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United States Cedes Control of the Internet 508

Posted by samzenpus
from the learning-to-share dept.
greenechidna writes "The Register is reporting that the U.S. is relinquishing control of ICANN. The story states: 'In a meeting that will go down in internet history, the United States government last night conceded that it can no longer expect to maintain its position as the ultimate authority over the internet. Having been the internet's instigator and, since 1998, its voluntary taskmaster, the US government finally agreed to transition its control over not-for-profit internet overseeing organization ICANN, making the organization a more international body.'"
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United States Cedes Control of the Internet

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  • by winkydink (650484) * <sv.dude@gmail.com> on Thursday July 27, 2006 @09:15AM (#15790648) Homepage Journal
    Here's what the LA Times has to say, which is quite different from the "day in history of the Internet" crap:

    U.S. Unlikely to Yield Web Oversight Yet
    Federal officials seem inclined to extend a deadline for privatizing control of the Internet's address system.
    By Jim Puzzanghera, Times Staff Writer
    July 27, 2006

    WASHINGTON -- The federal government appeared unlikely to relinquish oversight of the system for assigning and managing website domain names after a Commerce Department hearing Wednesday raised broad concerns about giving an obscure Marina del Rey nonprofit unsupervised control.

    read the rest [latimes.com]
    • by voice_of_all_reason (926702) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @09:16AM (#15790661)
      Even the original article is contradictory:

      However, assistant commerce secretary John Kneuer, the US official in charge of such matters, also made clear that the US was still determined to keep control of the net's root zone file

      Is this a time paradox?
      • Even the original article is contradictory:

        Not really -- it's more like the US's position is contradictory or more realistically, a facade:

        "The historic role that we announced that we were going to preserve is fairly clearly articulated: the technical verification and authorisation of changes to the authoritative root," Kneuer explained following an afternoon of explicit statements from US-friendly organisations and individuals that it was no longer viable for one government to retain such power over the future of a global resource.

        Despite the sentiments, however, it was apparent from the carefully selected panel and audience members that the internet - despite its global reach - remains an English-speaking possession. Not one of the 11 panel members, nor any of the 22 people that spoke during the meeting, had anything but English as their first language.

        So the US is more than happy turn over administrative control of the Internet domains to ICANN, but retains the right to control the root structure. In essence, ICANN becomes a semi-legitimized world front for the Internet. Other countries can't claim they don't have control over the process now, and the United States retains the true power. This will appease a few countries but on the whole nothing will change. In the end, the US hasn't given up a thing but a bloated and malformed beaureaucracy anyway.

      • by dr_dank (472072) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @09:52AM (#15790997) Homepage Journal
        and Senator Ted Stevens was quoted as saying "Get away from my tubes, you damn fool kids!".
    • by andrewman327 (635952) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @09:22AM (#15790714) Homepage Journal
      Again it seems that the writeup got some things wrong. The United States has been doing an overall good job of running things. I do not mind the US being in control and I do not see major advantages to handing over control. I also disagree with some of the things that ICANN has proposed in the past.


      In the status quo Internet traffic is not very censored or controlled by the US and things just plain work. I think this is a very good arrangement.

      • Wow, support the US government and get modded flamebait.


        Anyway, I am eager to get to the bottom of these contrasting reports. The US has asserted in the past that it will not hand over control, so I was shocked when I read this writeup. What are the disadvantages of the current system?

      • by ??? (35971) <.k. .at. .kobly.com.> on Thursday July 27, 2006 @10:48AM (#15791537)
        While censorship is bad, it is certainly not why people are concerned with ICANN.

        ICANN is making policy decisions (such as which gTLDs to add to the roots and resolution of disputes over domain names) when its authority to make these decisions is murky at best. It has made policy decisions, such as ceding control of .com/.net to Verisign, which have led to unnecessary monopoly situations, and resulting inflated prices. The decisions on gTLDs to add to the root were driven primarily by domestic politics, rather than legitimate technical and governance concerns. These policy decisions affect Internet users around the world. ICANN is answerable to none of these users. ICANN is only effectively answerable to the U.S. Department of Commerce. As such, it makes it decisions in the interests of the DoC, which are not necessarily aligned with the interests of the user community.
      • In the status quo Internet traffic is not very censored or controlled by the US and things just plain work. I think this is a very good arrangement.

        Some things are matters of principle. Because the Internet is a major international information conduit, its neutrality and transparency need to be preserved at all costs. I am spooked just by the very demand of the US to maintain the upper hand "just in case"... what if someone pisses off the yanks in the future, and they choose to cause trouble? It's the

    • by sirinek (41507) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @09:22AM (#15790719) Homepage Journal
      I've said it before and I'll say it again. The Register is the Enquirer of the IT world. It posts all sorts of vague and misleading titles of stories. Try reading the articles and you'll see what I mean.
      • by OctoberSky (888619) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @09:58AM (#15791052)
        Don't give the Enquirer a bad name, that is a reputable news sorce.

        You'll be sorry when ManBearPig comes to your town, just ask Al Gore if you don't believe me.
      • It posts all sorts of vague and misleading titles of stories. Try reading the articles and you'll see what I mean.

        Oh, yeah, if you actually read the articles, then you find out what the story is actually about! Craziness. I'm used to just reading the headlines and then convincing myself I fully understand the situation and pontificating about it and why the author of the story I didn't read is wrong! That's what I learned here on /. anyway.

        Seriously, this is called "style" and the Register has one where
      • The Register is the Enquirer of the IT world. It posts all sorts of vague and misleading titles of stories. Try reading the articles and you'll see what I mean.

        And I'm sure you'll keep saying it again, so long as you don't understand British humour. As the other reply in this thread stated, RTFA if you want to know what the story's about. The titles are often witty and filled with puns or references to previous events. I'll bet you watch Monty Python and the Holy Grail then complain about how it's a vague and misleading portrayal of history too, right?
         
  • Holy Shit (Score:3, Funny)

    by Skreems (598317) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @09:16AM (#15790653) Homepage
    We actually did something in the spirit of cooperation with other countries.

    I think my head is going to explode.
    • by MrShaggy (683273)
      I thought I saw a pig that flew by my head.
    • by clickclickdrone (964164) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @09:22AM (#15790720)
      >We actually did something in the spirit of cooperation with other countries.
      Don't worry, I'm sure it was a mistake and will be fixed in USA V2.1
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Aha! You foolish Americans have walked right into our trap! You see, this was all an elaborate RestOfTheWorld plot. We've been working on stealing the internet for years, but we needed someone on the inside to make this final blunder in order to set the rest of the plan in motion.

      Unless you pay us 10 million billion dollars, soon, your lottery ball reserves will run dry, and the internets' main series of tubes will become clogged with streaming movies and poker chips. And then, with bandwidth reduced to a

    • We actually did something in the spirit of cooperation with other countries.

      I am not sure whether that is more amazing or the fact there is acceptance that there are nations beyond the frontiers of the USA ;)

      Either way this is a good thing.
    • by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @10:20AM (#15791253) Homepage Journal
      No joke. As an American, this good news makes me want to hug someone foreign now. Of course, being American, it'd be a violent, sweaty, obnoxious hug that smells vaguely of burgers.
  • ...net neutrality? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by krell (896769)
    What will this do to the net neutrality issue? Is it up to the UN now?
  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohnNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday July 27, 2006 @09:16AM (#15790660) Journal
    For years man has divided earth into political boundaries. Many of these boundaries have sub boundaries. And even more divisions among them and more beyond them and so forth based on belonging to a gregarious portion of the human race.

    Disclaimer: I am an American. One thing I find myself asking not only myself but other Americans is what is their primary citizenship. What I mean by that term is which political boundary (if any) supercedes all?

    Are you a citizen of the United States first? A citizen of Texas? A citizen of Chicago? A citizen of the Bronx? A citizen of North America? A citizen of yourself? At what point do you consider yourself a member of a community that will look out for other members?

    Occasionally, we catch ourselves engaging in activities that would indicate we are world citizens first and citizens of the United States second. I know it's a tough concept to comprehend but we do send aid to foreign countries, we do attempt to help other countries no matter how much we fsck it up or act in our best interest. So there's some amount of talk about the United States actually being a part of the world. This act of ceding internet control to an international organization is a step in that direction.

    Is it a good step or bad step remains to be seen and can be easily debated. One thing is clear, it sends a message to the rest of the world that the United States government is conscious of the rights of other governments. And this isn't a case of we need to help their economy because if it tanks, so will ours. On the surface this actually appears to be a gift of some little amount of power. This is not a historically common occurrence for a country such as the United States. Are we becoming more aware of the world political climate? I certainly hope so.
    • by amliebsch (724858) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @09:20AM (#15790701) Journal
      One thing is clear, it sends a message to the rest of the world that the United States government is conscious of the rights of other governments.

      If so, that would be the exact wrong message to send. We are conscious of the rights of people. Governments are simply organizations created by those people for the purpose of protecting and enhancing those rights, and to they extent they do that, we should respect them, and to the extent that they do not, we should not.

      • by mgblst (80109) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @09:55AM (#15791019) Homepage
        Governments are simply groups of people who don't have to answer to anyone else.

        The election process is not really answering to anyone, because it happens before most governments get into power, and it is such a convoluted process that even those who have something to answer won't necessarily do it.
      • by Geoffreyerffoeg (729040) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @10:33AM (#15791379)
        We are conscious of the rights of people. Governments are simply organizations created by those people for the purpose of protecting and enhancing those rights

        Neh, we are conscious of the right of people to choose their government. If we completely ignored the government and listened to this "right of the people," we'd be obligated to pull an Iraq in every other country. People cede their rights to the government, which is a body with some collective rights of the people that uses those to preserve the rest of the collective rights of the people. The only valid case in which the US can recognize the rights of foreign peoples over their government is if the government has overstepped the role that the people give it.

        This anarcho-populism-at-all-costs attitude on Slashdot is starting to get on my nerves. Have you guys never read The Social Contract or even Two Treatises? There is a legitimate function to government, and so long as the government stays within the social contract, it is meaningless to oppose it.
      • by hey! (33014) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @11:14AM (#15791771) Homepage Journal
        If so, that would be the exact wrong message to send. We are conscious of the rights of people. Governments are simply organizations created by those people for the purpose of protecting and enhancing those rights, and to they extent they do that, we should respect them, and to the extent that they do not, we should not.

        Well, the stance of our government naturally sways with the prevailing ideologies.

        Speaking as a liberal, I should take care when I characterize the position of my conservative friends. However this idea of the rights of other governments seems to me to bear on the paleoconservative/neoconservative ideological split.

        The classic paleoconservative Burkean theory is that a stable government deserves a kind of deference, because it's continued stability is, ipso facto, proof that it meets the needs of its subjects or citizens. Interactions between governments are based on national interests, and while the outcome for individuals may be unfortunate (e.g. dying to obtain access to strategic resources that he as an individual may have little chance of benefiting from directly), the nation as a whole prospers. In this view, national sovereignty matters, although the sovereignty of other states can sometimes be violated in the national interest, there is an understanding that in most cases a kind of reciprocal recognition of the rights of sovereign states is important.

        In practice liberal outlook on foreign policy is not altogether incompatible, although peripheral disagreements are common. Burke himself was a Whig after all, although from the conservative wing, and a sympathiser with the American Revollution. The distinguishing characteristic of a liberal is the belief that progress is possible and worth pursuing. Liberals are deeply suspicious of realpolitik, the the pursuit of naked national interest at the cost of human progress. This suspicion taints not only the end, but the means, namely military adventurism.

        However, most of the time paleoconservatives and liberals aren't that dramatically different on a pragmatic level; most of the time other governments were to be left on their own, with occasional swings towards interventionism for idealistic or self-interested motives. These swings are checked by the other side, and the result was a general consensus that at times made allowances for humanitarianism, at other times pragmatism. This balance produced a consensus on the policy towards communism, the policy of containment, although at times this swung more towards military adventure than the extreme liberals wanted. It also produced the complementary policy of detente, although this smacked of appeasement to extreme conservatives. Both these policies were supported by the segments of each side that were closest to the middle.

        The neconservatives, however, are a different animal altogether. They aren't conservatives or liberals. It's really unfair to the conservative side to call them neoconservatives. They're more like an amalgam of what is hated most on each side of the conservative/liberal split. They share with the most naive of the liberals a faith in their ability to create progress. They share with the most blockheaded conservative a blindness to the negative consequences of unlimited pursuit of self interest. That's it in a nutshell: neocons combine the naivte of the worst liberals combined with the blockheadeness of the worst conservative.

        The natural check on the violation of soveriegn and individual rights that conservatives and liberals each have are missing from the neocon viewpoint. The liberal believes that war retards human progress. The conservative doesn't believe that human progress happens can be achieved by any deliberate plan or stratagem including war, and so will avoid war if there is no clear national interest. The neocon, however, sees war as a means by which human progress can be advanced, and so will pursue it, not so much at the deliberate cost to the national interest, but with the same faith that the progress will serve the ultimate national interest by which the liberal pursues cooperation and understanding.

    • This phenonmenon is related to the fact that you feel closer to, and a stronger influence from, those that are nearest to you. This is the reason you have things like state's rights, so that the big bad, federal government doesn't tell you what to do. People half-jokingly poke fun at people from other states, as if they're from another planet. The lack of a higher power than a federal government implies that once the question of loyalty in a situation rises to the federal level, you have nobody else to answ
    • Are you a citizen of the United States first? A citizen of Texas? A citizen of Chicago? A citizen of the Bronx? A citizen of North America? A citizen of yourself?

      Earth
      • by SuperKendall (25149) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @11:02AM (#15791667)
        Do you not think it's a little silly to declare you allegance to a collection of inert minerals? The Earth cares not at all for what we do, it will keep orbiting regardless.

        Or perhaps you are for the "People of Earth". How touching! Except how can you declare an allegance with every single person on earth, some of which may not want you to exist.

        Perhaps you are just for "Life on Earth". If so, would not your best chance to help out all life include dedicating yourself to the role of fertilizer? Otherwise, even if you are a vegetarian, you life on the death of many other organisms.

        Such global statements of purpose simply seem to indicate you have put no real thought into what you mean to accoplish by your declaration.
    • by Alexandra Erenhart (880036) <saiyanprincess@gmail . c om> on Thursday July 27, 2006 @09:50AM (#15790969) Homepage
      Occasionally, we catch ourselves engaging in activities that would indicate we are world citizens first and citizens of the United States second

      Just think about online activities. Most of them aren't country-specific anymore (I'm thinking about things like online gaming, or even here in Slashdot). Everybody is connected, no matter where do you live. I feel the way you're describing. I'm a citizen of the world, and since I've been using Internet (when it became massive here around 1995), being Chilean is just one more tag I carry. Is the place where I was born and raised. But it doesn't mean I only think about my country and I don't care about any other place. I have the impression that many U.S. ppl are just too much into their own bubbles and don't realize there are more countries outside. Like when I met my fiancee's parents (Texan people). They had a very wrong idea of what a chilean woman would be or look like. And they were impressed when they met me:P (points for me lol).

      What I'm trying to say is, when everybody starts opening to the rest of the world, political limits will become just that.
  • by Hulkster (722642) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @09:17AM (#15790665) Homepage
    If you RTFA, it's not clear what actually changed ... and in the text, it says "However, assistant commerce secretary John Kneuer, the US official in charge of such matters, also made clear that the US was still determined to keep control of the net's root zone file - at least in the medium-term."
    • by BCW2 (168187) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @09:25AM (#15790751) Journal
      They have to do something to make sure that the UN doesn't get control. The UN is so corrupt, incompetent, and inept that it make the U. S. Govt look brilliant! Think about Rwanda, Darfur and others where the UN might as well not have showed up for all the good that wasn't done. NATO had to deal with Yugoslavia because nobody in Europe trusted the UN not to screw it up worse.
      • They have to do something to make sure that the UN doesn't get control. The UN is so corrupt, incompetent, and inept that it make the U. S. Govt look brilliant! Think about Rwanda, Darfur and others where the UN might as well not have showed up for all the good that wasn't done. NATO had to deal with Yugoslavia because nobody in Europe trusted the UN not to screw it up worse. Yeah, just look how badly the ITU [itu.int] has been at running the international dialling code system! Oh wait.. They're actually doing a pr
      • by N3wsByt3 (758224) <NewsbyteNO@SPAMfreenethelp.org> on Thursday July 27, 2006 @10:05AM (#15791120) Homepage Journal
        "The UN is so corrupt, incompetent, and inept that it make the U. S. Govt look brilliant!"

        Maybe that was the plan of the USA all along? ;-)

        Seriously though, many problems of the UN stem from problems its members make (e.g. sovereign nations). It's only as strong (or inept) as those countries that make up the UN and have to decide when to act and when not. Some countries actively undermine the UN, and thus, obviously, this has its repercusions on the UN as a whole.

        The USA shouldn't shout to loud in this regard, since it's often *they* that contribute in a major way to make the UN inept and incompetent, using its veto arbitrarily and destroying a united policy.
      • by hyfe (641811) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @10:10AM (#15791158)
        NATO had to deal with Yugoslavia because nobody in Europe trusted the UN not to screw it up worse.
        I'm going to start off with saying that I simply think you're an idiot. The UN is not distrusted in Europe. Giving the complexity of many situations, it has done an admirable job in difficult circumstances. The people serving in UN-peacekeeping missions have nothing but good to say about them.
        NATO had to deal with Yugoslavia because nobody in Europe trusted the UN not to screw it up worse.
        Now, the serious reply to why you're wrong, and how simplistic your view is.

        The US, and not NATO, was the force pushing for intervention. Reading main-stream news, we all remember how frustrated the US were with hesitant European nations. The problem with intervention, which anybody with half-a-clue at the time knew though, was that everybody was killing each-other at pretty much the same speed. This was a well-known fact, although our media did their best skew it by making the serbs out to be the bad guys. It's also a well-known fact that the massive genosides started after NATO intervention (which incidentally actually made the serbs 'the bad(est) guys'). Reading up on the reports and the analysis after the war is scary reading though; make no mistake, the Yoguslavia-intervention was a massive blunder and seriously worsened the situation.

        It took US balls to choose a random side to back and bomb the country back to the stone-age.

        • I'm going to start off with saying that I simply think you're an idiot. The UN is not distrusted in Europe. Giving the complexity of many situations, it has done an admirable job in difficult circumstances. The people serving in UN-peacekeeping missions have nothing but good to say about them.

          I know people who had relatives in Srebrenica, and I also know at least one person who was helping the Serbs rape/kill there. Wanna tell them again who's the idiot?

  • obligatory (Score:5, Funny)

    by sam_paris (919837) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @09:18AM (#15790679)
    ICANN't believe the USA has done this!!!
  • The Wild (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tom (822) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @09:18AM (#15790680) Homepage Journal
    Tried and tested method: First, remove teeth from animal. Second, set it free...

    • Agreed, this is a ruse typical of other US maneuvers. Make the body impotent, then when others demand fairness, hand them the body instead of the power.
  • by Foofoobar (318279) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @09:19AM (#15790687)
    I've often said that the only way you can solve most of the issues revolving around the internet today is to make it a sovereign nation. That way one set of laws, one set of taxes, one set of decency can apply to all thus avoiding lawsuits in a million different countries due to your content.

    Hopefully though, an international body can agree to some basic tenets so that we can establish so we can limit trivial laws and lawsuits due to localized laws.
    • Yeah, but then somebody in this Internet Nation is going to make fun of Dubya's dad and he's just gonna declare ware on it and take it over again.
    • by King_TJ (85913) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @09:34AM (#15790828) Journal
      Interesting concept, but I'm not quite sure that's the right way to deal with the problem.
      Despite a lot of "hype" and cyberpunk novels glorifying the Internet as somehow "more than the sum of its parts" - it really boils down to being a really big wide-area network.

      The "value" of the Internet can shift from "incredibly useful" to "nothing but junk" or anyplace in between, and that has to do with the quality and amount of content people choose to hang off of the ends of the network.

      I think sometimes, we get too caught up in treating the "Internet" as a single entity filled with information and shared by the whole world. In reality, it's just a "grid" that allows everyone's computer equipment to interconnect (or not, as they so desire).

      Rather than making this network into a "soverign nation", I think what is best is letting nations make their own decisions as to the "good" and the "bad" of interconnecting their part of the "grid" with other countries. It would be (in my opinion) unfortunate if a country like China decided they simply weren't benefiting enough from allowing traffic to and from U.S. based systems - but it'd be their leaders' option to cut themselves off from us completely if they so desired.

      Indeed, this may end up happening.... Certain nations decide to break off from the "global" Internet, and only connect with specific other countries. I think, if this does happen, it will only be temporary - as they learn how much they're missing through those policies.
    • by Fastolfe (1470) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @10:02AM (#15791096)
      I'm not sure that I agree. One of the reasons you think this is a good idea is so that the Internet can be governed by one set of consistent rules and regulations, including this concept of decency. The problem with decency is that it's highly subjective, and highly dependent upon the local community norms. While we in the US have a fairly consistent continuum of decency, even here, the line between "decent" and "indecent" floats from region to region. Radio stations in some areas bleep out words that radio stations in other areas do not. You can't set a national standard without it being inappropriate for some regions, unless your goal is to force those other regions to accept your definition of "decency".

      But that's just talking about the US. World-wide, social norms vary in multiple dimensions. Things like nudity in public, language, age of consent, pornography, viewing the faces of women are tolerated in completely different ways across different nations. You cannot hope to apply a common set of rules governing decency without seriously pissing one or more groups off, because decency is strongly defined by local norms and customs. It is not an intrinsic property of all people with one set of rules that's "best" for everyone, as much as some people would like to believe.

      The only problem I have with ICANN is that it's too political and its members too selfish. Open everything up, do the right thing that balances technical and non-technical needs, be transparent, document, and absolutely refuse to cater to your benefactors. I personally don't think that ICANN can be effective in its current form.
  • concern (Score:4, Interesting)

    by herbiesdad (909590) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @09:20AM (#15790696)
    i fear that internet regulation will devolve into internet bureaucracy and politicization, a la the united nations. simply having a diverse or shared governing board does not ensure that the product will remain diverse or shared. the u.s. has a significant interest in maintaining the network and its development, and i think the continued managment by the u.s. would leave the internet in safe hands.
  • by denim (225087) *
    How could a meeting of ICANN be anything but among a small percentage of people who use the internet? It's not like ICANN consists of millions, or that it'd be useful if it did. Being a committee, as I understand it, the larger it gets, the stupider it gets, and the harder it gets to do anything useful.

    I'm just glad to see that the obvious is being recognized.
  • Great... (Score:5, Funny)

    by dfn5 (524972) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @09:24AM (#15790731) Journal
    I suppose we will be at the mercy of the Film Actors Guild now.
  • Yeah, right. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BandwidthHog (257320) <inactive.slashdo ... icallyenough.com> on Thursday July 27, 2006 @09:25AM (#15790744) Homepage Journal
    Wake me when the backbone is no longer run through the NSA.

  • by hal9000(jr) (316943) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @09:25AM (#15790748)
    give a loud fuck off to Kieren McCarthy for this little tid bit of editorializing, "That the US government recognises it has to transition its role if it wants to keep the internet in one piece (and it then has to sell that decision to a mindlessly patriotic electorate)"

    It (he/she?) knows very little about American culture and hasn't seen recent polls [msn.com] about the dissatisfaction of the electorate with the present administration.
    • by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) * on Thursday July 27, 2006 @09:36AM (#15790841) Homepage Journal
      It is true that Americans are, right now, dissatisfied with the current administration. It is also true that Americans, as a whole, react with mindless outrage to the idea of America, as a whole, giving up any of its power over anything. Every serious debate over Iraq, f'rinstance, centers around whether or not staying in Iraq is good for American power, not over whether we had any right to go to war in the first place with a nation that had not attacked us nor showed any indication of doing so. Certainly other countries also get touchy about their sovereignty, sometimes absurdly so, but it is the fate of Empire (the British were like this in their day, and the French, and the Spanish, and the Ottomans, and the Byzantines, and the Romans, and ...) to believe that its sovereignty extends over the globe, until it is forcefully proven wrong.
    • The polls you cite indicate a dissatisfaction with the current haircut. Yes, Bush has an approval rating in the 30s, but those Americans who do not approve of him, approve of alternatives who would have had indistinguishable foreign policy since 2001 anyway. The rest of the world doesn't care about your domestic politics, only your international politics. And in that respect, America appears unanimously arrogant from the outside.

      How does this apply to ICANN? The author of the article is expressing his skept
      • You guys aren't exactly known for playing well with other countries.

        Maybe, but the author's editorializing is unprofessional, unjournalistic, and a good reason to not take the Register seriously (not that I ever have).
  • by Eleazer (412458) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @09:30AM (#15790785)
    So does this mean we'll see a transition from .com to .co.us for US hosted domains?
    • So does this mean we'll see a transition from .com to .co.us for US hosted domains?

      Not any more than we'll see the US/Canadian telephone international code change from anything but 1. It's just not worth the hassle to change it.

    • by hotspotbloc (767418) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @10:16AM (#15791212) Homepage Journal
      I'm hoping for:

      - .mil to .mil.us
      - .gov to .gov.us

  • In response to the old joke, "ICANN, and you can't"...

    ICANN, and now you can too!
  • by Jerk City Troll (661616) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @09:31AM (#15790798) Homepage

    “It's like letting the terrorists win!”

  • by eserteric (442678)
    Oh thank goodness, now more sensible countries like China and India will have a say about internet policies.
  • ...to control this mess!

    So what does that mean now?
    It means two things, piggy:
    first it means that the US government can now hold someone( ICANN in this case) responsible for what happens in the internet

    and second the government can now concentrate their efforts on how to tax it!
    Bombs away!!! ICANN you're next!
  • by El Cabri (13930) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @09:37AM (#15790845) Journal
    The US doesn't have "control of the internet", so it cannot be relinquishing what it doesn't have. The ICANN being US-based doesn't give much real control over IP packets travelling on some fiber halfway around the world from DC. Even if ICANN was a government agency it wouldn't. It just allows to vaguely arbitrate over domain names and IP number disputes that have relatively faint commercial implications. And even then the US feds would have to use indirect influence on ICANN.
    • by Fastolfe (1470) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @10:14AM (#15791190)
      While I grimace when I hear "control of the Internet" equated with "control over the DNS root", it's not actually that much of a misnomer. You can "bypass" US control by either using IP addresses, or by pointing your name servers to an alternative root. The problems that the latter approach causes tend to completely outweigh the benefits. It is generally agreed that fragmenting the DNS root is a Bad Thing for a variety of reasons.

      And since the Internet is relatively useless without a mechanism to locate hosts on it, and since nobody seems to be willing (or able) to consider alternatives to DNS (such as a proper directory service that could be immune to intellectual property disputes), the DNS root is the key to that.

      Of course, ICANN encompasses more than just the DNS root, including most of the functions other organizations previously had, including the relatively mindless allocation of numbers for protocols, IP address blocks, etc.
  • by liam193 (571414) * on Thursday July 27, 2006 @09:39AM (#15790863)
    So when do we get the press release from Microsoft saying there goes the "Network Neighborhood"?
  • RE: the gov't being the taskmaster, I sure have never really heard much from them that would cause me to say "Yes Master!", but honestly, the internet does not need the UN, or any international body in control, infact it needs nobody in control, it has been operated just fine for years with very little control, except that over addressing so we can all get along and talk to each other.
  • by singingjim (957822) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @09:41AM (#15790880)
    As in spine. I understand our "do it our way or die" mentality isn't very popular overseas right now but, no matter what anyone says to the contrary, this cannot be a good thing. We invented it, we've run it just fine so far,. Was it hurting anyone maintaining control of something as democratic as the internet by a the most staunchly democratic and freedom loving country in the world? We should just leave well enough alone.
  • by stlhawkeye (868951) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @09:44AM (#15790906) Homepage Journal
    ...because the "international community" has such a stellar track record for taking on difficult tasks and running them effectively and fairly without corruption. Snort.
    • International bodies that aren't hampered by the rules of nations generally function very well. Take for instance the Red Cross.

      If you refer to the UN, world bank or alike, you have to realize that first member states make ridiculous rules and then lament the fact that the body can't work when following those rules or that it doesn't follow "its own" rules when practicality asks for a bit of rule bending.

      Look at vetoes in the UN security council for instance and you have to admit that it won't ever function
  • by Peter_JS_Blue (801871) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @09:56AM (#15791026) Homepage
    To be fair it was the US that developed the Internet all those years ago so I can see why they would want to keep control of it - however so many people from so many countries have added to it in so many ways (eg Tim Berners-Lee = WWW) I think it's only fair for it to be under International control now.
  • by jlowery (47102) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @11:08AM (#15791715)
    Such as .grd (Grinding wheel suppliers) .fff (Foo Fighters Fans) .lut (Lute makers) .cwb (Cowboy Neal Impersonaters)
  • by coberon (943009) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @11:44AM (#15792037)
    Ars Technica put an article out circa 17:11 GMT today claiming that The Register is misleading. http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20060727-7366 .html [arstechnica.com]

If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants. -- Isaac Newton

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