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UN discusses new rules on Internet domain names 30

An anonymous reader wrote in to say "This Voice of America transcript mentions that a UN comittee is discussing rules to "protect trademark names on the Internet". While there may be some legitimate concern about folks claiming domain names like "ibm" in Upper Volta, why do I feel like this may be the camel's nose toward more UN regulation of the Internet? (Besides, how often do we see 'gopher:' URLs anymore?)"
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UN discusses new rules on Internet domain names

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  • I was afraid my Netscape 4 would crash when
    I clicked on it. Amazingly it handled it.
  • Posted by jonrx:

    If we can't make money on it, it's worthless! Everybody should read Red Mars. It's all about greed, greed, greed. Greed should be punishable by law, IMHO. (But then, how would you define greed?)

  • if they're within US borders. I'm serious. I requested them to mail me a broadcast schedule once, and they refused to do it unless (1) you reside outside the US, or (2) you plan to travel outside the US. Americans aren't even supposed to listen to VOA at home. So lame.
  • ...this is something I've thought about off and on. Plenty of people hate the internet because of the amount of porn out there, and many people are very VERY offended when they (or their child) happen upon an "adult" page by accident. It seems to me that it would be a lot easier for people who don't like porn to avoid it/filter it off of their subnets if all "adult" sites had their own top level domain category like '.adu' or something. That way, if you saw that extension, you knew what you were getting into. Also, it would be trivial to set up filters to throw up a warning when you click some mystery link that contains such a URL.

    * then one has to judge what is "smut" and what isn't, which is a terribly thorny issue
    * enforcement would be nigh impossible
    * people could link with strait IP addresses, making DNS a moot point.

    I don't think idea is very realistic, but I think it would be nice. I expect that it would help different factions coexist peacefully on the internet.

    I can dream, can't I?
  • Honest Question here:
    What the hell does the UN think it has to do with DNS anyway??

  • When you want to telephone a company, or send them snail mail, you look them up in the phone book or some other directory, or on your warranty card, or owners' manual, or write it down from the billboard or TV ad.

    There are only a limited number of phone numbers, which map to many different names. If a company named HAN had 1-800-call-han, I doubt IBM would so them for using the same telephone keys (426) as IBM.

    The only thing that makes valuable is that it gets you to IBM. Now if some clown puts up a site at, either he pretends to be NBC (and gets sued for fraud) or he puts up something non-NBC, in which case no one is fooled.

    So who exactly gets hurt by these fake names? Good gosh, you type in the wrong one, you figure it out pretty darned quickly, or it's farud, and they get their ass sued. No one going to is going to mistake it for Well, maybe with this president, who knows? :-)

    Typical govt bureaucracy, looking for a solution to a non-problem.

  • This is real. Very real.
    Check out for the details; there's a 150-page document (WIPO RFC-3)on just how people should be able to take domains away from each other, and why.

    If anyone's in Singapore on Friday, go see the WIPO at work.
    Meeting address:

    9th Floor
    Subordinate Courts
    1 Havelock Square
    Singapore 059724
  • Any organization that still uses gopher to disseminate information is incapable of making the DNS system any better.

    Microsoft inventing ActiveDNS would get further than the UN trying to do DNS stuff. Leave it alone, fools! We already have a working system! and BAN intellectual property if you wanna be useful.

  • It's not illegal for us to listen; they are banned from broadcasting or marketing themselves to us. They even have two websites: one for US residents and one for the rest of the planet.

    The only over-the-air transmissions I know of that are illegal to listen to are cellphone calls.
  • by MikeFM ( 12491 )
    This is why we're looking into what is required to become an official country. I always liked the idea of distributed countries because I like to travel a lot. It seems to me that the church of Scientology (among others, no flames please!) almost fits this bill in it's own sort of way. I think about the only thing required is some people that claim to be citizens and the ability to use force to uphold your claim. In this age when we geeks know everything we can use Internet warfare (or whatever they call it) and also of course it is extremely easy to build nukes and bio weapons. Not that we should, but we know how. That alone should make us a world power if we choose to claim the right. Why should our countries or the UN tell us our rights? We can offer as big a punch back as they can give us, especially if we're distributed all over the world. Yes, it means we have no huge army but it also means we have no centralized place to target. I say 10,000 geeks or so should be enough to make our claim. Anyone interested? We already have a quite a few people. A country where freedom extends to information and communication, and privacy is cherished! Long live the United Distributed Republic! *an MP3 file plays in the background, our national athem*
  • You can listen to VOA LIVE with RealAudio from their website. ( Of course, when the Russians bomb us and take out The internet backbones, you'll have to pull out that old shortwave reciver...
  • They should pass some resolutions (not that their resolutions do any good--back in the early eighties they passed a resolution that corporations should not market infant formula in Third World nations) that no member country shall tax, censor, or otherwise regulate Internet access.

    Granted, it would be about as respect as their resolutions to (for example) Milosovec, the government of Rwanda, or the government of Libya. But, at least it would get a point across.

    I always take comfort in the fact that in 150 years, none of the creeps around today will still be alive. That's not so long to wait. <grin>

    The X TrueType fontserver for OS/2 is still there. Don't be discouraged by slow response times. []

  • I need my company's proxies to support gopher. It's the only way to do semi-telnet out to the internet (things like `finger' -> `telnet host 79' -> `gopher://host:79/0user', but more complex as well, such as "VRFY"/"EXPN" on port 25). Keep it, it's nice and simple. :-)

"If you lived today as if it were your last, you'd buy up a box of rockets and fire them all off, wouldn't you?" -- Garrison Keillor