17 replies [Last post]
expatriate's picture
Offline
Location: Arizona
Joined: 10/26/2002
Posts: 3207
America Gives Up Control of Internet

The nation that enshrined the concept of Freedom of Speech just gave up control of the Internet.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2009/sep/30/icann-agreement-us

WesternHunter's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2363
America Gives Up Control of Internet

Gee, why not? We already gave up control of our own ports to the Saudis.

cowgal's picture
Offline
Moderator
Location: Colorado
Joined: 03/10/2002
Posts: 1787
America Gives Up Control of Internet

Icann should be a global organization, with international input. I know Gore thinks he invented the internet, and hate to tell him this - he really didn't. It started here in the US, but it has been a collaboration of many people and countries, and should continue that way. I personally do not believe that Americans should control the internet. In fact I feel no sole country or entity should control it. For the internet to mature, thrive and grow, it needs to be an independent panel of people from many countries. Currently only 15% of the internet's users are from North America. Stunning isn't it?

WSJ piece:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125432179022552705.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

expatriate's picture
Offline
Location: Arizona
Joined: 10/26/2002
Posts: 3207
America Gives Up Control of Internet

This concerns me on a number of levels. First, I don't like increasing China's control over the internet when they're already famous for restricting it in their own country. Second, I know how dependent our national defenses have become on information networks and how vulnerable we would be we lost them. Third, I know how much effort our potential adversaries (namely China) are putting into network warfare capability.

A couple years ago a construction crew inadvertently cut a fiber line in the middle of Alaska. For an entire afternoon we had no internet. It's not just a matter of losing Drudge. I couldn't even print to the printer on my desk because it had to go through a remote server. None of the ATMs, credit card machines, or cash registers worked. None of the cell phones worked. The land lines didn't even work. It was the all the things they warned us Y2K would be.

Our adversaries know our networks are our Achilles heel. Given the scenario above, how do you go to war when your supply systems, transportation systems, financial systems, command and control systems, intelligence systems, GPS, etc have all crashed? We're a lot more networked than what most people realize. Our control over the Internet was a strategic asset, and we just sold it for a mess of pottage.

WesternHunter's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2363
America Gives Up Control of Internet

It's a real achillies heel. It's a real detriment to our country. Sad thing is that the last president to realise the value in keeping something like that in American control was a president who was in office before the world wide web was in use - Reagan.

Unfortuanately the entire world has made China a nessesity. Everything is made there for everyone around the world. Our government borrows money from them. Now we want to give up control of the internet to them. Boy we have some real geniuses running our country, don't we? - From Bush senior all the way to Obama Brick Wall,)

I'm just waiting for the day when the vast majority of our military's equipment is all manufacured in China. The future looks grim indeed Cry

cowgal's picture
Offline
Moderator
Location: Colorado
Joined: 03/10/2002
Posts: 1787
America Gives Up Control of Internet

No country will have any control over our hardware, that is completely different and separate from ICANN. For an analogy, its similar to the difference between your PC and the operating system. One is hardware, the other is software - or programs that you run on that system. When a fiber optic line is cut, its a hardware problem.

ICANN stands for Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. Basically all they do is make sure we can "talk" to each other over the internet by setting protocols for domain names. Each domain name, email address, etc., that is passed on the internet must be converted to numbers (characters) that is understood by ALL computers on the internet. You can read up on it here: http://www.icann.org/

Many countries use the internet, with a multitude of languages and character sets. It's important to the growth of the internet to set standards so everyone can understand each other, in spite of the language barriers.

If China bans certain portions of the web in their country, so be it. It does not affect our internet.

So to clarify - no one country "owns" the internet. Each country owns their own infrastructure to access the internet. Protocols need to be standardized so all countries who wish to access the internet, can do so.

expatriate's picture
Offline
Location: Arizona
Joined: 10/26/2002
Posts: 3207
America Gives Up Control of Internet

That sound innocent and non-threatening, but let me use a metaphor:

Think of the web as an interstate highway system. Yes, we still own the concrete and our vehicles. But we've given up the power to decide speed limits, vehicle restrictions, traffic rules, fines, signage, design and location of future off-ramps, etc.

I see nothing wrong with protecting America's interests and keeping power, rather than giving it away. Personally, I'm tired of people running our country like we're a guilt-laden neurotic sitting in a corner apologizing for breathing and trying to gain friends by giving away sexual favors. Why not give some of our aircraft carriers away while we're at it?

cowgal's picture
Offline
Moderator
Location: Colorado
Joined: 03/10/2002
Posts: 1787
America Gives Up Control of Internet
expatriate wrote:
Think of the web as an interstate highway system. Yes, we still own the concrete and our vehicles. But we've given up the power to decide speed limits, vehicle restrictions, traffic rules, fines, signage, design and location of future off-ramps, etc.

Your analogy is not accurate. We own our infrastructure and make our own rules & laws. Gambling online is illegal in the US. Not sure how many other countries have that law, but we do. How about child pornography? Its illegal to access it and to have it on your PC. Again, how many other countries have that law? My point is, we do not own the internet, no one entity does. We own the infrastructure, and make laws on how to use OUR infrastructure. Other countries make their own laws & regs. It's actually more similar to the global telephone system. No one tells us how to use the internet. ICANN is simply an organization that sets global protocol so computers can talk to each other and be understood due to language barriers.

expatriate wrote:
I see nothing wrong with protecting America's interests and keeping power, rather than giving it away. Personally, I'm tired of people running our country like we're a guilt-laden neurotic sitting in a corner apologizing for breathing and trying to gain friends by giving away sexual favors. Why not give some of our aircraft carriers away while we're at it?

We do not own the internet, we never have. Just like we've never owned the global phone system. We're not giving up anything. I personally feel that ICANN has had too much power and never liked the fact the the US government was involved. In the beginning the US government controlled ALL domain names and did not allow any competition. Now we have many domain name registrars and with that came competition, and prices went down. Domain names are no longer controlled by one company set up the US. ICANN does oversee all those companies, supposedly to make sure all are playing fairly.

A couple links to help understand what the internet really is:
http://computer.howstuffworks.com/who-owns-internet.htm
http://www.webopedia.com/DidYouKnow/Internet/2002/WhoOwnstheInternet.asp

expatriate's picture
Offline
Location: Arizona
Joined: 10/26/2002
Posts: 3207
America Gives Up Control of Internet

So how does giving up our power in this area benefit the US?

cowgal's picture
Offline
Moderator
Location: Colorado
Joined: 03/10/2002
Posts: 1787
America Gives Up Control of Internet

The US government appointed themselves as keepers of the internet (ICANN). They gave the business of selling domain names to one company, Network Solutions, creating a monopoly. It was pressure from users that finally made the government give in and allow competition, so now we have a capitalistic approach to domain name sales, which is how it should have been all along.

As I pointed out previously only 15% of the users are from all of North America. It is imperative to include other countries. Some of the larger countries have been threatening to create their own internet with their own protocols. This would fracture the internet and make it impossible to communicate globally, defeating the whole purpose of the internet. Secondly, we need cooperation from all countries on the internet to help stop cyber-crime (identity theft, credit card fraud, unchecked spam, etc.) . It is rampant and escalating. If we declare ourselves KING of the internet and RULE from that standpoint, what kind of cooperation do you think we'll receive? None, zippo. The larger players on the internet want a bigger voice in the decisions and they should receive it.

So what is the benefit to us? An internet that is safer and is globally accessible. I should note that the internet and the world wide web (WWW) are not one and the same. The internet is used by many communication devices, the WWW is just one of them and probably the most well known to most people. Though many Americans contributed to the formation of the internet and WWW, many non-Americans did as well. It truly was a global collaboration and the US does not own the internet or the WWW, nor should they be allowed to solely control it.

Expat, I'm surpirsed that you want the US government to continue controlling the internet. I thought you were all about less government and more capitalism?

expatriate's picture
Offline
Location: Arizona
Joined: 10/26/2002
Posts: 3207
America Gives Up Control of Internet

Nice argument for globalization. But you're avoiding one point. The negatives you mentioned would affect everyone else, too. They wouldn't just apply to us. So if another country had wanted to form its own internet, it would fact the same connectivity problems whether we ran it or ICANN did.

The underlying assumption behind your argument is that everything we run is bad, and everything run by international bodies is wonderful. Three words: Oil for food.

It's the same old argument grounded in some sort of original sin belief from the left -- we're bad, so we'll make everything better if we collapse American power and globalize.

Safer and more accessible for who? You're assuming that none of the improvements are possible if we run it. And all of the negative issues are still there. Giving it up just puts it in the hands of people who are less democratically/capitalist minded.

Related Forum Threads You Might Like

ThreadThread StarterRepliesLast Updated
Internet power grab?cowgal310/23/2009 00:18 am
God Bless AmericaJTapia207/05/2011 11:08 am
A 4 Rifle Battery for North Americafuzzybear1804/18/2004 17:32 pm
Something Good about ObamaCVC2009/26/2009 16:12 pm
Scent Control or Not!!!!!ManOfTheFall607/26/2010 22:43 pm