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U.S. Calls For Public Meeting on ICANN Replacement 155

Posted by Zonk
from the talking-the-net-with-uncle-sam dept.
Glyn writes "The Register is reporting that the US government is holding a public meeting at the end of July over what should happen to ICANN when its contract is renewed in September. In the meantime, it has opened a public comment board where you are able to email comments for the US government and the rest of the world to see. The board is open now but comments need to be sent by this Friday, 7 July. The email postal address is DNSTransition@ntia.doc.gov."
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U.S. Calls For Public Meeting on ICANN Replacement

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  • by bombboyer (948246) on Monday July 03, 2006 @02:35AM (#15648524) Homepage Journal
    "the email postal address is..." Must be going to Ted Stevens' [wired.com] office.
    • by lightyear4 (852813) on Monday July 03, 2006 @02:38AM (#15648531) Homepage
      Aww, give the guy a break - I know when I get an internet delivered to my inbox, it takes a long time to download too.
    • Aww, come on now, give the nice Brits at The Register a break! English is not their first language. :-) Those folks in particular make tech even more interesting to read about.

      Seriously, I gather that is an address for "official" correspondance. Maybe in England, postal has a different meaning than is implied by "going postal"...or something.
    • LOL I commented on that one. That dude is a complete idiot, I can't believe they let people like that into office. Actualy, the sadist thing is that I can believe they let idiots like that into office.
      • LOL I commented on that one. That dude is a complete idiot, I can't believe they let people like that into office.

        There's not a lot fundamentally wrong with what he wrote; mainly he's just guilty of getting all the jargon wrong. I think his main point was that the Internet has limited capacity, and that users can impact each other, which is true. Anybody with filesharing roomates can attest to that. IMHO the main thing he got wrong is assuming that net neutrality would require ISPs to serve different cus

        • The proposed amendment would have allowed telcos to limit traffic by type but not by destination. If Verizon wanted to block Vonage's VoIP traffic for their customers, they would need to block their own (and all other VoIP traffic) too. Same goes for different packet queueing. The address Senator Stevens made was wrong in ways not limited to jargon. Other readers and myself touched on some of them in comments made under that news story.
      • Actualy, the sadist thing is that I can believe they let idiots like that into office.

        I believe you meant the "Actually" and "saddest thing," Mr. Black Pot.

  • Email postal address? This must be part of the US Government's revolutionary new program to send mail from place to place via the postal service allowing actual paper mail to be sent from place to place rather than just data! Revolutionary!
    • I was thinking something similar. However, at worst it is redundant, because the most basic definition for the term post is "mail." So it would be like saying "The mail mail address is." It was worth pointing out for the sake of clarity though. The original post should be reposted without a postal, a la post ad hoc.
    • Some years back the USPS was actually considering [com.com] linking every snail mail address to an email address, so we could really have had email postal addresses. They seem to have let the idea die a quiet death however.
    • Email postal address? This must be part of the US Government's revolutionary new program to send mail from place to place via the postal service allowing actual paper mail to be sent from place to place rather than just data! Revolutionary!

      It was not unknown for the German post office to sucessfully deliver letters with only an email address on them something like 15 years ago.
  • by nbannerman (974715) on Monday July 03, 2006 @02:48AM (#15648543)
    The last time ICANN was discussed in detail here, it was with regards to the .xxx TLD. Inevitably, the discussion descended into a bit of a flame-war regarding the neutrality of the entire process, given ICANN being a 'US-influenced' governing body.

    So, if no-one country controls the internet, do my American friends agree that the time has come to create a new body to oversee the decision making process. A truly global body for a truly global infrastructure.

    Personally, I do think it is right that all groups get an equal say in the future of the internet. We've got to work together otherwise we run the risk of fragmentation, which is the last thing anyone (apart from China I guess) wants. What say you guys?

    (I'm not trying to start a flame war, but this question was always going to be asked...
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 03, 2006 @03:18AM (#15648596)
      As a European, I feel more confident in the future of the Internet if DNS remains into American control than if it were to be placed into the hands of a UN-like international body. There are too many dictatorships in the world who would seek to hinder freedom on the net, and who often rise to positions they are unworthy of in international bodies (remember the fiasco with the UN human rights commission?); and there are too many small, underdeveloped countries whose votes can simply be bought (and routinely are in the UN assembly).
      • > I feel more confident in the future of the Internet if DNS remains into American control than if it were to be placed into the hands of a UN-like international body. There are too many dictatorships in the world who would seek to hinder freedom on the net.

        So I don't understand why you prefer "American control" then.

      • Now, the US ain't exactly the advocate of freedom on the net anymore either...
      • And what would you think about some kind of meritocracy, like the Nobel comitee ? Take the National Science Foundation (still american, I know, but presumably somehow independant from government inference) and make them nominate recognized computer scientists at the head of ICANN. Not quite the ideal system, but this one could work...
      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 03, 2006 @06:31AM (#15648995)

        As a European, I feel more confident in the future of the Internet if DNS remains into American control than if it were to be placed into the hands of a UN-like international body.

        Would you also feel more confident if the UN's ITU, which is the world's oldest international organisation, which runs the worldwide phone system, were dismantled in favour of a USA-run phone system? After all, the USA are the ones with phonnes that can't dial emergency numbers reliably, that charge for incoming calls and text messages, that have monopolies caused by deregulation and state-sponsored corporations. Surely you want the whole world to have that level of service?

        Telecoms is one thing that the UN does very well and the USA does very badly. Your confidence is misplaced.

      • As a European, I feel more confident in the future of the Internet if DNS remains into American control than if it were to be placed into the hands of a UN-like international body. There are too many dictatorships in the world who would seek to hinder freedom on the net, and who often rise to positions they are unworthy of in international bodies (remember the fiasco with the UN human rights commission?); and there are too many small, underdeveloped countries whose votes can simply be bought (and routinely
    • And I want to have a say in how microsoft does business, but then again I didn't create microsoft, so I don't get to control it.
      • Microsoft is a company, the internet is not. You are not really comparing like-for-like I'm afraid; there is a fundamental difference between the two. The internet is essentially a service these days, and thus warrants a different level of control, especially considering how deeply it has entered areas of society.
      • by A beautiful mind (821714) on Monday July 03, 2006 @03:48AM (#15648647)
        This argument does not stand, as everyone did create their own little wan, and they just connected it each other. The argument that the USA created the first WAN and everyone linked to it is irrelevant, except from a historical viewpoint.

        The USA didn't wire the whole world, fund the whole process and doesn't _maintain_ the whole thing, so this argument is moot. The idea that somehow creating/inventing it alone (which is not true, but let's not go there) would give you the right to control it, even though others are maintaining/building/improving it too, is basically a patent idea on what? Mathematics and networking protocols? Anyway, you didn't patent it, and even if you did, it would have expired long ago, and even if it wouldn't have, other countries wouldn't consider them valid, and even if they would, I would still consider them stupid if they would have existed in the first place.

        Weird, I know that sharing seems to be some kind of leftist hippy idea, but that is the only thing bringing our civilisation forward: sharing of information (especially the beneficital ones, like science). You don't get to "create" mathematics. It existed before, you merely discovered it.

        Your (and those who tout the 'we created it, we own it' argument) biggest problem is misdirected patriotism. Be proud of your country in different ways. Similarly this is also the problem with your foreign policy: unilaterialism. I don't have to enlist the problems and disaster that policy lead to in regards your country.

        Seriously, put this argument to death. I'm sick and tired to hear it every time this issue comes up.

        Or maybe you should just stop infringing the british-created legal system. ;)
        • While your concerns for not wanting the Internet to remain exclusively under ICANN's control are understandable, you are pointing out the (absurdly obvious) problem, and offering your share of criticisms, without offering anything resembling a solution. What agency or entity would you have govern the Internet? The U.N.?

          I don't trust American politicians -- and I'm an American -- but I trust the U.N. even less. Mind you, I don't know what the solution is, but I do know what it is not. Right now there are
          • by A beautiful mind (821714) on Monday July 03, 2006 @08:40AM (#15649399)
            (...), and offering your share of criticisms, without offering anything resembling a solution.
            Why would I offered a solution in my grandparent post? I was debunking a misconception. It is a complete argument on its own.

            But since...
            So, please finish the rest of your comment and enlighten us, what is your solution?
            ...you're asking for my opinion, I'll elaborate on it a bit.

            A new agency/organization in charge of the DNS system would have to satisfy the following in my opinion:
            • Be a fair representation, relative to the number of the people using the Internet. That rules out the influence of dictatorships totally. There is more than enough weight from Europe, US and India to counter any negative effect.
            • Be technically-savvy. It shouldn't be the business comittee ICANN is, rather it should be managing the root DNS servers. That rules out Verisign profiteering, because they wouldn't be let to sell domains at $7 compared to $0.03 in their expenses. This is kind of similar to the idea you cited in your post, about appointing people of technical merit to lead the organization. I find that a good solution.
            • Their primary goal should be the current operation, future improving and even research for a better DNS system.
            Now we only have to figure out where to find such organization.

            Personally, I don't think the fears from the UN are justified. The UN already has a lot of worldwide organizations, doing excellent work (do I need to cite ITU, WHO, UNICEF, etc?). If the organization is set up like I've described above, then it is basically independent from any other influence described. The organization would only belong in title to the UN and financially. It would be really distant from the General Assembly of the UN, which is where the dictators lurk. Noone could influence the organization once its set up from the General Assembly, as the USA has the veto power to block any resolutions coming from there.

            It is certainly the lesser of two evils and I don't think it would be too far fetched to say that most likely it would even be a positive approach.
        • Weird, I know that sharing seems to be some kind of leftist hippy idea, but that is the only thing bringing our civilisation forward: sharing of information (especially the beneficital ones, like science).

          That would presumably make the people who wrote the US Constitution "leftist hippies". Given that encouraging sharing of information is the only reason the US Constitution allows the likes of copyrights and patents.
      • And I want to have a say in how microsoft does business, but then again I didn't create microsoft, so I don't get to control it.

        You don't get to control Microsoft because you are not the current owner of Microsoft. It doesn't matter who originally came up with the business idea.
    • by FuturePastNow (836765) on Monday July 03, 2006 @03:34AM (#15648622)
      Well, as the AC says, the UN is essentially beholden to the dictatorships that make up its majority. I know, I know, cue the inevitable response that the United States is just as bad. Well, our "dictators" go away after a fixed amount of time, and while some of our nuttier politicians get ideas in their heads about things like .xxx, you'll notice that they talk a lot while things stay the same.

      Giving all groups equal say in the future of the internet would be a disaster for free expression. Backwards theocracies like Saudi Arabia would push restrictions on pornography and criticism of religion. China would, of course, want anything critical of its sytem blocked. The list goes on.

      You don't think it would be this bad? Fine. I think it would be worse. The status quo, while imperfect, is the best way to go. My $0.02
           
      • Ahh, now, I'm not suggesting that the UN route is the right way to go. And you are of course right, any extreme points from any source will introduce disruption. I certainly wouldn't go as far as to say that the US is anywhere near as bad as China, or Saudi Arabia mind you.

        When any one nation has more power than the others, there is a problem. Of course, there is probably an Animal Farm quote which would be appropriate about everyone being equal.
        • by Anonymous Coward
          Perhaps the most democratic way to do it would be by basing votes on who has the most money invested in the Internet or money affected by the Internet. These groups would have the most to lose if someone fscked it up. A quick guess would have the US, EU, Japan, and China to have the vast majority of the votes (probably in about that order). It's certainly not a perfect system (it doesn't prevent rich countries from be biased against the poorer countries), but it certainly beats having a country like Cuba
        • When any one nation has more power than the others, there is a problem.

          Nations allied with the U.S. during the Cold War didn't seem to mind the power that the U.S. wielded back then. For that matter, the Eastern Bloc nations probably didn't mind the power of the Soviet Union, either. It's all a matter of context, really. Sometimes, excessive power can be a good thing (eg. two powerful enemies balancing out so they don't annihilate themselves and everyone in between), sometimes it's not so good. Whether th

        • I say give it to the UN security council. That way NOTHING will ever get done.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Well, as the AC says, the UN is essentially beholden to the dictatorships that make up its majority. I know, I know, cue the inevitable response that the United States is just as bad. Well, our "dictators" go away after a fixed amount of time, and while some of our nuttier politicians get ideas in their heads about things like .xxx, you'll notice that they talk a lot while things stay the same.

        The UN has a proven track record of not fucking up telecommunications as evidenced by the ITU. The USA has a p

        • What is nutty about allowing .xxx? So far, the only complaints I have heard are against requiring .xxx, which is a total straw-man argument that has no bearing on allowing .xxx as a TLD.

          Actually there are plenty of arguments against adding additional TLDs.
        • The reason people are against 'allowing' .xxx is because they realize that nobody just wants to allow it. Anyone who wants to regulate "smut," who are the main proponents of .xxx and similar schemes, must necessarily eventually want to make its use required by all porn sites, since without this requirement it has no value.

          (Obligatory Godwin's-law-violating analogy: it's like somebody arguing that there's no problem in just building a concentration camp, since they're never going to require that anyone actua
      • Sometimes consensus is not the best way to go. Most *working* modern structures require some sort of "benevolent dictator". Well there should be limits but I know for a fact that giving everybody an equal voice distracts from focus. As they say: "Camels are horses designed by consensus"
      • The fatal flaw with the UN way of "one vote one country" is that it blows "one vote one person" out of the water. Why should the vote of a person in the Vatican count for the votes of 1,409,843 people in China? What about doign things the Internet way and completely eliminating country boundaries by considering:

        • One vote per IP address,
        • One vote per domain name, or
        • One vote per person (verified by a trust mechanism)?

        Each of the above is an approximation to the ideal of one vote per person.

        • One vote per IP address
          Won't work. Users in developing countries are often behind four or five layers of NAT. Many countries are afraid to even ask for additional IP addresses, fearing that they will lose face if their requests are denied.
        • The Vatican does not have a vote in the General Assembly. It has permanent observer status, and in 2004 was granted ordinary membership but without a vote.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holy_See#Internationa l_organizations [wikipedia.org]
        • Because one person one vote is ludicrous if it ignores power.

          Saying the vote of an religious hermit should be the same as an equipped warrior who is morally ready to kill you ignores reality. The UN was supposed to be a way to work things out with words instead of the battlefield. If it ignores that fact, it will just lead to war again when 100 peaceniks vote themselves too many rights over the 3 people willing to kill the peaceniks when pushed too far.
      • Please offer some data to support the idea that the majority of countries in the world are 'dictatorships'.
      • If the UN was beholden to dictatorships, these dictatorships would have gotten rid of the Human Rights declaration [un.org] decades ago. The Human Rights, which is the defining document of the UN, has been giving these dictators head-aches since the UN was formed after the last big war. So stop listening to those right-wing nut jobs on the radio, their one dimensional world view is boring and wrong.

        The irony is that these days also the US government is having problems because of its Human Rights abuses, and like

        • The original 53 member Commission on Human Rights was based in Geneva and is now being REPLACED by the UN and seats are being filled by vote of the General Assembly. Seats are apportioned in such a way that there are a total of 7 out of 47 seats to be filled from Western Europe, North America and other states not located in Eastern Europe (6), Asia (13), Latin America and Carribean (8), and Africa (13). After the voting to fill the seats China, Cuba, Mexico, Saudi Arabian and Jordan were some of the shinin
      • People with your viewpoint gave the NSA the idea that it was okay to spy on them. Things have become worse, you just don't care.
    • by dragons_flight (515217) on Monday July 03, 2006 @03:41AM (#15648639) Homepage
      As an American, I don't think that is an easy question to answer. At face value, a system that Americans control (or at least substantially influence) is more likely to protect American interests than any other system. There are any number of countries (e.g. China, Iran, Saudia Arabia, North Korea) that could desire to place controls on the internet that would be opposed to freedom and/or American interests. I can't help but recall the farce by which Libya got to run the UN Human Rights Commission.

      At the same time, if ICANN were replaced by an international body strongly influenced by, for example, Europeans then we might well have more freedom and be less likely to see puritanical elements in the US getting a say over network decisions.

      However, for the moment I think that the devil that we have is doing an okay job, and would hesitate to replace that with a devil that we don't know. Basically, I worry that an international body could end up being influenced by countries without a tradition of free speech in ways that could have a far more chilling effect on the internet than anything ICANN has ever done.
    • I think you're quite right; except I can't see why China would want a fragmented internet. China's influence in culture, finance and politics is growing ever stronger. Just as an example: in little, insignificant Denmark, where a few years ago, the only foreign languages anyone could imagine learning would be either English, German or French, public schools are now increasingly offering Chinese courses. English as a second language is slowly becoming less important, simply, and in the future speaking Chines
    • No (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Monday July 03, 2006 @05:22AM (#15648809)
      Because I don't want a group that rules by fiat. ICANN's power comes purely form the fact that peopel choose to listen to them. They've no real enforcement power. What happens is the roots trust ICANN. That is to say that ICANN gives out a root rone file that the root-servers.net roots use. Those roots are then what most DNS servers trust, meaning if they need info they don't have, they ask the roots where to look.

      But that's all just a de facto agreement. The roots could, at any time, stop accepting ICANN updates, or start listinging to someone else as well. Likewise you already can have your DNS servers pointed at additonal or alternate roots. There's a number of them out there, OpenNIC being one.

      So it's a situation similar to search engines, just with ICANN being even larger than Google. There can be, and are, alternative lookup systems. The ICANN roots are just the de facto standard.

      Ok well the problem is if you create a new body with legslative power, suddenly this all goes away. The UN, or whoever runs it, mandidates that this is the ONLY DNS roots and you all play ball with them. They do what they please with it, including caving to the demands of the many undemocratic members, and there's fuck-all you can do about it.

      What really needs to happen is that if other orginizations like the EU want their own DNS they need to stop bitching and put their money where their mouth is. Make a set of root servers, good ones, well ocnnected and stable like the root-servers.net roots. Don't make them take the ICANN zone file directly, however. Have them talk to your own org, EUCANN or whatever. Initally, just have it copy the ICANN zone file, subject to approval. Then, once you've got yourself established as a good credible system, talk to ICANN about splitting the zone duties. EUCANN gets all the domains in its' area, ICANN keeps the rest, they both mirror each other's zones.

      I don't want to see the existing infastructure, which works quite well, handed over to the UN.
    • leave it alone. (Score:2, Informative)

      by p51d007 (656414)
      Give it to the UN, and you watch what happens to the net. ANYONE who questions their dictate, will be cut off of the net. The UN is about as anticapitalist as it gets. I mean come on, putting Sudan, Iran on the board of human rights? What a joke.....not to mention the oil for food scandal....
  • by tecker (793737) on Monday July 03, 2006 @02:49AM (#15648544) Homepage
    About the rest of the world on this one. ICANN affects all of them and I dont think that the rest of the world will like the US going: "Well ICANN just isnt doing what we want. So guess what, were thinking of getting rid of them! IANA will be on the chopping block also. HEY AMERICA! Any thoughts?"

    Is there another orgainzation out there that is doing this or is it time to move to IPv6 and an international organization for the Domains and IPs out there.
  • Disturbing... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ZombieEngineer (738752) on Monday July 03, 2006 @02:53AM (#15648550)
    There are several different viewpoints that can be taken here:

    US Federal Government view point (as expressed by the US State Department):
    - The internet was developed with US Government money (and therefore US Government property)
    - We allow foriegn interests access but as long as they play by our rules (eg: stay in your own domain)
    - We will allow anything that furthers our country's interest (eg: promotes trade with the US, preferable in US favour)

    Now has the previous incumbent (ICANN) abided and/or promoted the above?
    Much as people loathe ICANN it has probably has stayed true to the above statements.

    Other countries will probably want to dispute the first item (the rest will crumble) however you are going to have to butt heads with the a group of extremely stubborn (in their view patriotic) bureaucrats.

    Even if ICANN was to be replaced / restructured / whatever, I have some serious doubts if its actions will change.

    Zombie Engineer
    • Each country could essentially create their own internet if they don't want to be part of The Internet.

      It was created by the American government if I understand everything, so maybe The Internet should remain in the hands of the American government. Television, telephones, etc., are different since each country has control over their broadcasting licenses/frequencies/whatever and has control over their own telephone lines within the country. Like American's country code for telephones would be 1.

      There's als
      • "television, telephones, etc., are different" : ever heard of the ITU ?
        • I never heard of that before. Thanks for letting me know.

          Hypothetically, if a country doesn't want to go along with a world wide standards organization, couldn't they break off and do their own thing inside their own geographical boarders?
          • Yes sure. But you may want to brush up your history and look as well to the history of mobile telephony and more specifically the advent of the GSM standard.

            Well ... before the mid-eighties, all countries were separate and going with some sort of separate standards. Then the european countries tought that a common standard may be good for various reasons (roaming, costs, ...).

            The need for a global set of standards, at least for interconncetion, came from the very basic characteristic of internet, phone or p
      • It was created by the American government if I understand everything, so maybe The Internet should remain in the hands of the American government.

        Yes, the friendly government of the USA came to my country in 1992 or whatever, and started laying cables, connecting routers. In around 2001 when I wanted to get broadband, they came around, and gave me the computer I'm writing this post on, then commenced to deploy a cable modem and wire the whole area with cable network. Those handy americans even maintain the

      • How can people misunderstand the internet so much?!? The internet is not confined to any national borders! The internet is no more American than it is French, or Finnish or Swahilian! It is an international network of connected computers that is confined to no national borders! Comments like "Each country could essentially create their own internet if they don't want to be part of The Internet" are ignorant and make no rational sense whatsoever. Please stop making them.
      • Well while I don't agree with that completely, I think if that is to be done...it needs to be done completely. IF the American government wants to retake claim of the internet, I do suppose that it is their own to do so, however, they should forbid all foriegn technologies required by the internet, such as Linux, and all foreign connections, such as to China and Switzerland. Let the USA have the internet, and let the rest of the world have something totally different...even if just in name.
    • Re:Disturbing... (Score:1, Interesting)

      by houghi (78078)

      eg: stay in your own domain

      I agree completely. It should however go both ways. Dump all the .com, .net, .org, .bizz stuff and just use country codes. ONLY country codes.
      Yeah, that means dumping .eu as well.

      It does not mean that people are forced to use their own country code. Some countries will hapily sell it (.to, .tv. ...) to homever wants it.

      What if you are an international organisation? Well, if you are, most likley you will have some international representation as well. If you so desire you can then

      • Just what we need... to break the vast majority of URLs on the web. Brillant!
      • One could just as easily argue the converse. Dump the country codes and have everyone use location neutral identifiers; after all com, net, edu, and org already account for more than 60% of all hosts [nw.com].

        But the truth is that neither proposal will fly. There are too many existing websites to demand that billions (trillions?) of href's be changed to accomodate major architectural deletions to the existing DNS system. And that is to say nothing of the staunchly entrenched national interests in support of the e
      • Re:Disturbing... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by gkhan1 (886823) <oskarsigvardsson.gmail@com> on Monday July 03, 2006 @04:33AM (#15648716)

        This has to be one of the wierdest comments I've ever seen on /. I don't understand, why would we want that? So that people can be restricted to only surf in their own countries? Or are you saying that being international is "stupid", that it's "silly" not to automatically associate a company with a specific nation?

        Let's take a concrete example: wikipedia [wikipedia.org]. It's hosted by a US foundation and most of the servers reside in Florida. This would put it squarely in the .us category, right? But what about the foreign language wikipedias? I doubt there is less than 20 people in the entire US who would be interested in the Norwegian wikipedia [slashdot.org]. So by what crazy logic should the people of norway be forced to access a site completly in norwegian, for norwegians, by norwegians (btw, is that how you spell norwegian?) be forced to access no.wikipedia.us? It's insane! It would also be extremely difficult for the wikimedia foundation to purchuse all the top level domains it would need (there are what, 180 different language wikipedias?) not only because of the administrative pains but also because it would cost way, way more than wikimedia could ever pay. Remember, they're a non-profit, the wikipedia servers are hanging on by a thread as it is! Wikipedia also has extra servers in other countries (I believe they're located in Amsterdam and Hong Kong, but I'm probaly wrong). Should pages going through them have their respective nations top level domains?

        I can't believe you got modded to 4.

        • Correction: The wikipedia servers are located in Florida, Amsterdam, Paris and Seoul, not Hong Kong. I apologise for the error.
        • Why would people be forced to surf only in their countries? Can't you get to http://www.cocacola.be/ [cocacola.be] ?
          And if they can not pay the money, then they don't. What is the differnce of going to no.wikipedia.org and no.wikipedia.us? I see no difference.

          The fact that a server is in one place has nothing to do with what TLD it is attached to. Many people have a tv or to domain, yet I doubt they live there.

          It woud place the resposability to domains into the countries and all these cries for people wanting a xxx TLD o
          • But...but...but....why????? Why would we do this crazy, insane thing of eliminating general tlds? It makes no sense!!! Where would we put www.un.org? Are you against people being able to register domains? I thought it was a good thing that anyone could get a .com domain without any hassle. You know, so there exists stuff on the internet!!!

            And how exactly would restricting people to use national top level domains promote free markets?

            Am I in the Twilight Zone? Are these comments actually real, or am I dr

            • Why? So there won't be any argument anymore if there should yes/no be an extra TLD.
              I am not against people being able to register domains. Why would I be against it? You are very welcome to registe a *.be if you so like. Just as haslefree as a .com, a .net or a .biz.
              www.un.org can be placed in any country that they are willing to place it. What is wrong with having multiple domains ineach and every country that is connected to the UN?
              • So you're saying that....ehmmm....we should break virtually all links on the internet, displace 60% of all domains, essentially plunging the internet into complete chaos, and, not unlikely, heavily damage the world economy in the process so that....ehmmm....we wouldn't have an argument over .xxx? All that, plus we'd lose all of the great context top level domains.

                You are just fucking with me right? I mean, you can't in any way be serious! I am going to get a "YHBT. YHL. HAND." soon right? Otherwise, I gues

            • I was thinking about it, and then I remembered that there was the *.int domain.

              BTW, http://www.un.int/ [un.int] does work as well, and is the "actual" URL for the UN as an international agency.

              Nothing else to see here.... move along.
        • Why do we have TLD's at all?

          Not for information's sake. The lines are very blurry and, for example, I hope that for-profit slashdot is correctly using a .com.

          Frankly, I can't tell why we're still using TLD's. I mean, I can understand the existence of country codes, and sure you could reserve one- or two-character domains, but why go to politics.slashdot.org when you could just go to "http://politics.slashdot"? Alot of the confusion seems to be designed to push selling more redundant domain names-- it isn't
          • Yeah, I know, I've thought of this too. The reason is a historical one ofcourse, the top-level domain told you which root nameserver you should look at. Had the internet been developed today, we probably wouldn't need the tlds and we'd figure out a better approach. But, it is like it is, and that's just fine with me.
      • Why do we want country codes (or com, org, edu, ...) at all?
    • Re:Disturbing... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by 70Bang (805280)

      Even if ICANN was to be replaced / restructured / whatever, I have some serious doubts if its actions will change.

      I'll trump your doubts with some tough love of reality.

      As things continue to be plugged into everything else, more & more restrictions are applied & enforced until & unless that resource (person, place, or thing) provides the US Gov't with a peephole to collect data at any time of their choosing, for any reason, then make use of it in any way they choose. (actually, they may wa
    • Sorry this doesn't make sense at all.

      > - The internet was developed with US Government money

      At one point maybe but we are far beyond that now.

      > - We allow foriegn interests access but as long as they play by our rules

      lol. ICANN just manage the addresses. The rest of the world could just as a easily create thier own version of ICANN and continue on without the US. The US could become like China then.
  • He wants to liberate Cyberspace! Such lofty ideals should resonate with the present administration!!
  • by jkrise (535370) on Monday July 03, 2006 @03:01AM (#15648565) Journal
    World Encompassing Corporation....

    The problem with ICANN is that it seems to cater to the needs, whims, fancies, monpoloies, viewpoints of a ver few entities based in the US.. whereas the internet, in reality, is World Encompassing. Every nation should have representation based on the number of servers hosted in it's soil, amount of bandwidth generated, etc.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      ICANN has its problem -- some of them pretty awful, but does anyone here honestly believe that the US government is just trying to make the Internet a better place for all the rest of us? Does anyone honestly believe the current US government would replace ICANN with something more open, democratic, and more reactive to the needs of most Internet users and our interests? Does anyone think the rest of the world is likely to go along with whatever scheme for ICANN's replacement is dreamed up by the incompeten
    • by BrynM (217883) * on Monday July 03, 2006 @03:40AM (#15648637) Homepage Journal
      Every nation should have representation based on the number of servers hosted in it's soil, amount of bandwidth generated, etc.

      If they did it by registered domain names (IPs), Tuvalu [wikipedia.org] could finally pass [domaintools.com] Sierra Leone, Grenada, Liberia, Somalia and French Guiana as a major world power!

      (as a side note, I came across this [visibone.com] cool map hunting the links)
    • Wouldn't that cause major issues similar to how certain US states have MANY more representatives in power based on their larger populations? I can only imagine how greatly the US' server numbers overshadow those of other countries, at least until everyone moves their servers to Sweden to evade/screw the **AA's.

      Besides, the internet should be used to elevate countries in dire need of economic development, and since they would currently be poorer, less tech-saavy countries, they would almost certainly be un
  • This is ./ (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rritterson (588983) on Monday July 03, 2006 @03:08AM (#15648574)
    This is the sort of news that I wish dominated slashdot, instead of the more inane microsoft vs linux vs everything else. The overwhelming number of trival Apple did this today articles could be toned down too.

    Did you have any idea that this meeting was happening before you read it here? I sure didn't. We (as a community) are probably one of the most qualified to offer a public comment to the board. Kudos to the editors for posting it.

    Also, please don't whine about how the US is trying to control the internet until you've at least sent a public comment to the people who need to here it most.
    • Re:This is ./ (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      "We (as a community) are probably one of the most qualified to offer a public comment to the board."

      That probably should be true, but the reality is that Slashdot is one of the largest collections of irrational kooks I have seen on the web. So many are bitter and petty and consumed by a seething nature. They keep trying to hate their way out of an inferiority complex not realising its that hate that makes them inferior in the first place. Slashdot is one of the last places I would trust for good ideas for g
  • by SeaFox (739806)
    It looks like they're about to get ICANNED. :-)

    [ducking]
  • certainly to be fair the USA did invent the internet, and has been gracious enough to share it with the rest of the world.

    the desire for the U.S. to retain oversight of DNS/IP space issues is understandable.

    the danger that in trying to maintain the status quo, the EU or Chinese ...etc get pissed and split off and set up their own DNS/IPspace... fragmenting the internet in to multiple seperate networks.... which i doubt anyone really wants ...

    as I recall a few months ago the USA was pretty insis
  • by sane? (179855) on Monday July 03, 2006 @04:26AM (#15648703)
    Why not just accept that any government, or pseudo government organisation, will make a screw up of anything to do with something like the Internet. To much ego, to little clue.

    The replacement for ICANN should first and foremost not be beholden to any government; and secondly be populated by those who understand what the Internet is - not politicians, accountants, managers, economists, philosophers, etc.

    Open elections for qualified candidates should be voted upon by a similar pool of qualified voters.

    Things should return to people who know what they are doing, care, and have an interest in moving things forward. Have you noticed how progress has essentially stopped once the politicos got involved?

  • I hope every slashdotter will mail them, just like I have: Dear Sir/Madam, I, as a citizen of Ireland and the EU, think with respect, the Internet should have a world governing body, fairly appointed by each country who has more than 30% of their respective populations online. For those under 30% they should get to have a sub-committee, to prioritise and promote the Internet in their country's. I think while although ICANN has generally not been a bad governing body, vast improvements can be made, such as
  • The status quo (Score:3, Informative)

    by Shohat (959481) on Monday July 03, 2006 @05:03AM (#15648780) Homepage
    With all due respect , the status quo is fine . It's all good . Yes , there are interests and money flying around and some small issues , but frankly the current situations is much better than having a multi-headed International even more interest-torn organization .
  • That's what was always the beauty of IP, right ? Everything can be decentralized - packet fails to travel over default route ? Throw it over another route. Mail fails to be delivered through default MTA ? Try the second MTA. Piece of the net goes down ? No worries - the rest is still holding up. That very thought is the beauty and the strength of IP, and that's what we should keep. There are, of course, many 'subcategories' of the internet that are in dire need of a rebuild (CA's, email, DNS, IPv4 -
  • You Betcha (Score:5, Interesting)

    by karl.auerbach (157250) on Monday July 03, 2006 @06:15AM (#15648954) Homepage
    Does ICANN need to be replaced or reformed into something almost entirely new? You Betcha!

    A few years back I was elected to the ICANN board - and I voted against all the junk that is today being recognized as a disaster, such as the perpetual grant of .com to Verisign. But when I decided to look at how ICANN spends its money, they decided to unlawfully block me, forcing me to sue 'em (I won) - ICANN reacted by erasing public seats on the board of directors.

    Today, ICANN has erased virtually all forms of public participation - to the degree that you and I can't even observe how ICANN makes its decisions. Yet, at the same time the dns registries (Verisign et al), all the big telcos, and the intellectual property get the red carpet treatment - to the degree that ICANN is now gifting some on the order $300,000,000 per yer out of the pockets of captive .com customers into Verisign's bank account (this is based on an estimate of the cost of about $0.03 to deliver the service that ICANN allows Verisign to charge $7.00 for.)

    ICANN, with the help of NTIA, is really nothing more than a mideavel guild - it sets product descriptions, terms of sale, and choses who can be a member of the guild. In modern terms it is a combination in restraint of trade. Those are often illegal in the US and elsewhere, but few are willing to play hardball and ask that question in court because of the hand of the US government agency, NTIA, that rests on ICANN's shoulder. Yet NTIA, like many of the actions of todays US gov't are based on rather fancyful readings of the constitution or statutes and may, when reviewed, be found to be excessive claims.

    So it is quite appropriate that people remember that tomorrow is the 4th of July - and should remember that just as the Declaration of Independence cited grievances against King George III, you should send your concerns and complaints to NTIA by the 7th.
    • I will absolutely raise my voice and send a complaint, and mention your name and the efforts you made to work with ICANN.

      I completely agree that ICANN doesn't really represent the ordinary internet user, or even the ordinary internet developer who really understands the protocols and can make more sense than the explanation by Sen. Ted Stevens (as just happened), or silly claims by politicians to have "invented" the internet.

      As for the rest of what you said.... ditto or amen. You nailed this one.
    • The finances issue was not a question of "transparency" or "good governance".

      It is the *purpose* of a board of directors to oversee how an organization spends money. ICANN did not have a legitimate reason to hide budget information from a board member because they *couldn't* have a good reason because there can never be a good reason.

      An organization which goes to court rather than let its board do its fundamental job is gravely ill and may be incurable.
  • by abigsmurf (919188) on Monday July 03, 2006 @06:39AM (#15649018)
    Yes you (the US) created the networking protocols but guess what, The world wide web was created by CERN which is comprised of European countries. Without Europe websites WOULD NOT EXIST. The government is acting in an extremely stupid manner. Supposing they get rid of ICANN and put in place a system controlled by the US government. Will Europe and most of the rest of the world like that? Not a chance. Supposing that net neutrality bill comes through and European ISPs suddenly have to pay to send their traffic to the US, I'll imagine they'll like that even less. With the net suddenly controlled by a single government and business from that country, I'd give it... 3 months before the US net becomes isolated and the rest of the world has it's own net. Remember the great depression? One of the leading reasons for it was isolationism. Considering how much the net it worth to businesses, having the US net seperate from the rest of the world would hit overseas business hugely. These companies stop making money, share prices go down, investment funds start to devalue, smaller banks start getting uneasy and calling in loans and selling assets.... Oh lookie, a stock market crash!

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