Re: United States Says No! Internet is Ours!

In article , TELECOM Digest Editor noted in response to Garrett Wollman by writing:

"The internet is controlled to a large extent by the 'root servers';

No, it is not. The Internet is controlled to a large extent by thousands of system administrators, who set up the servers on which Internet applications run. One of configuration choices they make is the set of root name servers. Currently, at least in the developed world, they choose to use a set of root name servers some of which happen to be operated under contract to the U.S. government. There is no law requiring them to do so; they are free to use any set of root name servers they wish.

My guess is that the ultimate result of the USG intransigeance on this issue will be for other countries to start up their own root name servers (or to co-opt those already located on their territory) and require ISPs to use those servers rather than the USG-sponsored ones. (I would be surprised if the likes of China and Iran were not already doing so. Certainly the Golden Shield makes it trivial for the PRC government to spoof or redirect any DNS traffic they choose.) This would not be a disaster, although it would be a distinctly suboptimal outcome, since the DNS works best when there is a single, consistent answer for every query, and every user has the same view of the world. But it is emphatically not necessary (and for peer-to-peer applications it is entirely irrelevant).

writing to a very one-sided 'contract' presented to them by ICANN and > make an annual extortion payment required by ICANN which goes to fund > the overseas trips and other friviolities in which ICANN engages

whine, whine, whine...

Of course it has nothing to say about you having any rights > such as the right to be free of others sending spam or scam or viruses

Perhaps because you have no such right, and it would not be in ICANN's power to give it to you even if they wanted to.

ICANN _could_ have written contracts for users with some protections > for users built in if they had wanted to,

No, it could not have. (A trademark lawyer would argue to the contrary, that in fact all those requirements that you decry are in fact put there to protect users from mistaken identity on the part of the site they think they're communicating with, just as trademark law protects consumers who buy a brand-name product from getting something else. It is certainly not ICANN's role to be the enforcer of morality, or even of good business practice, on the 'net -- I'm certain you'd be bellyaching about that if they tried! Governments are the appropriate bodies to regulate such behavior, if anyone is.)


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Garrett Wollman
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