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The Internet Networking Technology

Peter Sunde Wants To Create Alternative To ICANN 276

Posted by Soulskill
from the icann-see-why dept.
An anonymous reader writes "According to Peter Sunde's Twitter feed, he has been suspicious of ICANN for a long time. The non-profit corporation is tasked with managing both the IPv4 and IPv6 address spaces as well as handling the management of top-level domain name space including the operation of root nameservers. Sunde has lost a domain in the past because of the way ICANN acted. It was taken without any consultation on their part, instead the organization relied on information from recording industry group IFPI to change the domain ownership. But it seems for some reason his frustration has come to a head recently, and he has put a call out for help to create a competing root server."
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Peter Sunde Wants To Create Alternative To ICANN

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  • by LostCluster (625375) on Monday November 29, 2010 @09:19PM (#34382790)
    The ROOT domain system is just that, it's trusted because well, if we didn't trust somebody at #1 this whole thing wouldn't work. You can't have a competing .com, .net, .org registry... sure, you could declare your own TLD and be root of that but, well, we don't trust you as much as we trust ICANN because, well, they've been root for a while now and haven't blown it that badly.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bbtom (581232)

      If redirecting NXDOMAIN to partnered search results pages and killing a bunch of anti-spam scripts and endorsing ridiculously stupid shit like .eco, .xxx, .jobs and .tel happen wasn't enough for ICANN to have "blown it", complying with a Department of Homeland Security request to remove a bunch of domains that contained material that infringes copyright should be the nail in the coffin for the useless stuffed shirts at ICANN.

      ICANN is really a perfect example of where a bunch of wise-beard Unix hacker types

      • by Glendale2x (210533) <slashdot.ninjamonkey@us> on Monday November 29, 2010 @09:39PM (#34382982) Homepage

        If redirecting NXDOMAIN to partnered search results pages

        VeriSign != ICANN

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Verisign should have lost their root server assignment 10 years ago. Between their wildcard allocation for *.com a few years back, their pitiful handling of IPv6, their pretense at innocence when they assign domain authorities to spam hosting domains, their support of "reserving" domains by abusive registrars who blackmail people who search domains to see if they're available, and their refusal too cooperate with domain owners who want to reliable provide reverse DNS, they're not competent and their effecti

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by mysidia (191772)

            their refusal too cooperate with domain owners who want to reliable provide reverse DNS

            What the heck are you talking about? What is your beef with their reverse DNS handling?

            This is a IANA / RIR function, and I have never seen any issues or mishandling of RDNS by the registry.

      • by mysidia (191772) on Monday November 29, 2010 @10:37PM (#34383404)

        If redirecting NXDOMAIN to partnered search results pages and killing a bunch of anti-spam scripts

        You mean an anti-spam technique (of fairly limited effectiveness) of reverse path validation, through making extra domain lookups for the forward DNS hostname of the Return Envelope, not called for by the SMTP RFCs, which also place extra (unwanted) load on DNS servers?

        Please don't confuse ICANN with Network Solutions / Verisign (Sitefinder). By the way, the SiteFinder Fiasco you refer to ended when ICANN was going to file a lawsuit Network Solutions over "sitefinder" and reached a settlement. Settlement: ICANN agreed to discontinue the sitefinder service / stop wildcard resolving immediately, and will seek permission under ICANN rules before introducing any new service such as that.
        But, in Exchange, as part of this settlement, NSol's contract to be operator for the .COM / .NET TLDs was changed so ICANN guarantees to renew the contract perpetually at the end of every contract term (Unless there is a proven breach), AND, also, the settlement gave Network Solutions a right to increase prices 7% every 4 out of the 6 years of every contract term after 2007, with no justification.

        NSol can increase prices in 6 out of 6 years, if a cost justification is given in 2 of those years.

        Note that back in 2007, .NET and .COM prices were capped by the registry at $6. Today they are approximately $8. Domain prices per-domain are getting more expensive, and the stated justification is "higher volume of DNS queries", what do you think about that?

        So the whole 'sitefinder thing' was a win win win for Network solutions, because ICANN essentially got themselves a free perpetual contract, which ICANN justifies on the basis of "A perpetual contract provides greater stability for the Internet"; neverminding the fact the contract becomes less favorable for the community every year NSol chooses to raise prices.

        Still... things are "stable", and doesn't matter that much that NSol got rewarded for their attempted sitefinder moneygrab does it?

        endorsing ridiculously stupid shit like .eco, .xxx, .jobs and .tel happen

        Apparently it wasn't that 'stupid'... I mean, someone had to pay $50,000 just to apply, and put significant capital down to have a registry that would meet ICANN's minimal technical standards for a stable registry. The letters in the TLD are just one factor; the decision to 'add a TLD' or not are almost all about the technical aspects of a proposed TLD and how many sites and domain registrars are interested in the TLD.

        complying with a Department of Homeland Security request to remove a bunch of domains that contained material that infringes copyright should be the nail in the coffin for the useless stuffed shirts at ICANN.

        ICANN just defines the rules and contracts the registry services, I believe you are again blaming ICANN for an individual registrar and US government thing

        ICANN is really a perfect example of where a bunch of wise-beard Unix hacker types could do a better job than the corporate whores currently doing it could. Or better yet, a proper distributed alternative to DNS.

        Now there's something we can agree on. Unix hacker types could do better, if only they could get the financing, and backing from the corporate types.

        It would probably be good enough though to have an association serving a different group of corporate whores.... for example, ISPs instead of the WIPO, RIAA, registrar, pro-squatter , and pro-advertising/pro-marketing folks.

      • by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) * on Monday November 29, 2010 @10:54PM (#34383538) Homepage Journal

        ICANN is really a perfect example of where a bunch of wise-beard Unix hacker types could do a better job than the corporate whores currently doing it could.

        Almost everything in the world currently being done by corporate whores could better be done by wise-beard Unix hacker types; the tiny number of things that couldn't, aren't worth being done at all.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by GNUALMAFUERTE (697061)

          Absolutely. What needs to be done, and this will only be accomplished with enough international pressure, is to take control away from the US government. ICANN or no ICANN, the one in control is the US government.

          Don't come with the "DARPA in the 60's" argument. It's not about what the net was 20 years ago, or 10 years ago, it's about what it's now: A worldwide network. That means it shouldn't be governed by a single country. We need to create a new council that will manage the internet:

          It'll be an internat

          • by rtb61 (674572)

            An open root domain system where each country produces it's own root domain and via treaty mirrors addresses. Each ISP defaults to the local national root domain. Could create some interesting problems with circular updates but those could be resolved by establish a priority on mirroring and monitoring changes.

            The handy thing is that .gov and .mil could be immediately localised to each nation.

            The treaties aren't even required to start the process off, countries just need to launch their own root server

            • by GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) <almafuerteNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @12:47AM (#34384542)

              No, that would give each individual government more control over its citizens. Giving them that power would quickly turn the internet everywhere into what it is right now in China.

              Governments can't be individually trusted, and localized versions of the internet are a bad idea, against the very definition of the internet.

              That's why in the scheme I propose, all countries together are only 30% of the votes. I am a wise-bearded Unix geek, and I still don't agree with turning control over to wise-bearded Unix geeks. We can be real assholes too :). No group of people can be fully trusted to make choices for all of us, that's why we need different groups with different interests to keep each other in line.

              The chances that several governments, or several companies, or several software developers cooperate with each other to do something evil are very high. That's why we see things like the ACTA being passed by politicians from different countries, while 90% of the public disagrees.

              Now, the chances of seeing the Free Software Fundation, CISCO, the US, Switzerland, Venezuela and the ISC cooperating to pass some terrible legislation is virtually nonexistent.

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by evanism (600676)
              I have seen this as absolutely inevitable for about 10 years now.

              Admittedly, I am an old warhorse and remember registering domains for free with a guy who kept the whole root under his desk at Uni (Robert Ells, Uni Melbourne, Aust). Then the evil MelbourneIT took it over, screwed everyone and commercialised a public resource.

              I used to, in 1996, use AltDNS which is sort of what is proposed now. It failed, but the actions of government have shown we need a better DNS that is not subject to the actions
    • by Nursie (632944) on Monday November 29, 2010 @10:57PM (#34383562)

      "You can't have a competing .com, .net, .org registry"

      Sure you can. Did you young folks never hear of AlterNIC ?

      (OK, you young folks might be an exaggeration, you have a slightly lower UID and I'm only 32, but still)

      All you have to do is persuade people to use your name servers instead of the normal ones. There's an infrastructure cost associated with that of course, but there it is. ICANN might kick and scream and maybe even sue, but there's nothing to stop the net being usurped by an enterprising newcomer. It would lead to namespace fragmentation and all sorts of interesting user effects, but it's a possibility.

      I quite like the idea of us geeks using one lot and the general public using another. They can have their own internet with the facebooks and packet shaping and the september that never ends. And we'll have ours and reset it to 1995 style...

  • Sour grapes? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Meshach (578918)
    Sounds like Peter Sunde is bitter at his lost domain. If it ain't broke don't fix it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by LostCluster (625375)
      ICANN declares man loser, loser vows to replace ICANN. Details at 11, or at 10 on that UHF station we co-own.
    • Re:Sour grapes? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Gonoff (88518) on Monday November 29, 2010 @09:45PM (#34383020)

      If it ain't broke don't fix it.

      I think he feels that it is broke.
      I think a big problem is that ICANN gives too many questionable organisations too much say into what happens. I include in that list, MPAA RIAA and their alternatives in the remaining 96% of the planet, various spooks and one particular national government.
      I suspect people here can think of many more names...

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by LordLimecat (1103839)
        Wait, so a bunch of spooks and RIAA and MPAA folks have their claws into the ICANN, and the ICANN just revoked access to "one of Sunde's domains" (mysteriously unnamed!!!), but Pirate bay remains online.

        We're supposed to extrapolate from this that there is a domain of Sunde's that the MPAA / RIAA want offline MORE than pirate bay? Riiiiiiight. How about telling everyone what domain it was so we can judge for ourselves whether or not ICANN is acting in bad faith; I may not trust the MPAA / RIAA, but Im
        • Re:Sour grapes? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Skal Tura (595728) on Monday November 29, 2010 @11:14PM (#34383686) Homepage

          How about this? The Pirate Bay is too public to pull of a stunt like this, but some less known domains (like the ones seized a few moments ago) spurr less activism against it, so they can slowly roll it in and make it a norm. (like the antiterrorism bullshit going around)

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by jythie (914043)
            Welcome to how precedent works ^_^ look for victims no one will bother defending and the legal framework is there for when you go after the ones that have defenders.
      • by Darinbob (1142669)
        If it's broke we should fix it. But that doesn't mean letting self proclaimed pirates be in charge, much less be the root of a "trusted" chain.
    • ICANN isn't in the Internet Protocol business, they're in the Intellectual Property business. It's about Trademark Control Protectionism, not Transmission Control Protocol. And the people who run the real root servers don't work for ICANN, but they do cooperate with them, and any attempts at alternate roots failed years ago, for reasons that aren't going to change.

      Furthermore, if you want to start an alternate naming business, you can hang it off the existing DNS structure as myroot.someTLD so real peo

  • Do it! Do it now! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by wierd_w (1375923) on Monday November 29, 2010 @09:20PM (#34382794)

    An alternative name registry service would do wonders to cripple the whole "internet censorship" bandwagon that has been going on recently. Blacklists? Rendered at the very least 2X as difficult to implement on a national scale, simply because the clients you are attempting to prevent from accessing content can reach that content by using the alternate name resolution service.

    It would make measures like the Australian blacklist falderall all that much more difficult to actually pull off, and would render efforts like COICA similarly difficult.

    Do it. Do it now.

    • by gclef (96311) on Monday November 29, 2010 @09:26PM (#34382860)

      Messy. Question: which root do you ask for google.com? All of them? What if they reply with different addresses...which one's right? The fact that there aren't good answers to these questions is a big part of why we've tried to avoid splitting the DNS roots.

      • Re:Do it! Do it now! (Score:4, Interesting)

        by wierd_w (1375923) on Monday November 29, 2010 @09:33PM (#34382930)

        Take the recent "seizures" of torrent sites by the US government; In order for the government to keep track of DNS entries that it has "Confiscated", it has to apply it to easily identifiable name servers. (In this case, something along the lines of "Seized.xxxx.NS") Since it would become an administrative nightmare to NOT use some form of naming convention for such "Blocked" sites, it should be fairly simple to resolve "Which" IP addresses and name servers to accept as entries/accept entries from.

        If the two IPs match, Good for you.

        If they dont, does one get resolved by a "blacklist placeholder" NS? If so, ignore that entry and use the redundant one.

        If they dont, and neither points to a known placeholder, "ASK", allow the user to try both and then pick the appropriate one.

        • by gclef (96311) on Monday November 29, 2010 @09:40PM (#34382984)

          Skip the government part (though, honestly, I see no reason why they'll operate the way you think they will)...what about businesses? For example: Apple.com. There are several companies that can claim honest ownership of the "apple" name as a business title (apple computers, apple records, etc). If each of them buys the apple.com name in a different root, which one's "right"? All of them have reason to argue they are...do you expect users to have to surf to all of them one by one to find the "right" apple.com? Seriously? So now the users have to know about all possible DNS roots? yuk.

          You seem to be assuming that the DNS with multiple roots will have very few name collisions except for government-caused ones...I don't think that's a safe assumption at all.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by wierd_w (1375923)

            Easily enough resolved with a firm root-level policy:

            Mirror ICANN, EXCEPT for blacklists.

            The idea is a not-for-profit alternate root. Not a "For profit" alternate root.

          • Every page on the web can now have its own Wikipedia-style disambiguation page!

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            You would be making the mistake anyone who wants an alternate root gives a crap about any commercial organisation.
            We as humans deal with name space collisions every day, with our very own names, I think if we can handle it in real life, we can deal with it on here.
            As with all open source things, you are free not to participate, but you can always join later.

        • Im not sure I agree with the assumption that is the cornerstone of your argument:

          In order for the government to keep track of DNS entries that it has "Confiscated", it has to apply it to easily identifiable name servers.

          What makes you think this is the case? Why cant they simply store that info in a database?

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by OverlordQ (264228)

          If they dont, and neither points to a known placeholder, "ASK", allow the user to try both and then pick the appropriate one.

          How is this supposed to work? I could register facebook.com put up a phishing page that looks exact the same and then if we used your system, how does the user know which one is right?

        • by blueg3 (192743)

          Facebook.com has multiple IP addresses. Would you like to go to 123.52.13.12 or 125.32.13.12?

          That's a great solution, sure to confuse nobody!

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by dch24 (904899)
        Yeah, messy.

        To identify google.com, use dnssec. To identify trusted root certs, either use the ones that come with your browser (just like SSL) or add/remove certs manually.

        Ok, I can think of immediate issues with that. All I'm saying is, not that hard to solve.

        So, problems with using a certificate store, like the one that comes with your browser:
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by wierd_w (1375923)

          I suppose the first one could be overcome with some local CA blacklists. (why Mozilla accepts a chineese CA I dont know. Seems suicidal.)

          The RST packet issue becomes difficult to address without implementing some kind of homebrew device to sit between your router and your private network, that does DPI to look for the RST signals and filter them, then do some creative ACK to make sure the sender didn't send a legitimate one. This would slow network access when ATT sends the abusive RST packets, but slow is

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by gclef (96311)

          DNSSec, won't solve the multiple-root problem, though. If each root has a separate trust entry point, and the sub-entries are correctly signed, you won't be able to tell which one's accurate, just that the answers are verified by the root. You'll still be left with very confused users.

          This happens today with SSL, it's just harder to see: if two different SSL registries issue certs for "google.com", which one's right? If you trust both of them, then the answer is "both." The same will be true for the mul

        • by blueg3 (192743)

          DNSSEC? So, replace a single-root, authoritative domain name system with a single-root, authoritative system system for validating DNS response?

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by LostCluster (625375)
        Yep, and that's the reason why we have ISP DNS, Google's 8.8.8.8 offering and OpenDNS all offering lower-tier servers so if you want to know where Google.com went, you can ask Google. Most of the DNS fouls such as taking all NXDOMAINs and returning a "search portal" are done by the low-level guys, not ICANN.
      • by MagicM (85041)

        Question: which root do you ask for google.com? All of them? What if they reply with different addresses...which one's right?

        Given the fact that there are thirteen root servers [wikipedia.org], those are actually very good questions. Do you know the answers?

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by gclef (96311)

          But they all (intentionally, and by design) respond with the *same* *data*. The fact that there are 13 of them doesn't change the fact that there is only one root *zone*. What's being proposed is having different root zones, and so the assumption that the different roots will answer with the same information goes out the window.

      • by BCoates (512464)

        You're right, there is no objective way to say which is the "correct" google.com, you have to have some trusted body giving out monopolies on individual names. But that's not the problem that needs to be solved: the problem here is the body revoking names afterwards.

        I think that it *is* possible to create a system where names are assigned permanently and can't be taken back. It might look something like this:

        1. You buy example.com in the traditional manner from an untrusted legacy registrar.
        2. You generat

      • by sg_oneill (159032)

        The hope would be that the alternative root largely mirrors to primary root, but differs where censorship or govt induced bad behavior occurs.

        That said, if they knocked out the domain squatters too, it'd be the greatest thing ever.

        I mean lets be honest, with 90% of the .COM space squatted by parasites, ICANN is not proving itself to be exactly competent here.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by interkin3tic (1469267)

      An alternative name registry service would do wonders to cripple the whole "internet censorship" bandwagon that has been going on recently. Blacklists? Rendered at the very least 2X as difficult to implement on a national scale, simply because the clients you are attempting to prevent from accessing content can reach that content by using the alternate name resolution service.

      For five minutes or less before the proponents of the blacklist say "This goes for those guys too."

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by c0lo (1497653)

      It would make measures like the Australian blacklist falderall all that much more difficult to actually pull off, and would render efforts like COICA similarly difficult.

      Do it. Do it now.

      If it is for making the Big Brother's job slightly more difficult, until yet-another-TDL-DNS gets created, maybe you can trust some OpenNIC [opennicproject.org] DNS-es? Just asking.

    • Except blacklists arent being aplied at the root DNS level last time I checked, so its pretty irrelevant. Youre looking for a solution to a problem that doesnt exist. Australia can simply filter dns responses as they reach the mainland, since theres only one or two lines entering the country. Even if you have alternative roots in Australia, the ISP can filter stuff as it heads towards your modem.

      Changing DNS settings will never be the fix for censorship unless the person censoring hasnt yet gotten out
      • by scdeimos (632778)

        Australia can simply filter dns responses as they reach the mainland, since theres only one or two lines entering the country.

        You must be using out-of-date info from someone like telegeography [telegeography.com]. Even The Guardian [guardian.co.uk] shows six internet cables coming into Australia and Greg's Cable Map [cablemap.info] shows seven (plus two to Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu).

  • by steeleyeball (1890884) on Monday November 29, 2010 @09:21PM (#34382808)
    No more of this Pansy DNS crap. Know your IP address like you know your phone number. Cut these clowns off at the legs. Free the net to the people who know how to use it and won't download viruses to their own computers thinking it's antivirus software... Take charge by taking responsibility from those who don't care and don't know!
    • Know your IP address like you know your phone number.

      You mean like how I don't know it at all? That's what address books are for, and DNS is a gigantic global address book.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by 0123456 (636235)

        That's what address books are for, and DNS is a gigantic global address book.

        Except other people keep coming in and changing your address book so you go to visit your mother and end up at some porn store or the DHS instead.

        The centralised nature of DNS has been a huge flaw in the Internet for a long time, and it should really be replaced. The problem is coming up with a better solution.

        • by Obfuscant (592200)
          ...so you go to visit your mother and end up at some porn store or the DHS instead.

          My mother runs a porn store on the second floor of the local DHS building, you insensitive clod.

          Or "in Russia, going to porn store results in visit to mother."

          Whatever.

        • The problem is coming up with a better solution.

          Indeed.

          And I really can't think of a better solution which lets me type slashdot.org and have a reasonable expectation of actually getting to slashdot.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          The centralised nature of DNS has been a huge flaw in the Internet for a long time, and it should really be replaced. The problem is coming up with a better solution.

          OK, how about this:

          You take the existing SSL certificate authorities and the existing certificates for websites, which contain their domain names. You create a new "root" which is really a distributed collection of root servers in which anyone may participate. Website operators send their SSL certificates to any one of the root servers (ideally one trusted enough to propagate it), showing that their domain has been verified by a certificate authority as belonging to them. The website operator also signs the

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Demonantis (1340557)
      It was called internic and it could easily come back because of this. Especially for sites the government is trying to block. The next most likely thing would be multiple DNS networks and everyone just gets used to having to switch depending on what they want to go to. Could easily be rectified at the browser level by "dialing in" that session's DNS ip. Eventually the most bipartisan DNSs would get used the most. ISPs would actively pursue an effective DNS system to maintain their consumer base in areas wit
    • by Mitchell314 (1576581) on Monday November 29, 2010 @09:55PM (#34383124)
      Look, there's no way you're going to convince me to remember one IP6 address, let alone a bunch of them. That's 32 hexadecimal digits.
      • Look, there's no way you're going to convince me to remember one IP6 address, let alone a bunch of them. That's 32 hexadecimal digits.

        I prefer to think of it as eight "quads".

    • Free the net to the people who know how to use it and won't download viruses to their own computers thinking it's antivirus software...

      I do IT work for a living, and I dont even know my routers IPv6 address.... what on EARTH makes you think people will want to keep a list of those?

      Has it even occurred to you that there are dozens of legitimate IT reasons to use DNS? Like, say, not having to reconfigure all of your VPN clients every time you do an ISP change? Or enabling your finance folks to use email on the road through a web browser?

      And while we're at it, you do realize a vast vast vast majority of virus infections do NOT come fr

      • by scdeimos (632778)

        And while we're at it, you do realize a vast vast vast majority of virus infections do NOT come from people manually downloading and installing viruses, right? That most are from plugin exploits?

        Yeah, right. Because nobody at all falls for those "Your computer's time is out of sync!" or "A virus is trying to infect your computer!" popup messages. I had to pat my fiancée on the head just last week for clicking one of those... luckily she has a guest-like account, so almost no damage was done.

    • This isn't as unreasonable as it sounds.

      I remember getting a huge foldout "Map of the Internet" in PC Magazine in the early 90s. In that era you really needed something like that to seed an address book (or circle of trust) because everything from your browser to search engines was so primitive. If I remember right, some of the addresses in that map were just IP addresses and it made no difference at all. You were going to type something odd into the URL bar anyway so, who cares if it's random numbers or

  • by Josh Triplett (874994) on Monday November 29, 2010 @09:27PM (#34382874) Homepage

    On the one hand, I absolutely want to see control over domain names taken out of anyone's hands (not just ICANN's).

    However, decentralized naming is a *hard* problem. Only one entity can control a given domain name, and something, either human or automated, must decide who gets that domain name. Whether by fiat or general consensus, some process must exist to handle the case where multiple people want the same name. ("First come first served" does not suffice unless you have fees or some other measure to prevent mass registration, and decentralized control makes those measures difficult.)

    (Numbers, by comparison, prove quite trivial; just use public keys. But people don't like typing in long numbers, they like typing in *names*.)

    • by hey! (33014) on Monday November 29, 2010 @09:48PM (#34383040) Homepage Journal

      Hard it may be, but it has been solved, and all the necessary protocols and software exist to implement the solution. All you need is an alternative organization and the ability to convince the people you are interested in convincing to use the new servers.

      As for the policy challenges you mention, Mr. Sunde doesn't *like* the way ICANN solved those problems. In fact he detests it so much he's willing (or thinks he's willing) to chuck the policy and organization that controls it out the window. Or perhaps he'll figure out a way to use his preferred servers and fall back to ICANN's DNS.

    • by jack2000 (1178961)
      For starters mirror the current root dns but refuse to remove any domains if they were tampered with by the RIAA and the like.
      Remove all squated/harvested domains. (It's easy detect those), smarter people could think of what's next but this is a pretty good start.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Tacvek (948259)

        In case you don't know, the root zone is a text file that is only a little over 200 kB. It has only a handful (relatively speaking) of domains. The official root zone is published, and you could set up your own DNS server that serves it. [1]

        The important servers are the gtld zone servers. Those are the ones with millions of domains. They are the ones that the federal government is meddling with. They handle insane volumes of traffic [2]. To the best of my knowledge the gTLD zone files are not publicly publ

    • by KonoWatakushi (910213) on Monday November 29, 2010 @10:19PM (#34383290)

      Why continue with the concept of name ownership at all? It should be technically impossible to own a name, in the same way that it should be impossible to monopolize ideas.

      Let people and entities use whatever name they want; the remaining problem is to verify that you are talking to the right host, but you should need to do that anyway. Invariably, any sort of central authority can and will be subverted. What is necessary is some other means of conveying trust, wether that is a web of trust, or some other out of band option.

      This is what I believe we should strive for. The distributed naming system and trust system are orthogonal problems, but need to integrate in a convenient way. So, it is still a hard problem, just not in the same way.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by JesseMcDonald (536341)

      The model underlying Bitcoin [bitcoin.org] may provide a solution. Basically do the same thing, but with domains instead of virtual coins. The peers self-regulate the work required to solve the next block such that a fixed number of blocks (domains) are allocated per unit time; the allocation would be "first come first served", but there would be no possibility of mass registration. Once a name is allocated it can be updated at-will by the one holding its private key, or transferred to another user. Updates and transfers

    • Using public keys as addresses would be pretty sweet, but how do you route traffic through a network with randomly distributed addresses? Ad-hoc routing can work on small scales, but there'd be serious issues making a global network like that.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by burris (122191)

      after Zooko [wikipedia.org]: names can be secure, memorable, or global - pick two. DNS is memorable and global but not secure. Public keys are secure and global but not memorable.

  • Why? (Score:5, Funny)

    by 0123456 (636235) on Monday November 29, 2010 @09:28PM (#34382882)

    Can't he just ask the Chinese to redirect the domain to his server?

  • by moxley (895517) on Monday November 29, 2010 @09:32PM (#34382922)

    We'll call it UCANNT *rimshot*

    Universal Co-op for Assigned Names, Numbers and Timeservers

    Seriously though, I do think a backup system would be a good idea....It's needed in order to stop the growing attempts (that I think we're going to see a lot more of) to control, censor, filter, and police the internet....Due to the practicalities involved in how the system works, I am not certain how plausible it would be to have two competing systems while everything is working smoothly, and there are other points where the system could be messed with, but having a framework in place might not be a bad idea with the political realities we live in...

  • by hey! (33014) on Monday November 29, 2010 @09:41PM (#34382992) Homepage Journal

    It's the same part of me that, were I holding a cigarette lighter and a stick of dynamite, would be tempted to light the stick and throw it like they do in the movies, just to see what an exploding stick of dynamite really looks like. There's been so much greed and stupidity around the DNS, and it would be so *feasible* for someone to set up an independent alternative, I'd sort of like to see what it would look like when the existing system is blown to kingdom come.

    However -- were I ever to be holding an actual stick of dynamite in my hands, the part of me that tends to say things like "this is not the optimum time to make an impulsive decision" would become quite strident. It's not that I would never, under any circumstance light a stick of dynamite and throw it. It's just that it being a really cool idea wouldn't be enough to make me try it until I'd thought through the consequences very, very carefully.

    And as it stands, the DNS system does me more good than it has ever harmed me, and likewise for the vast majority of people who use it. It might be that giving *serious consideration* to a competitive system would do a lot of good, but a competition between two systems in which both survived would almost certainly be a bad thing.

    • There are all sorts of alternative DNS systems: OpenDNS, UnifiedRoot, DNSAdvantage, just to name a few. The kick is getting people to use them.
  • Is Peter the illegitimate son of Karl Denninger? We had the same story 15 years ago.

  • There already is one (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gman003 (1693318) on Monday November 29, 2010 @09:48PM (#34383050)
    OpenNIC. While it mirrors the ICANN addresses, it also adds several new TLDs (.oss, .geek, .parody, even .gopher) which can be easily used. This is but one of the many alternative DNS roots, but it's the most popular, and it's democratically-run.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      I would like to encourage anyone interested in the alt-dns system like Peter, to join OpenNIC (http://www.opennicproject.org). It has great ideals, and is openly and democratically run. Anyone can join this great project and contribute to it. OpenNIC has been around since 2000, and is still going well!
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Darinbob (1142669)
      What does "democratically run" mean? Every single user gets one vote, and all decisions now matter how trivial are voted upon? Or your vote depends upon how much you pay? Or you've got a core group of board members who vote?

      Saying something is democratic is like saying nothing because the term is too broad. Usually when I hear someone say "it's more democratic" they really mean "it works closer to the way I want". Who's to say ICANN is not democratic? They've got board members who vote. Sure it's not
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        What does "democratically run" mean? Every single user gets one vote, and all decisions now matter how trivial are voted upon? Or your vote depends upon how much you pay? Or you've got a core group of board members who vote?

        Democratically run in this instances, means that users who join the OpenNIC mailing list, have the power to vote if they wish on any issue. Anything done within OpenNIC, is first discussed with the members, then motioned for a vote. The down side is, things move slowly, but thats the price you pay to have such system. If a new user has an idea, they can start a discussion and have that diea voted on, then acted upon. Everyone has a voice.

    • Yeah, one would think that a true geek like Peter would know about OpenNIC, or at the very least google before trying to start something new.
  • Or at least, what Alternic was trying to do before Eugene Kashpureff hijacked the "mainstream" domain names to pass through Alternic, and split for Canada to try to beat the heat...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alternic [wikipedia.org]

  • someone has hit the headlines with the idea. it was long time coming. tho there are stuff like opennic (actually im using their dns now). these need more traction.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Well, most of us with half a brain _already_ don't trust ICANN at all. With the signed root, you really just need to push broken DS records to invalidate entire portions of the DNSSEC namespace. The UCSA (United Corporate States of America) is quite clear that it wants to retain control, AND wants to have a "kill switch".

    Well, DNSSEC *IS* by design a kill switch. It has to be, in order to work. So, we have the ccTLD root keys manually locked into our resolvers, not just the signed root. There are ways a

  • a p2p, encrypted, decentralized DNS system. this is what we need.

    we also need to migrate all domain ownerships currently existing in icann registry to it though. else, smartasses or squatters will grab people's domains.
  • How stupid is it that the summary about the lost domain is double the length of the page that it links to (234 vs 117 characters)? I clicked the link to get more information, not less!

    Back on topic, there is a price that you pay for a fairly unregulated domain name market, and that is the occasional stuff up as described here. I have had the opposite problem in the past, attempts to get a domain transfered have been held up despite the owner agreeing to the transfer. Admittedly, losing a name is far worse t

    • by Darinbob (1142669)
      The stuff-up in this case is that Pirate Bay managed to acquire someone else's domain name in the first place.
  • Non Profit (Score:3, Interesting)

    by retech (1228598) on Monday November 29, 2010 @10:29PM (#34383358)
    So by a non profit organization they actually mean that when their bills are paid their salary just keeps increasing? This is just as much as scam as the single family owned and operated ISBN system. It's a wonder that anyone on this planet trusts a US based business anymore.
  • ICAAN started out as real geeks, then became a bunch of fake geeks, now is a bunch of lawyers, and is destined to become a bunch of business exectives until it finally becomes a bunch of ex-elected officials. That's how these organizations evolve once they become responsible for handling real power.
  • . . . till he gets bored of it and it disappears, and all the users are SOL?

    slopsbox anyone?

  • ...and it's running should not be subject to the whims of any organisation like IFPI or RIAA, nor the arbitrary laws of any country, even the US of A.

    Do it, now.
  • OpenNIC (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Instead of starting another alt-root DNS system, would it not be better to work cooperatively with an already heavily establish alt-root system, such as OpenNIC (http://opennicproject.org), they've proven previously that, unlike ICANN, they have a working democratic system to their DNS management!

  • The link on the text "lost a domain" points to Mr. Sunde's Twitter feed, providing me with one sentence in his own words stating exactly what the summary did. That's pointless. The whole reason I'd click a link is to get more information about the situation described, preferably from a neutral source (or one that acknowledges its bias). Similarly, a link on the text "suspicious of ICANN for a long time" suggests a resource indicative of that long time, not one stupid tweet.

    I actually sort of like Twitter, b

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