Thursday, June 26, 2008

[i cann] see dissimulation here


At first sight, it looks like another example of encroachment - the net's [so-called] regulator Icann … voting to decide if the strict rules on so-called top level domain names, such as .com or .uk, can be relaxed.

The BBC comments:

If approved, firms could turn brands into web addresses while individuals could also grab a unique domain based on their name, for example.
There’s already, for example, http://iangrey.org/ but this could possibly now be turned into http://morleyis.iangrey. My question is, ‘What’s the point of it?’ Ian wouldn't bother doing it. The answer to this lies in this, methinks:

If there is a dispute [over domain names], we will try and get the parties together to work it out... but if that fails there will be an auction. [Dr Paul Twomey, Icann chief executive]

Money. As simple as that.

Naturally there’ll be cyber-squatting and disputes and Icann will resolve them at a price. So what’s the story with Icann in the first place?

ICANN is a California non-profit corporation that was created on September 18, 1998 in order to oversee a number of Internet-related tasks previously performed directly on behalf of the U.S. Government by other organizations, notably the The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority IANA.

So, it used to be run by the U.S. government and yet they have a meeting in Paris? Who are these people to wield such power? And do you understand a word of this?

On September 29, 2006, ICANN signed a new agreement with the United States Department of Commerce (DOC) that is a step forward toward the full management of the Internet's system of centrally coordinated identifiers through the multi-stakeholder model of consultation that ICANN represents.
All right, so they are somehow under California law or U.S. or whatever but they hold their meetings far away:

Critics argue that the locations of these meetings are often in countries with lower Internet usage and far away from locations that the majority of the Internet-using public can afford to reach. This makes public input or participation from traditional Internet users less likely.
As I read on, the point continually comes through about them being asked to do this or to oversee that. But who asked them? Read on:

The original mandate for ICANN came from the United States Government, spanning the Presidential administrations of both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

Some other worrying little things:

On March 14, 2002, in a public meeting in Accra, in Ghana, ICANN decided to reduce direct public ("at large") participation.

Also:

In September and October 2003 ICANN played a crucial role in the conflict over VeriSign's "wild card" DNS service Site Finder. After an open letter from ICANN issuing an ultimatum to VeriSign.
Well Verisign itself is an issue all of its own but by now it's probably best to stop and let you put me straight over all this. Am I completely out of order in thinking that a progressively less transparent U.S. government agency is running the internet for the globe?

Just asking.

6 comments:

Sean Jeating said...

Reading your post I remember that one or two years ago I stumbled upon a forum in which Icann's 'plans and policy' were discussed or, rather heavily attacked.
Let me put my thought regarding this 'non-profit organisation' this way: One of these leaders beyond (whose?) authority being asked 'Cui bono?', the quintessence of her / his 'answer' would most likely read: Be sure all we are doing is just for common purpose.

The peace of the night. :)

Lord James Bigglesworth said...

Good, Sean. Wondered if anyone would reply to this one. I told WC that no one would comment. Thanks for the thoughts.

Sean Jeating said...

James,
perhaps - ah, no: probably there would have been more readers (and commenters) had you taken Steve's advice* to heart and deleted at least 16 of the 20 paragraphs.

* Long posts put most people off - try to keep it to three or four paragraphs.

Con uno scaltro occhiolino ...

jmb said...

Well I gave it un occhiolino, but not scaltro. Just an mmm. Would not have commented but could not resist following up Sean.

Lord James Bigglesworth said...

Thanks all.

Sean, sometimes it has to be set out in full.

Sean Jeating said...

As mostly, we do agree, James. I was just making a bit fun.
Seriously, one maxime could read: As short as possible, as long as necessary.
However, as with probably everything, one should not get dogmatic.