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Countries Don't Own Their Internet Domains, ICANN Says

timothy posted about 2 months ago | from the do-they-meta-own-them? dept.

The Internet 113

angry tapir writes The Internet domain name for a country doesn't belong to that country — nor to anyone, according to ICANN. Plaintiffs who successfully sued Iran, Syria and North Korea as sponsors of terrorism want to seize the three countries' ccTLDs (country code top-level domains) as part of financial judgments against them. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, which oversees the Internet, says they can't do that because ccTLDs aren't even property.

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Identifiers (4, Insightful)

msobkow (48369) | about 2 months ago | (#47573349)

Until this nonsense about keyword TLDs, TLDs were just identifiers, not property as ICANN noted. But this custom TLD nonsense is going to throw a wrench into that.

I could see seizing the domain registrars, but as they say, how do you seize an identifier? That's like saying I "own" the variable "x", and that all graphics programmers now need to pay me to lease use of that variable name.

Re:Identifiers (4, Informative)

barlevg (2111272) | about 2 months ago | (#47573383)

That's like saying I "own" the variable "x", and that all graphics programmers now need to pay me to lease use of that variable name.

Because that's never happened before. [slashdot.org]

Re:Identifiers (1)

sheehaje (240093) | about 2 months ago | (#47576147)

That's like saying I "own" the variable "x", and that all graphics programmers now need to pay me to lease use of that variable name.

Next story: "Some idiot tries to patent the variable "x" and USPTO obliges."

Re:Identifiers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47577021)

"A method to use an alphabetic symbol to represent value in mathematical formulae and computer programs . . ."

Re: Identifiers (1)

Teranolist (3658793) | about a month ago | (#47578083)

...in the cloud!

Re:Identifiers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47573467)

The TLD is an identifier within a namespace. Allocating one is like saying "I'm using the variable 'x' in this function so when you add your own code you can't use the variable 'x'." so seizing one is like saying "You can no longer use the variable 'x' in this function". Nobody is saying that you can't use the variable 'x' in another function or context entirely. What's hard to understand about this, seriously?

Re:Identifiers (5, Insightful)

pla (258480) | about 2 months ago | (#47573629)

What's hard to understand about this, seriously?

The part where someone apparently doesn't understand the difference between a name and the thing itself, and that the thing itself doesn't always "own" its name.

Seizing Iran's TLD as part of a judgement against Iran makes exactly as much sense as seizing the assets of the Iranian American Society of Engineers and Architects [iasea.org] , solely on the basis that it contains the word "Iran" in its name.

As TFA specifically points out, seizing ".ir" doesn't just affect the government of Iran. It affects thousands (millions?) of privately-owned subdomains. Imagine enforcing the same ruling against the US - Not just talking about ".us", but pretty much the entire set of legacy TLDs. Does it make sense that "amazon.com" suddenly belongs to some litigious asshat because of the inadequacy of US foreign policy? And as TFA also points out, ICANN doesn't even have the ability to do this unilaterally (they only directly control root server L), and trying to do so could well trigger as schism.

Iran is located in North America (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47574635)

Seizing Iran's TLD as part of a judgement against Iran makes exactly as much sense as..

..seizing the name "Iran," so that when a kid asks "Where's Iran?" while standing in front of a map, and X appears on Washington DC.

Re: Identifiers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47574681)

As TFA specifically points out, seizing ".ir" doesn't just affect the government of Iran. It affects thousands (millions?) of privately-owned subdomains.

And economic sanctions or a naval blockade doesn't just affect the government, either, but affects hundreds (thousands?) of privately-owned companies that want to engage in global or regional commerce outside of their own country. And the damage is not collateral; it's the intended effect.

The message is clear: Iranians, we'd like to do business with you, but right now your corrupt government is a larger problem on the global scale, and one that is more important to us, than not having economic dealings with you - even those deals which could undoubtedly be mutually advantageous. Economics takes a seat behind politics for this one. Fix your government, then we'll talk.

Re: Identifiers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47575095)

Who's "we"?

Re: Identifiers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47575747)

"we" = We jews and our slaves

Re: Identifiers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47575125)

"The message is clear: [Americans], we'd like to do business with you, but right now your corrupt [ZOG] government is a larger problem on the global scale, and one that is more important to us, than not having economic dealings with you."

Re: Identifiers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47575151)

Re "a naval blockade doesn't just affect the government, either, but affects hundreds (thousands?) of privately-owned companies that want to engage in global or regional commerce outside of their own country. And the damage is not collateral; it's the intended effect." :

that's why a naval blockade is a terrorist act of war, and why Japan was justified in attacking Pearl Harbor

Re: Identifiers (1)

careysub (976506) | about 2 months ago | (#47576565)

...

that's why a naval blockade is a terrorist act of war, and why Japan was justified in attacking Pearl Harbor

A naval blockade is indeed an act of war. I guess you threw the word "terrorist" in there because - you like to abuse what words mean?

But the U.S. had imposed no naval blockade on Japan before the Pearl Harbor attack. The U.S. had halted U.S. trade with Japan in oil and scrap metal (but nothing else), but this is not what the word "blockade" means. A blockade is using armed force to prevent shipping (or other forms of transport) from third parties from getting entering the blockaded nation. Nothing like that was happening. The U.S. had also closed the Panama Canal to Japanese shipping, but again, not a blockade. Japan was free to go 'round the Horn and on to Japan without interference.

Re: Identifiers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47578483)

I didn't "throw in" the word "terrorist"; I used it. A naval blockade is a terrorist act of war because the target is civilians, and, historically, the primary intended result is starvation.

Re: Identifiers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47578517)

Nonsense. Roosevelt, Stimson, The Jew Morgentgau et al openly engaged in economic warfare agsinst Japan, IN ALLIANCE WITH the Dutch and the British, acting in concert to starve Japan of essential supplies and foreign trade via the Pacific, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, the Phillipines, India, the Dutch East Indies, etc.

Re: Identifiers of Path to War, and £ (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47578589)

In 1939 the United States terminated the 1911 commercial treaty with Japan. âoeOn July 2, 1940, Roosevelt signed the Export Control Act, authorizing the President to license or prohibit the export of essential defense materials.â Under this authority, âoe[o]n July 31, exports of aviation motor fuels and lubricants and No. 1 heavy melting iron and steel scrap were restricted.â Next, in a move aimed at Japan, Roosevelt slapped an embargo, effective October 16, âoeon all exports of scrap iron and steel to destinations other than Britain and the nations of the Western Hemisphere.â Finally, on July 26, 1941, Roosevelt "froze Japanese assets in the United States, thus bringing commercial relations between the nations to an effective end. One week later Roosevelt embargoed the export of such grades of oil as still were in commercial flow to Japan. The British and the Dutch followed suit, embargoing exports to Japan from their colonies in southeast Asia. On 20 November, Japan offered to withdraw their forces from southern Indochina and not to launch any attacks in southeast Asia provided that the U.S., Britain, and the Netherlands ceased aiding China and lifted their sanctions against Japan. The American counterproposal of 26 November (theÂHull note) required Japan to evacuate all of China without conditions and conclude non-aggression pacts with Pacific powers. This series of actions, including US military support for Japan's enemies, constitute acts of war, and are typical of jew-run imperial America sticking it's noise in where it doesn't belong and hypocritically dictating terms to foreign nations. Screw America. It is now being taken over by sub intelligent hordes of beggars and thugs, and one day the white man will wake up, too late to really help himself, but at least enough to stop the uS war machine from continuing to be used as a tool of jew foreign policy. The American empire will fall. It's already descending into the set day by day.

Re: Identifiers of Path to War, and Screw Americ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47578671)

In 1939 the United States terminated the 1911 commercial treaty with Japan. On July 2, 1940, Roosevelt signed the Export Control Act, authorizing the President to license or prohibit the export of essential defense materials." Under this authority, on July 31, exports of aviation motor fuels and lubricants and No. 1 heavy melting iron and steel scrap were restricted. Next, in a move aimed at Japan, Roosevelt slapped an embargo, effective October 16, on all exports of scrap iron and steel to destinations other than Britain and the nations of the Western Hemisphere. Finally, on July 26, 1941, Roosevelt froze Japanese assets in the United States, thus bringing commercial relations between the nations to an effective end. One week later Roosevelt embargoed the export of such grades of oil as still were in commercial flow to Japan. The British and the Dutch followed suit, embargoing exports to Japan from their colonies in southeast Asia. On 20 November, Japan offered to withdraw their forces from southern Indochina and not to launch any attacks in southeast Asia provided that the U.S., Britain, and the Netherlands ceased aiding China and lifted their sanctions against Japan. The American counterproposal of 26 November (the Hull note) required Japan to evacuate all of China without conditions and conclude non-aggression pacts with Pacific powers. This series of actions, including US military support for Japan's enemies, constitute acts of war, and are typical of jew-run imperial America sticking it's noise in where it doesn't belong and hypocritically dictating terms to foreign nations. Screw America. It is now being taken over by sub intelligent hordes of beggars and thugs, and one day the white man will wake up, too late to really help himself, but at least enough to stop the uS war machine from continuing to be used as a tool of jew foreign policy. The American empire will fall. It's already descending into the sewer day-by-day.

Re: Identifiers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47578773)

America went to war against japan because japan refused to trade with america. Japan returned the "favour". America taught Japan this rule international diplomacy. America went to war against Japan via Commodore Perry, a drunk who married the Rothschild jew 'August Belmont's ugly daughter for mercenary reasons.

Re: Identifiers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47576635)

Sanctions are nothing more than collective punishment and should be against the Geneva Convention.

Re:Identifiers (4, Insightful)

jbmartin6 (1232050) | about 2 months ago | (#47573561)

Or perhaps, it is like saying the term "Iran" can be seized after a lawsuit.

Re:Identifiers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47575533)

Hence forth the country shall now be known as "Terrorististan" as we now own the "Iran" label.

Re:Identifiers (1)

bjwest (14070) | about 2 months ago | (#47575561)

Copywrited [youtube.com] material can easily be seized in a lawsuit.

Re:Identifiers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47573685)

That's like saying I "own" the variable "x", and that all graphics programmers now need to pay me to lease use of that variable name.

Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

Working hard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47573371)

ICANN is surely working hard to be replaced. I imagine plenty of nations would find it inconvenient if an organization they don't have control over could prevent their TLD from working.
This is a good way to encourage EU to start a replacement system on the side.

Re:Working hard (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47573491)

The EU already has free speech violations.

http://slashdot.org/story/04/06/17/1628207/eu-pushes-to-limit-internet-speech
http://tech.slashdot.org/story/14/07/27/1329243/in-france-most-comments-on-gaza-conflict-yanked-from-mainstream-news-sites

Despite the problems with ICANN being born out of the U.S.A., it may be the best we have.

Re:Working hard (1)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 2 months ago | (#47574535)

Typical U.S. bashing aside, I don't know why the parent was modded down. I don't particularly like the idea of the internet being controlled by ANY country (or group of countries), but the thought of a country like France or Germany having ANY say in what is or is not allowed on the internet scares me way more than any U.S. bullshit.

This is the same EU, mind you, that has already forced Google and other search engines to erase sections of the internet just because some individual didn't like what was being said about them. Do you really want THEM in charge?

The bashing is sometimes justified... (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | about 2 months ago | (#47574841)

I will attempt to address your points objectively, for whatever it is worth.

Firstly, bashing the EU for restricting free communication on the Internet is considering only selective evidence. The most common limitation on free speed today is intellectual property, and by far the biggest champion of restricting the free distribution of IP is the United States, including using all kinds of diplomatic and political tools to push the US agenda extra-jurisdictionally. The US also imposes other restrictions and censorship on-line that are not universal elsewhere in the world, for example in relation to gambling, and again has a track record of pushing its agenda extra-territorially through sometimes dubious mechanisms. I think right now a few people in the US are just feeling aggrieved because inevitably the rest of the world has started pushing back and expecting the US to comply with the rules from other places in the same way, instead of enjoying nothing but one-way traffic as it often has until quite recently.

Secondly, even if anywhere in the world did truly protect absolutely free speech, not all of us think that would be an improvement. For example, in much of Europe concepts like privacy and protecting personal data carry far more weight than they generally do in the US. In fact, it is illegal to export personal data from Europe to the US without special measures being used, because by default the US doesn't meet even our minimal legal standards for respecting individuals' privacy and personal data. But issues like free speech, privacy, anonymity or pseudonymity, and democracy are fundamentally interdependent and sometimes conflict, even before you consider more specific related issues like national security, policing, or copyright.

Finally, just as an aside, the recent "right to be forgotten" debate was triggered by a specific court case, and the rationale behind the decision is actually quite sensible. Again, there is now a fundamental tension between, on the one hand, benefitting from the free and open communication afforded by the Internet and from the ability to search for and access information on many subjects more easily than ever before, and on the other hand, preserving legal principles around justice, the protection of the innocent, and the rehabilitation of the guilty that have evolved over a long period in every civilised country of the world. The result in this particular case may seem at odds with technological reality, but that doesn't mean the principle or the logic are flawed, just that it isn't a good final solution yet. Your characterisation is also inaccurate, by the way, but I'll invite you to read some of the ample material that has been published about why the common misunderstanding you've described is wrong rather than getting sidetracked any further here.

There are no easy answers to any of these issues, but one thing is all but certain: throwing out everything our societies have learned over centuries about defending private lives and allowing people to move on from mistakes, just because a few Internet companies who have made staggering amounts of money might lose some of it if their business models were modestly inconvenienced, is not the only possible or potentially desirable way forward.

Re:The bashing is sometimes justified... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47574917)

The right to privacy shouldn't be the same as the right to rewrite history and the right to censor the public record, as the EU has construed it. Yeah, the U.S. bullies on IP and gambling stuff, and fuck them for that. But at least I don't have to worry about the U.S. erasing my site from the internet because I write about some public court case that happens to embarrass someone powerful.

I can also show a swastika on my U.S.-hosted site and criticize public officials without fear of ridiculously heavy-handed libel/defamation laws. And don't even get me started with the bullshit cultural and language laws in France. It's amazing anything gets done in that country at all.

Re:The bashing is sometimes justified... (2)

jc42 (318812) | about 2 months ago | (#47575945)

I can also show a swastika on my U.S.-hosted site and criticize public officials without fear of ridiculously heavy-handed libel/defamation laws. And don't even get me started with the bullshit cultural and language laws in France. It's amazing anything gets done in that country at all.

Oh, I dunno; I've seen any number of sites similar to this one [unicode.org] , whose information is mirrored at zillions of locations on the web, including many outside the US. There are historical and cultural reasons for including the symbols at code points 534D and 5350 in Unicode, and I doubt that anyone has ever been prosecuted for installing full Unicode charsets or lookup software on their web sites.

I haven't looked for such pages on French sites, but I'd be surprised if they don't exist (with the text in French rather than English), and I'd also be surprised if the French government has tried to suppress such character codes in the Uncode lookups.

It's possible that such things has happened and I just haven't read about them. Does anyone know of cases of official harrassment for including pages like the above on a web site? For example, has any Islamic or other religious government ever harrassed people for allowing the U+271D char code on a web page?

(And yes, I do have a couple of experimental dictionaries on my own web sites, including one dealing with Chinese characters which includes an entry for the swastika characters. Nobody has even suggested that these glyphs shouldn't be there. Possibly it's because nobody has ever looked at my dictionaries, but still ... ;-)

Re:The bashing is sometimes justified... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47577075)

The swastika is ok in Europe - it was in use long before the nazis used the symbol. You might fail to operate a neo-nazi website though. . .

Re:The bashing is sometimes justified... (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | about 2 months ago | (#47575041)

Sure. It is "Rational" to force other people to "forget" what you did or said.

This makes everything you state before and after useless.

Re:The bashing is sometimes justified... (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | about 2 months ago | (#47575705)

Many countries have concepts in law such as convictions becoming spent after a period of time, usually a few years depending on the seriousness of the offence. The conviction is still a matter of public record, but you no longer have to actively disclose it in some situations where initially you would, and in particular, it may be removed from various routine criminal records checks that are relevant to things like applying for jobs.

It is well documented that such measures promote rehabilitation and reduce reoffending rates, and that denying a former criminal who has paid their dues a fresh start will inevitably lead to further and often worse criminal activity.

As a society we choose to "turn a blind eye" or "grant forgiveness" in these circumstances, partly as a matter of humanity but also partly out of self-interest. You are arguing for an Internet that never forgets the slightest transgression and holds it against someone forever. To me, that can only ever work in a world where we have evolved beyond paranoia and everyone acknowledges openly that everyone else makes mistakes, which sadly I doubt we're going to see in our lifetimes. In the meantime, this seems like a textbook case of "just because we can do something that doesn't mean we should", and the law seems to be siding with "no, we shouldn't".

Re:The bashing is sometimes justified... (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | about 2 months ago | (#47576339)

You can try to force me to remove everything I know about you. Being forgotten for something stupid you did is an ok thing I guess.

Trying to force the internet to forget is suppressing other peoples freedom.

Re:The bashing is sometimes justified... (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | about a month ago | (#47577451)

Many things suppress my freedoms, sometimes including other people exercising rights of their own. As the old saying goes, your freedom to swing your fist does not trump my right not to get punched in the face. Arguably the biggest challenge of a civilised society is to establish how we will balance all of those competing interests, even when we might all agree that all of them are positive things on balance if we could consider them in isolation.

Re:The bashing is sometimes justified... (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | about a month ago | (#47578337)

This is not a balance issue. No one has the right to remove knowledge from someone else.

To put it another way. Fuck your "Right to be Forgotten". This is not a right. It is demanding that other people remove information. Rights are things that should not be taken from you. Not things you demand from others.

Re:The bashing is sometimes justified... (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | about 2 months ago | (#47578885)

Unfortunately, it's clear by this point that you don't understand what the so-called "right to be forgotten" that resulted from the European Court ruling actually is -- for a start, it doesn't involve "removing knowledge from someone else", nor to my knowledge does any technology exist that could even do that if we wanted to -- so I'm not sure there's any point in continuing this discussion.

Re:The bashing is sometimes justified... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47576765)

Same here in the U.S. about the conviction thing. I tend to see on job applications that if it's older than 10 years, not to mention it.

Why not make it illegal for employers to make use of such irrelevant information? Instead of banning search engines from pointing to said sources, just make it illegal for the employer to use any information they come across. Of course, the employer can still violate the law, but I feel that two wrongs don't make a right.
Wrong 1: Using irrelevant information to not hire someone for a job.
Wrong 2: Banning search engines from pointing.
Just make the fines hefty. Like $20k.
It may make it hard to enforce, but it'd be a start until society changes to start accepting people for relevancy.

Someone apply for a fast food job...
Irrelevant: Someone posting themselves doing drugs 11 years ago.
Relevant: Someone recently posting themselves fornicating with fast food that is about to be served to customers.

Re:The bashing is sometimes justified... (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | about a month ago | (#47577429)

Why not make it illegal for employers to make use of such irrelevant information?

Pragmatism.

IMHO, most of the damage that comes from people hearing negative things about someone that might be hidden by the kind of measures we're talking about doesn't come just from the information itself. It happens because something from long ago is assumed (not necessarily correctly) to still be a reliable indicator of what someone is like today, or because the information is incomplete, taken out of context, or simply inaccurate.

If we lived in a world where everyone was fair, and wouldn't jump to conclusions they shouldn't for these kinds of reasons, there would be no need to offer this kind of protection. But unfortunately we don't live in that world, and realistically we probably won't any time soon. If you have a hundred applicants for a job to look through and a day to make a shortlist, and you see that one of the applicants has a conviction for theft, are you really going to spend another half-hour to find out that the conviction was for stealing an apple 20 years ago when the person was homeless and just needed to eat? I'm betting for 99.999% of people reviewing those 100 CVs, the answer is no, just throw it straight in the bin.

Now, if we're talking about something objective, like say whether you can get credit for a mortgage, you can mitigate the problem to a degree by requiring that a human review any automated/procedural decision taking into account the specific circumstances of the case without relying just on those kinds of assumptions. It's not as if there's going to be any doubt at the end of the process about whether or not someone got their mortgage application approved.

But for something like a job, where processes aren't always as transparent and there's a competitive environment, a tainted reputation is going to follow someone around like a cloud. The applicant isn't going to know that what ruined their chances was the wrong page showing up at the top of Google because they share their name with a serial child abuser. They're just going to get told sorry but the employer has given the position to someone else, and never have a chance to set the record straight. And so for that reason alone it is important that we try to avoid incomplete or misleading personal information becoming pervasive and permanent in our society. Because if it's out there, even someone with the best of intentions is likely to make unfair choices when faced with such information. That's just life.

Re:The bashing is sometimes justified... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47576359)

Firstly, bashing the EU for restricting free communication on the Internet is considering only selective evidence.

Well, yes, of course it is. Why would we consider all evidence ever for everything? It makes far more sense to only select evidence relevant to the discussion.

The most common limitation on free speed today is intellectual property, and by far the biggest champion of restricting the free distribution of IP is the United States, including using all kinds of diplomatic and political tools to push the US agenda extra-jurisdictionally.

Just for the sake of argument, lets say that the distribution of the latest summer blockbuster should fall under the protection of free speech. If I had to pick between the government that wants to send me to PMITA prison for sharing that movie, or the government that wants to send me to PMITA prison because I have a blog about my homosexual life style, I'll pick the first every time.

The US also imposes other restrictions and censorship on-line that are not universal elsewhere in the world, for example in relation to gambling, and again has a track record of pushing its agenda extra-territorially through sometimes dubious mechanisms. I think right now a few people in the US are just feeling aggrieved because inevitably the rest of the world has started pushing back and expecting the US to comply with the rules from other places in the same way, instead of enjoying nothing but one-way traffic as it often has until quite recently.

Now that I agree is a problem. The US should not be forcing its laws on any other country.

Re:The bashing is sometimes justified... (1)

slew (2918) | about 2 months ago | (#47576815)

There are no easy answers to any of these issues, but one thing is all but certain: throwing out everything our societies have learned over centuries about defending private lives and allowing people to move on from mistakes, just because a few Internet companies who have made staggering amounts of money might lose some of it if their business models were modestly inconvenienced, is not the only possible or potentially desirable way forward.

There are never any easy answers, but one thing is certain, this issue is not constrained to a few internet companies.

* Credit Reporting Bureaus (Callcredit, Equifax, Experian, CEG, Shufa)
* Educational institutions (and other information held by other Credential verification organizations)
* Background checks for Employment (including criminal and citizenship checks in the USA)

It's not clear that privacy principles are generally respected or even tolerated in these areas and mistakes you may have made often carry on for a very long time in many areas. One thing that society has learned over centuries is that when it comes to people, history is often a leading indicator of future behavior.

Depending on the current regimes influencing your life, you may or may not have a *right* to limit access to your history, but that does not reduce the value of that history to people that you interact with. Because of this inherent conflict of interest, there will likely never be a correct answer to this, only what we collectively agree (or disagree) about.

People have studied this type of thing in game theory (e.g., the Tit-for-tat). Many experiments and models suggest that the better outcomes happen if we forgive, but do not forget. In my opinion mostly these laws simply attempt to coerce forgiving behavior on the unwilling people by forcing them to forget. I'm not sure this is the best reductive way get the desired result.

Re:The bashing is sometimes justified... (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | about a month ago | (#47577573)

One thing that society has learned over centuries is that when it comes to people, history is often a leading indicator of future behavior.

Interesting assertion, but I think the word "often" rather than "always" is key here.

In fact, I think that sums up one of the main problems with this whole situation: if it turns out that the above statement isn't true in some specific case, it is all too easy to do great harm by assuming that it was. A lot of the most forceful advocates for positive change in some downtown districts are former gang members who grew up and came to understand the futility and wastefulness of the violence they took for granted and participated in when they were younger.

There's also another side to this issue, which is that the information you see today might be incomplete or misleading even if it is entirely factually correct. Knowing that someone was once prosecuted for dangerous driving after writing off an oncoming car in an accident is likely to give you a low opinion of whether your car hire business should rent a vehicle to them. Maybe you would have a different view if you also knew that the swerve into the oncoming car saved the lives of three kids who suddenly ran into the road and would surely have been killed but for the driver's quick reaction, but you don't necessarily see that information as the next hit on the search engine results page.

Many experiments and models suggest that the better outcomes happen if we forgive, but do not forget.

In an ideal world, if life were fair and everyone were reasonably forgiving of human failings, perhaps that would indeed be the ideal. But right now a lot of people aren't like that, maybe even for entirely innocent reasons, and sometimes those people are making life-altering decisions about someone else. It's easy to see how terrible life could become for someone who fell the wrong side of a line maybe not even through any fault of their own, and if we can't trust society to act fairly under full disclosure, then selective disclosure is the only alternative to protect the disadvantaged.

Tuvalu and Xmas Islands called, are pissed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47573445)

N/T

its only property when its the RIAA. (4, Insightful)

nimbius (983462) | about 2 months ago | (#47573457)

whenever we need to seize a domain in the realm of the DMCA, ICE (immigration, customs enforcement) can and does SEIZE the domain, so it must in fact belong to someone. Domain registrars were forced across the country to de-list wikileaks often due to local circuit court judges on behalf of private entities, but mostly due to quiet pressure from the United States government against its payment card processors. .uk and .fm sites are managed by agents of their respective governments, as are .ru and .au, so it would be strange to insist a country manage, yet never own their TLD.

Offtopic i know, but another thing that strikes me as absurd is the lawsuit. "Plaintiffs who successfully sued Iran, Syria and North Korea as sponsors of terrorism" include who exactly? and of these plaintiffs how many are willing to admit they openly ignore their own governments sponsorship of terrorism? The suit seems rather silly.

Re:its only property when its the RIAA. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47573783)

Domains and ccTLDs are not the same things.

Re:its only property when its the RIAA. (1)

Arker (91948) | about 2 months ago | (#47573791)

Nice rant but missing a few facts.

These are not domains like ICE have seized (which are analogous to post office box #xxxx) but the ccTLDs (more analogous to the zip code at the end.) Which is really a good way to grok how absurd the request is - imagine the families of the Iranians who died when the USN shot down their passenger jet sue the USA in their court systems, get a civil judgement, and then attempt to 'confiscate' the international postal codes used to route mail to the USA.

"Offtopic i know, but another thing that strikes me as absurd is the lawsuit. "Plaintiffs who successfully sued Iran, Syria and North Korea as sponsors of terrorism" include who exactly? and of these plaintiffs how many are willing to admit they openly ignore their own governments sponsorship of terrorism? The suit seems rather silly."

Indeed. The article has no other information on the plaintiffs involved but it certainly sounds like lawfare. There are a few governments brazen enough to misuse their court systems like this... aside from the ones mentioned as targets.

Re:its only property when its the RIAA. (2)

swb (14022) | about 2 months ago | (#47574235)

I think the GP has a point. Why is one part of the domain name considered property but the other part isn't? It doesn't seem to be internally consistent. It feels like tortured reasoning when every other aspect of DNS is treated like property.

If TLDs aren't property, how can any entity control and regulate them? Doesn't that require the kinds of power that imply ownership?

Doesn't ICANN make money of registrars who effectively sell TLDs?

Re:its only property when its the RIAA. (1)

mysidia (191772) | about 2 months ago | (#47578869)

Why is one part of the domain name considered property but the other part isn't?

Because registrants have been conveyed a transferrable "right" to their registration, which has a set of privileges which are mostly identical to property rights, other than the fact that the registry generally reserves the right to take their name from them under a UDRP dispute resolution procedure, and the registrar generally reserves the right to shut off their domain, in case they determine that there's been a terms of service violation.

Re:its only property when its the RIAA. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47574161)

Do you even READ bro?

Re:its only property when its the RIAA. (1)

btsfh (750772) | about 2 months ago | (#47575833)

ICE, FBI, and other law enforcement agencies can only seize domains that are managed by registrars or registries in countries in which they have jurisdiction. Very easy to seize a .com or a .biz (Verisign and Neustar are both in the US,) a bit rarder to seize a .cn (unless China wants to allow them to.)

Re:its only property when its the RIAA. (1)

mysidia (191772) | about 2 months ago | (#47578877)

can only seize domains that are managed by registrars or registries in countries in which they have jurisdiction

In this case, the registrant of the domain has a transferrable right to move the domain, and the registrar is acting as an agent of the registrant in maintaining their registration, AND the registry has given the registrar all the capabilities required to effect the technical aspects of the transfer on their own..

If the registry were truly looking out for the registrant's interests: they would provide a mechanism such as registry lock to allow the registrant to "SEAL" the domain on their own and make transfers not authorized with their keys, impossible, even by the registrar.

Of course ccTLDs are property..! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47573475)

Just like my name is my property! I now decree that every time someone says "Sean", they are referring to Tom Hanks.

You're welcome.

Re:Of course ccTLDs are property..! (3, Funny)

just_another_sean (919159) | about 2 months ago | (#47573555)

I'm not sure I can go along with that. No disrespect to Mr. Hanks, but, yeah, just no.

Re: Of course ccTLDs are property..! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47573895)

Your name may be property, but ccTLDs are more like your title, and no the title Mr. Is not your property.

Syria (5, Funny)

rossdee (243626) | about 2 months ago | (#47573481)

I think the ownership of the country of Syria is in dispute, never mind the tld domain name

Maybe it's me... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47573513)

...but I was under the impression they all belonged to the City of London police?

One thing they could seize (1)

WormholeFiend (674934) | about 2 months ago | (#47573529)

is those countries series of tubes, and install valves on them and charge for the flow.

In other words, they could put a toll on the internet superhighway, so that each time a big truck enters that country, there's a price to be paid.

Re:One thing they could seize (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | about 2 months ago | (#47573845)

each time a big truck enters

It's not a big truck!

Re:One thing they could seize (1)

WormholeFiend (674934) | about 2 months ago | (#47574033)

It's a simile

Re: One thing they could seize (2)

jd2112 (1535857) | about 2 months ago | (#47574565)

Comcast, is that you?

Interesting comparison (4, Interesting)

joe545 (871599) | about 2 months ago | (#47573571)

The UK courts generate a lot of uproar in the US (and rightly so) about them overstepping their jurisdiction with regards to libel laws. There seems to be a complete lack of self-awareness when lawsuits such as these come up. The plaintiffs in this case are trying to collect their award of $109 million (from a default judgement in Rubin et al v. Islamic Republic of Iran et al,) in retribution to injuries caused by a Hamas bombing they claim was funded by Iran. Using the American courts in this way rides roughshod over other the independence of other countries.

They also tried to sue the EU for giving aid to the "terrorist sponsoring" Palestinian Authority (they lost due to diplomatic immunity). Using the courts in this way seems to have very little to do with justice and more to do with politics.

Re:Interesting comparison (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 2 months ago | (#47573755)

Unfortunately as long as ICANN is under US jurisdiction, you're going to see disputes like this heading to US courts. (That said, I'm growing more and more wary of moves to internationalise the infrastructure; leaving it with the US's stewardship the least-bad option right now, even after the NSA revelations.)

Re:Interesting comparison (2, Insightful)

joe545 (871599) | about 2 months ago | (#47573817)

When was the last time you heard anything controversial about the UN-run ITU?

Re:Interesting comparison (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 2 months ago | (#47574189)

Well, there was that attempt at a power grab for control of the Internet back in 2012 [slashdot.org] through regulatory capture mechanisms, which failed after China and Russia withdrew their support, but only after the EU [slashdot.org] , US [slashdot.org] , and a good chunk of the rest of the Western world (including Google [slashdot.org] ) expressed condemnation of the idea.

Other than that, no controversies come to mind, though I should hope that's the case, given that they're a simple regulatory body.

Re:Interesting comparison (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 2 months ago | (#47574395)

When was the last time you heard anything controversial about the UN-run ITU?

Ha-ha! You want to jand the Internet over to the people who invented X.25. Good one!

Re:Interesting comparison (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 2 months ago | (#47573909)

If this works out, Israel might have a much bigger counter-suit on their hands.

https://twitter.com/ThisIsGaZa... [twitter.com]

"Israeli sniper terrorist bragging about murdering 13 kids "

Its a name (2)

stewsters (1406737) | about 2 months ago | (#47573581)

Its a name, specifically for a country. You can't sue someone and take away their name. What if I sued the US government and then got awarded their name, and they had to change theirs to something else? That's ridiculous.

Corporate States of America (1)

swb (14022) | about 2 months ago | (#47574119)

They were planning a name change anyway, this just lets them put some spin on the decision.

Re:Corporate States of America (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47575553)

I think "Freedomistan" would be a better name and more in tune with similar fanatic countries.

ICANN'T needs to get a real lawyer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47573665)

Explaining the negative effects of siezing property is a poor rationalization. It also contradicts about a gazillion state and municipality laws that specifically bestow ownership and tax you for it. Just because ICANN is the authority for adminstering those trademarks, it has no say over the actual law.
  It's ok, courts deal with idiot lawmakers all the time, administrative dipshits usually don't make it off the clerks desk.

Good (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 2 months ago | (#47573745)

Good.

Being a "good guy" or a "bad guy" is always subjective. Whatever nonsense you pull on the "Bad guys" today will eventually be used by them against you once they convince enough people you're a "Bad guy" Best leave nonsensical BS like stripping them on their domains alone. It will only turn out badly. I mean, really, would it be that hard to convince enough people that the USA is a terrorist entity?

Re:Good (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47573927)

would it be that hard to convince enough people that the USA is a terrorist entity?

And just how many countries have we bombed unprovoked in the past 40 years? How many unconvicted terrorists have we tortured/killed? How many countries have we sold weapons to who have used those weapons on their own populations and/or neighbors?

Oh, right.

Whew. FFS... (4, Insightful)

Arancaytar (966377) | about 2 months ago | (#47573825)

Sure, let's tear apart the integrity of our global network for the sake of sticking it to a government. Did anyone think through what would happen if you disrupted the network on such a scale? The national ISPs would host their own root, and anyone abroad who wanted to keep accessing those domains would likewise switch to alt roots.

End result, the domain name system gets fractured, ICANN and the US govt retain less control of the internet, and also they look like assholes.

Good thing this was dismissed as the dumb idea it was.

Re:Whew. FFS... (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 2 months ago | (#47573977)

Well, having the US government retain less control of the entire internet isn't a bad thing. Unless you're a fucking moron.

Re:Whew. FFS... (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | about 2 months ago | (#47574071)

It is from their perspective, which makes this a stupid decision even by their own interests.

Re:Whew. FFS... (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 months ago | (#47574107)

It actually seems like it is bad thing.
IF it goes to the UN, it will the be parted to to different groups.

Going to the UN is a way to splinter the internet. So right now, the US does look like the best practical option. Unless you want different countries to dictate the rules for different parts of the internet.

Re:Whew. FFS... (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 2 months ago | (#47574145)

I'll tell you what.

Pick a country, any country other than the US. Let them have it for the next 25 years.

Now imagine you're neither country. Dependent on a bully country and some other random country for your internet control. Which would you take? Or the UN?

Re:Whew. FFS... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47574417)

The US. Every time. Seriously, as far as the stuff we're talking about, the US hasn't been abusive.

If you think they have, you need to look into how most everything else in the history of the world has been abused, then compare that to these abuses of internet control by the US.

Remember, it's just a root server. Anyone can, at any time, make a new root server and create a schism. It's only in US control because nobody really wants to remove it from US control. If these abuses were real, the control would be gone in an instant.

Re:Whew. FFS... (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 2 months ago | (#47574483)

Let me guess where you're from.

A place where imagination is non-existent.

Re:Whew. FFS... (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 2 months ago | (#47574829)

If the random country is Switzerland, I'd probably go with them. They seem to be quite good at the whole neutrality thing overall.

Re:Whew. FFS... (1)

suutar (1860506) | about 2 months ago | (#47575465)

Sealand! [wikipedia.org]

Re: Whew. FFS... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47577483)

Put me down for random country. Or the UN.

Whew. FFS... (2)

AHuxley (892839) | about 2 months ago | (#47573991)

Re The national ISPs would host their own root.
Yes nations would just go for a version of the classic Minitel https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org] with a nice web 2.0 feel.
Other nations would then set up their own networks understanding they could be 'next'.

TLDs are sort of names.... (1)

molson504x (864382) | about 2 months ago | (#47573957)

a TLD is sort of like a way to identify an address. For example, you'd never say "I'm going to go to 4202 E Fowler Avenue", you'd say "I'm going to go to the University of South Florida". In the same way, you rarely browse the internet by typing in an IP address, you use a domain name. So essentially all they'd be doing is confiscating a nickname while I really think they want to confiscate the actual property (the IP address, and subsequently the servers).

Face Palm (1)

Fieryphoenix (1161565) | about 2 months ago | (#47573971)

It's like seizing a zip code. Moronic.

Re:Face Palm (1)

stdarg (456557) | about 2 months ago | (#47574485)

It's not really analogous to zip codes because zip codes are an internal system of the post office. But authority for TLDs is farmed out to various agencies, governments, or companies, who make money off them and get to decide the rules for registering names under that TLD. See http://www.iana.org/domains/ro... [iana.org]

So .ir is under the authority of the Institute for Research in Fundamental Sciences (http://www.ipm.ac.ir/25/index.jsp) which is "a government-sponsored advanced research institute founded in 1989 in Tehran, Iran. The institute was the first Iranian organization to connect to the Internet. It is also the domain name registry of .ir domain names." (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I... [wikipedia.org] )

It's that authority that the plaintiffs want to take away from Iran, not the name of Iran or the letters ".ir" or whatever.

Re:Face Palm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47575111)

Well, controlling a TLD means controlling the domain name chain from the international domain name root servers (so long as the change in control is not refused by some root servers or their mirrors), so most accesses from the rest of the world could more easily pass through controlled routers for spying/blocking/disruption. Of course it probably would not affect most of internal traffic in Iran, considering Iran already censors it, and most likely already bypasses the root servers for their own TLD even for the general public. But it's far from useless.

And it can also affect external views from the public in the rest of the world, which possibly wouldn't be able to access a large part of Iran websites with pieces of information and opinions not available elsewhere, meaning it would be easier to control and manipulate the opinion of the rest of the world regarding Iran. Particularly since I suppose various registrars and community websites around the world may block Iranians from publishing information on other TLDs...

It also has an "humiliation" purpose, in controlling what the country should be in control of.

Not Property??? (2)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 2 months ago | (#47574009)

What kind of Commie Talk is that? This is the 21st Century and Capitalism and the Free Market are Triumphant.

Everything is property and Must Be Monetized.

In fact, I'm sure that any day now someone will patent each and every individual air molecule on the planet and charge us royalties for breathing them.

We're already well on the way to doing that for water.

Re:Not Property??? (1)

swb (14022) | about 2 months ago | (#47574149)

How will that work when the trees I own produce their own air?

Re:Not Property??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47574707)

You mean you've set up a large scale factory dedicated to the production of patented air and cunningly disguised it as a garden? You monster! Just think of the hard working companies who you're putting out of business, clearly you must be stopped. For America!

Re:Not Property??? (2)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 2 months ago | (#47576289)

You mean you've set up a large scale factory dedicated to the production of patented air and cunningly disguised it as a garden? You monster! Just think of the hard working companies who you're putting out of business, clearly you must be stopped. For America!

It's far worse than that. Trees don't just "produce" air. They need input! American Industry has worked long and hard to produce all that CO2 and they deserve to be compensated!

Also, the Monsanto auditors will be by shortly to ensure that each and every one of those trees is properly licensed.

Re:Not Property??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47574317)

What kind of Commie Talk is that? This is the 21st Century and Capitalism and the Free Market are Triumphant.

Everything is property and Must Be Monetized.

In fact, I'm sure that any day now someone will patent each and every individual air molecule on the planet and charge us royalties for breathing them.

We're already well on the way to doing that for water.

You got that backwards.

It's overweening governments - such as Communist ones - that declare everything property. So they can take it., or tax it.

All for the common good, you know.

Of course they don't. (1)

Qbertino (265505) | about 2 months ago | (#47574079)

Jebus H. Christ, Tlds are bits on an HDD. Who can 'own' those? The whole concept of 'intellectual property' is laughable and disintegrates after 3 stages of rationalisation the latest. Especially with network meta directories such as the DNService.
I can send them a HDD full of Tlds, including ones that I just made up. If they pay me a little more I might even take a used server and set up a DNS to serve them.
1000 Euros and it's theirs.

Re:Of course they don't. (1)

stdarg (456557) | about 2 months ago | (#47574571)

Nobody wants ownership of the bits on the HDD.

This is not complicated. Think of it as a series of tubes... ICANN decides which tube connects to which name. Right now ".ir" is connected to "the Institute for Research in Fundamental Sciences" in Tehran, Iran (http://www.iana.org/domains/root/db). The plaintiffs want to force ICANN to disconnect that tube and hook it up to "Some New Registrar Inc." which they will presumably set up. Then they get to decide the rules under which domain names can be registered under ".ir" and also collect the fees for doing so, which right now go to Iran.

ICANN is basically arguing that a contract is not property, which is probably wrong in this age of intellectual property, but regardless, contracts certainly have value and can be bought and sold and reassigned and modified and seized in lawsuits and what-not. Kind of like when a bank goes bankrupt, that doesn't mean all the mortgages (which are financial contracts) they have get forgiven. And even when another bank comes in and buys the mortgages at a discount, you the mortgagee don't get any sort of discount on what you owe the new bank.

Re:Of course they don't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47574837)

Nobody wants ownership of the bits on the HDD.

i am pretty sure the RIAA, MPAA, and BSA disagree with you.

Ooh, maybe they should sieze (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | about 2 months ago | (#47574159)

Perhaps they should try to sieze their country codes [countrycode.org] instead!

U.S government and terrorism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47574191)

The U.S government runs and wields its military like a state-sponsored terrorist organization. Does that mean we will get rid of .us, too?

Didn't ICANN already give them all to godaddy? (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 2 months ago | (#47574319)

ICANN's primary objective - at least for the last 10 or so years - has been profit maximization. They have done everything they can to help registrars make more money without concern for the long-term consequences of atrociously bad decisions (such as selling gTLDs).

Other Lawsuits? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47574433)

So when are the other lawsuits for mass death and destruction, including the confiscation of their ccTLDs, due to finish. You know, the ones against the US, Russia, China, Germany, Chechnya, Kazakhstan, Algeria, Niger, Columbia, Ethiopia, Egypt, Turkey, Zambia, Myanmar, Botswana, Japan, Uganda, Honduras.... You know, it might be simpler to list the countries that have never caused any mass terrorism/destruction, [None].

It is an act of war. Treat it as such. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47574443)

Attempting to seize/interfere with a ccTLD is an act of war against that country, simply as that, regardless of whether judges overstepping well above their stations think it is "property" or not. This kind of shit really should be put before an international court or the UN as a request for sanctions against a foreign state.

It won't take more than ICANN taking a _single_ loss on such matters for the root DNS system to suffer a netsplit. Each root-server operator HAS the hability to desync from IANA, and the only thing that gets in the way is DNSSEC. DLV takes care of that one nicely. In fact, I fully expect that the more paranoid/wiser countries will mandate anchored DLVs for their ccTLDs on all ISPs operating within their borders, either active all the time, or as pre-planned emergency response.

The military and homeland-security-like agencies of the world are going to pay a lot of attention to these developments.

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