Re: Who Really Controls Internet?

ICANN is the organization that decides, among other things, what

> top-level domains are allowed -- a top-level domain being .com, .org, > .uk, etc. The nameservers it controls maintain those, so when you type > in "
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", your computer's message ("Send me that Web > page") goes to the right place. > Yes, it's more complicated than that. But I covered the complexities > of the workings of the Net in an earlier column. > What's important is that _he who controls the root nameservers > controls the traffic on the Internet._ And right now that's the > government of the U.S. of A. (Cue patriotic music.) > But ICANN is a private organization, and it's supervision by the DoC > is based on a memorandum of understanding that was written in 1997, > when "the President directed the Secretary of Commerce to privatize > the management of the domain name system (DNS) in a manner that > increases competition and facilitates international participation in > its management."

Those are just TLD name servers, nothing more. The Internet would still work if those were to just disappear but it would be less useful or easy to use than it is now.

Every server gets an IP address. That's what you really use to connect. DNS is just there to translate human readable to machine readable.

For example:

Doing a lookup for Ebay brings up:


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Non-authoritative answer: Name: Addresses:,,, Aliases:
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In other words, hit ebay and your request directs to one of the addresses listed.

Yes its clunky. But in the early days we used it. Many servers had and still have hosts files where you could put a readable name and it's ip address and all requests first went to hosts, then out to any available DNS servers.

For example -- at my current place of employment we host several database servers which then connect across a point to point connection to a cluster at a different location. We use host entires on our machines to get at the servers on the cluster.

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Tony P.
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