no real competition or alternatives. Maybe a US government sanctioned company called IPbay will become the sole broker to trade netblocks.

    In the first scenario, the internet continues to function as it does now, companies needing new addresses will have longer and longer waits and will have to adjust their business plans accordingly. Into a system like this, where address space could be traded, stolen, pirated or worse, RIRs have no real powers to stop it falling into total anarchy. Except, the IETB, IANA, the RIRs, have a new tool in their arsenal to combat anarchy, called DNSSEC [rfc.net].

    In the second scenario, one, or a very few, private companies based in the US, of course, take over the entire market for buying and selling IPv4 address space. Want to keep that nice /16 you are using? It will cost you $BIGNUM/month in rental fees, or we give it to someone else. Those controlling companies will also use DNSSEC to control who has the right to announce a prefix.

    For router engineers, those who work with BGP and AS numbers on a regular basis, things have been pretty quiet until now. A few bogon filters, and you just generally believe whatever gets fed to you. The internet is mostly "best effort" and if some traffic doesn't reach it's goal, there isn't much that can be done beyond some simple tuning. There is some routing data in the routing registries, but it's rarely up to date and the accuracy depends on whatever random person did the update.

    But in a few years, when companies start to get desperate for IPv4 address space NOW!, and can't wait for a proper allocation, they'll steal or buy a prefix. Companies with a large allocation not completely used will renumber internally, and sell the right to announce half their prefix to they highest bidder. Or companies will just find part of an unused block and announce it. Total anarchy! The most conservative estimates for 2012 with rampant de-aggregation and without DNSSEC is that the routing table will exceed 2,000,000 prefixes. Not much routing equipment out there today will be able to cope with that.

    With DNSSEC, there will be cryptographically signed certificates [ripe.net] [pdf warning]for every allocation from an RIR [ripe.net][quicktime warning]. When you build your routing table in BGP, you will verify every prefix for origin and valid neighbors based on certificates stored in the RIR whois/routing registry. This will prevent the anarchy part of stealing a prefix and announcing it in the wrong AS. This wil

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