October 13th, 2005


"Internet Governance"

It's a codeword which, when fully expanded, means "who controls the DNS root servers." It's also disingenuous.

The United States government is correct in that the calls for more multi-lateral control over the root servers is likely to cause disruption and open up the namespace to further politically rooted chaos.

The funny part is you're looking at a knowledge disconnect. Each country controls their network egress. If the rest of the U.N. wanted to start their own Internet - or even a parasidic grey-net off the current Internet - it would be "easy" to do. But, that would simply remove the usefulness of the technology.

Regardless of what the press releases and hard balling representatives say, the United States section of the Internet is still too important (for them) to amputate. Thus the pressure in the form of bluffing.

This entire battle over the namespace is a prelude to the real battle: addressing. The rest of the world is in pain with regard to their IP allocations. It's easy for those of us in the prefix plenty U.S. to forget that.

Both of these problems are caused by a combination of short sightedness and the all too rapid growth and commercialization of the Internet. The namespace problem could have been avoided by avoiding the gTLD system (.com/.net/.org and friends) and encouraging ccTLDs. (.uk/.us/.de/.tw oh wait...) The addressing problem by stronger national initiatives toward IPv6.