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A Monroe Doctrine for the Internet

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the ours-all-ours dept.

The Internet 708

InklingBooks writes "An article in Foreign Affairs suggests that in a tersely worded statement the United States has issued a 'Monroe Doctrine' for the Internet. The Monroe Doctrine was a unilateral declaration by the U.S. that it would not permit European powers to establish new colonies in the Western Hemisphere." From the article: "Everyone understands that the Internet is crucial for the functioning of modern economies, societies, and even governments, and everyone has an interest in seeing that it is secure and reliable. But at the same time, many governments are bothered that such a vital resource exists outside their control and, even worse, that it is under the thumb of an already dominant United States. Washington's answer to these concerns -- the Commerce Department's four terse paragraphs, released at the end of June, announcing that the United States plans to retain control of the Internet indefinitely -- was intended as a sort of Monroe Doctrine for our times. It was received abroad with just the anger one would expect, setting the stage for further controversy."

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708 comments

How... (0, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953655)


How long until we see www.we-surrender-the-internet-to-you.fr? By Monday?

Re:How... (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953809)

How long until we see www.we-surrender-the-internet-to-you.fr? By Monday?

I don't know, but I'm sure of one thing. They won't have "freedom fries" banner ads in there!

Re:How... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13953825)

Maybe the U.S. can invade a sovereign nation that doesn't even have Internet access to prove how tough they are on Internet access.

a new internet (5, Insightful)

ajdlinux (913987) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953656)

There's still the possibility of an alternate internet. The US can't enforce rules online.

Re:a new internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13953727)

I've already named it. euronet.

Re:a new internet (5, Insightful)

l2718 (514756) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953792)

There's still the possibility of an alternate internet. The US can't enforce rules online.

The situation is more complicated than that. You can't have conflicting IP addresses without having completely separate networks, which is impractical (everyone will want to be able to connect to sites under the American Hegemony), and you don't want to have conflicting DNS records either. Indeed the rest of the world can set up their own DNS servers for a new TLD (say '.earth'), but they can't force anyone to contact the root server for that domain. The result will be chaos.

Now, the US stands to benefit from controlling a global resource (just like oil-producing countries benefit from controlling the oil supply). The article seems to hint that it's wrong. You can hardly fault a government from wielding its power to make the world better for its citizens (isn't that's their function, after all?). Of course the US government doens't always seem to have the benefit of all its citizens in mind most of the time, but that's a separate issue. If we don't like what the US government does, we can ask our governments to negotiate with them to change their behaviour. And naturally we will have to offer them something in return -- TANSTAAFL.

Re:a new internet (2, Insightful)

giorgiofr (887762) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953839)

The situation is more complicated than that. You can't have conflicting IP addresses without having completely separate networks, which is impractical (everyone will want to be able to connect to sites under the American Hegemony), and you don't want to have conflicting DNS records either. Indeed the rest of the world can set up their own DNS servers for a new TLD (say '.earth'), but they can't force anyone to contact the root server for that domain. The result will be chaos.

True. Chaos, indeed.

Now, the US stands to benefit from controlling a global resource (just like oil-producing countries benefit from controlling the oil supply). The article seems to hint that it's wrong. You can hardly fault a government from wielding its power to make the world better for its citizens (isn't that's their function, after all?).

Sure. Unfortunately what you don't understand is that, prepare for it... We will do whatever we like and as you said you can't stop us. In a way, it's a war you can't win and you have the options to 1. fight and lose, 2. give up and lose and spare yourselves (and us, ok) years of unbelievable mess. Up to you.

Righteous!! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13953665)

It's about time. The EU and the UN can kiss my hairy ass! Don't like it? Then get off my internet.

Toodles.

even as a european... (3, Interesting)

matt4077 (581118) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953669)

... I feel the internet is rather save in us hands. At least better than in that of Cuba and Iran. And even in Eurpean countries, some politicians don't always understand that freedom is always the freedom of different opinions (or sexual preferences and tastes).

Re:even as a european... (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13953728)

well it seems that "us" don't think people have the freedom of sexual preference or abortion

I think the US is catching up to a lot of the petty, religious run third world countries

Re:even as a european... (2, Interesting)

giorgiofr (887762) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953732)

Which is exactly the reason why the root DNS servers (and not "the intarwebz" as you make it) should not be run by an American government. Or yours or mine.
(Then again, there should be no governments at all in my ideal world, but hey - let's start with the easiest things first.)

Re:even as a european... (1)

mboverload (657893) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953762)

> Which is exactly the reason why the root DNS servers should not be run by an American government

Good, because they're not.

Re:even as a european... (2, Interesting)

giorgiofr (887762) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953868)

Yeah... It just so happens that the supposedly independent org that controls them is owned by the US and is subject to American laws, and as such might be asked/forced to do things that a really independent org wouldn't.

"Fraud" is the biggest issue. (1)

khasim (1285) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953890)

Since they are in the US and under US law, the US's definition of "fraud" and "consumer protection" apply. Not anyone else's.

So the US does control them.

If there is a disagreement over who has what domain name, it is US law that decides the case if it goes to court.

Re:even as a european... (3, Insightful)

Rei (128717) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953755)

Yeah, America is the world's great respector of human sexuality - we'd never pass things like DOMAs.

Where'd you get that notion from?

Yeah, America would never try to pass legislation regulating good taste on the Internet - nothing like the Communications Decency Act or the Child Online Protection Act

Again, where'd you get that notion from?

Yes, we're a heck of a lot better than, say, China. However, we're not talking about giving China the freedom to censor the internet. We're not talking about giving anyone the freedom to censor the internet; this has nothing to do with new protocols or a global firewall. It's about who controls ICANN. Since ICANN doesn't take part in those things, such topics are irrelevant to the debate over who controls it. This conversation is about DNS and registrar accreditation.

Re:even as a european... (4, Insightful)

aaronl (43811) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953851)

Of course, you're right about the US not being some kind of perfection. It's a good system that has been twisted around. It barely resembles the original framework, at this point.

The problem you get with the way that the UN or the EU is talking about doing it, is that you would have an even *bigger* beauracracy in charge of it. You *would* have countries like China or Iran or Cuba that took up as chair of the DNS committee. You'd have a technical resource directly controlled by a "government" with no actual authority. It's one thing to set standards on an international level, but quite another to have things like this controlled by something like the UN.

The US shouldn't be running DNS, nor should the EU or the UN. Right now, the US doesn't really run it, but they have influence. If it was in the UN, then lots of people accountable to none of us would have influence, and quite a few of them are nearly diametrically opposed to free speech, or even freedom in general.

The "market" should decide this. (4, Interesting)

khasim (1285) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953865)

Why not advocate that each and every nation that wants to should setup its own TLD DNS servers?

If they want them to just forward requests to the ones in the US, that's fine.

If that nation wants to break those searches, that's fine too. The only people they'll be hurting are their own citizens. And the smarter ones will be able to re-direct the queries to other servers.

This is the biggest stupid fight about NOTHING.

The ONLY issue would be .com names and such and what organizations are allowed to register them. But that would also be solved in this fashion. If a Korean site gave "slashdot.org" to one of their friends, then Korea could not get to "slashdot.org" ... but everyone else could.

If they can't play nice, they're only hurting their own people.

Re:even as a european... (1)

TikiTDO (759782) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953773)

Unfortunately many American politicians always seem to forget that freedom is also freedom from RIAA, MPAA, and oh so many other groups with more money than sense.

how very vague (1)

JeanBaptiste (537955) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953670)

Do they mean 'internet' or 'world-wide-web'?

Its my understanding that all this is over root DNS servers, which are only a small part of what the internet is and does.

Of course its the part that everyone's grandmother uses, so articles like these refer to 'the internet'...

grr.

Re:how very vague (1)

ajdlinux (913987) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953695)

It's true that DNS is a small part of what the internet is and does, but it is a vitally important part. It's much much easier to type http://slashdot.org/ [slashdot.org] than 66.35.250.150. ICANN is behaving undemocratically and has a monopoly. That's what I'm worried about: abuse of power.

Re:how very vague (1, Troll)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953798)

Frankly, when it comes to efficiency, democracy sucks. So yea, ICANN run by the US sucks, but ICANN run by the UN would suck 191 times more.

Best case scenario would be a completely independant group funded out of the domain registration fees, chartered to issue domain names impartially, arbitrate disputes, with super-minimal oversight by a bunch of different countries who would have zero say in any desicisions, but would be around just to make sure that corruption wasn't setting in.

Not that anyone would be happy with that.
 

Re:how very vague (3, Insightful)

aaronl (43811) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953724)

DNS *is* only a small part of what the Internet is, however it is one of the most important services that exists on it. Most everything is located and connections established by resolving a DNS name to an IP. Email depends upon DNS almost completely, for example. Without DNS, we're thrown back to the days where you had to maintain and copy around massive tables for everything, so that you know what the IP of the mail exchange is, what the web server IP is, etc.

Even things like Microsoft's Active Directory require a DNS infrastructure to work, though it doesn't need the global DNS that we're talking about.

In this case, you can pretty much consider it to be "the internet", since, while IP and associated routing will still work fine, most services will not.

Not a very good analogy (0, Flamebait)

PIPBoy3000 (619296) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953677)

The Monroe Doctrine [wikipedia.org] essentially told European powers to say out of the affairs of the Americas. In this case, the US is meddling in the affairs of everyone else by controlling the name servers that everyone uses.

Perhaps the "World Domination Doctrine" would be a more apt name.

Re:Not a very good analogy (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13953725)

America does only apply Monroe Doctrine when they want.
It was clear when they support the British in the Folkland/Malvinas War.

Re:Not a very good analogy (1)

Dan-DAFC (545776) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953867)

Except that wasn't a case of establishing new colonies in the Western hemisphere, it was a case of evicting the invaders of an existing "colony".

Re:Not a very good analogy (1)

Have Blue (616) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953739)

You just described a reason it's a very GOOD analogy. The US never obeyed the Monroe Doctrine either.

Re:Not a very good analogy (1)

SquadBoy (167263) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953743)

The solution is, of course, obvious. Stop using those name servers. If enough people do this they will fall by the wayside. No reason you *have* to use them.

Re:Not a very good analogy (1)

CosmeticLobotamy (155360) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953757)

In this case, the US is meddling in the affairs of everyone else by controlling the name servers that everyone uses.

No, if they told them they couldn't have their own, then they would be meddling. The rest of the world is free to do what it wants, just don't expect help from the people you're calling names.

I hate having to side with the US.

Re:Not a very good analogy (1)

Rei (128717) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953856)

free to do what it wants

Which is exactly what they're threatening to do. This is called a "schism", and in general something that one would like to avoid - hence the controversy. If the controversy isn't resolved, however, they'll do just that: start their own DNS system.

Re:Not a very good analogy (2, Insightful)

Bagheera (71311) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953758)

"In this case, the US is meddling in the affairs of everyone else by controlling the name servers that everyone uses."

Not really. The root servers, bind itself, in fact, were developed in the United States and were under the control of US organizations from their inception. It's not the US meddling in the affairs of others here. It's others wanting to meddle in the affairs of the internet as a whole and the US telling them "No."

As others have pointed out before in this argument, there is nothing whatsoever stopping other countries from setting up their own root servers and forcing their population to use them. It will proabably break things, and no one else will use them, but there's no real reason they can't.

The trouble is that Governments, all governments (US included) feel the need to have some kind of control. Getting everyone to agree on just how to use that control is an exercise in futility. Would China do a better job with the root servers? France? The UK? Zimbabwe?

Probably not.

Re:Not a very good analogy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13953764)

In this case, the US is meddling in the affairs of everyone else by controlling the name servers that everyone uses.

No we're not. For as much as the EU bitches about it, I'd be willing to bet that few if any of those nations would really want an internet without the U.S. Too many businesses, too many vital services reside within U.S. borders.

If the net suddenly fractured one day into two networks: USA, and everyone else, I guarantee you I wouldn't be missing anything from my daily activites by using the U.S.-only network.

In this particular case, the rest of the world wants access to U.S. services more than we want access to them. So they should just stfu and appreciate that there is an internet in the first place.

Re:Not a very good analogy (1)

aaronl (43811) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953788)

That is not exactly the case. Europe is talking about taking control of DNS, which is currently run by America. The US isn't will to cede control, so various countries are talking about trying to use a form of force to remove US control. While it is certainly possible for them to do this without using actual force, it undermines the current system to do so.

You can't accurately say that this is the US trying for world domination. The US already has it, and doesn't want to give it up. Objectively, it looks more like the UN is trying for world domination. ;-)

DNS is a cooperative system. Everyone chose to use the server that the US administers, and everyone could choose to not continue doing so. However, that puts something that is critical in the hands of a group with an unknown track record for running DNS, with an infrastructure of unknown reliability, and with unknown (as of yet) policies. You may or may not continue to have the domains you currently do.

The UN, et al, is making this a huge deal over something they didn't have a reason to be involved in. They're right be on the receiving end of a big fight; if a change to DNS happens, it should be to entirely remove government influences, not to create a much large influence.

Re:Not a very good analogy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13953844)

The UN, et al, is making this a huge deal over something they didn't have a reason to be involved in.

Please tell us what else is new.

Re:Not a very good analogy (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953813)

In this case, the US is meddling in the affairs of everyone else by controlling the name servers that everyone uses.

The US publishes a root zone file that everyone uses. If you don't like it, you don't have to use it. The US doesn't control what nameservers you or your ISP use. If you don't like them, set up your own.

Perhaps the "World Domination Doctrine" would be a more apt name.

What a load of bullcrap. What this is a power grab run by 'progressive' countries like China etc. who want to be able to wring freedom of speach out of the internet.

Re:Not a very good analogy (2, Insightful)

supabeast! (84658) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953888)

"In this case, the US is meddling in the affairs of everyone else by controlling the name servers that everyone uses."

The United States never forced any other nation to use our name servers, nor did the United States ever force those nations to connect themselves to our WAN. When other nations connected to the internet they did so voluntarily, and if they don't like the way our government chooses to manage our WAN, those nations are just as free to stop using ours - for that matter, they're free to just set up their own name servers connected to our WAN.

What it really comes down to is that decades after the US had the internet working, the rest of the world still couldn't pull off something similar. UN can't even agree that it should make some sort of serious effort to stop genocide in Africa, the damage all those corrupt diplomats would do to the internet if put in charge is unthinkable. Perhaps if those whiners in the EU could get their own constitution ratified by the member states the US would have a good reason to care about Europe's desire to have more control over the internet, but right now there's no evidence that letting other nations have more control over the internet would do anything but ruin it.

Damn it (4, Insightful)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953681)

People need a clue of they're going to be given power.

The US has no control over the internet, they can mess with it and poke it a little but nothing more. The internet is an extreme communist network. You need to work together so everything works. If someone stops doing their share they get cut off and end up having to rejoin and work twice as hard or they die. It's that simple.

No one controls the Internet, no one ever will. Anyone who tries to will lose far more than I wish to even guess at.

Re:Damn it (2, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953752)

While it's technically true that no one, including the US or ICANN, actually controls the internet, it is also true that ICANN, under US authority, controls an awful lot of the way the internet is generally used. You can choose not to work with them and still make use of the internet, of course, but realistically you're going to be making life very difficult for yourself by doing so. In that sense, I see what the other countries involved are complaining about.

That being said, I haven't seen any alternatives floated that seem especially preferable to the current system, although something on the ITU/UPU model seems like the most likely long-term outcome.

Re:Damn it (3, Insightful)

KilobyteKnight (91023) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953821)

No, it's not communism. Communism is a top down approach to control where a central authority dictates what everyone does. Communism isn't about happy people working together for a better tomorrow, despite what you might have been taught.

Your last statement about no one controlling the internet is actually anarchy... which also is not what the internet is.

It's amazing that you could try to apply two diametrically opposed labels to the same thing... and then get modded up for it.

Re:Damn it (1)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953875)

I think you'll find communism is where everyone is equal. There is no "leader" to work top down from.. if there is such a person then it's not true communism.

The internet is communist like Japan is. The whole society wants to be communist (or is forced into it), so they act that way. The internet is the same.

Communism can be anarchy where everyone wants the same thing so no one conflicts. Anarchy is only anarchy if theres no power and everyone has a different view point.

Re:Damn it (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953827)

The US has no control over the internet, they can mess with it and poke it a little but nothing more.

Not the Internet, but the IntarWeb. More specifically the master root DNS server.

Now, so far the rest of the world has been tripping over itself to hook up to our DNS hierarchy. But, that aside, multiple roots are the only long-term solution, both from the perspective of geopolitics and competition and TLD differentiation in the DNS.

But forget a Monroe Doctrine - the first step is to declare war on ICANN.

Re:Damn it (1, Insightful)

david.given (6740) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953861)

The US has no control over the internet, they can mess with it and poke it a little but nothing more.

You're kidding, right?

If the US government really wants to, they could shut down the root DNS servers, or even worse, set them to produce bogus data. That will cause, very quickly, worldwide chaos as the 'net becomes unusable. People will work around it very quickly --- I'm sure most clued-up governments have backup servers and all the major ISPs are set up to fail-over to them at the first sign of trouble --- but in the mean time, a hell of a lot of mission critical infrastructure will have gone belly up, all around the world. And then people really will die.

The US government would have to be idiots to do this because the US has as much mission-critical applications based on the 'net as everyone else (banks and such; forget the military, they've got their own networks). But... well... these days, the US government is not doing that great a job at persuading the world that they're not idiots, and that's what's making people nervous.

But then how will they get any support? (2, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953872)

The reason that the EU and UN keep talking such such terms is because they want to scare people in to supporting their grab of DNS. If you tell the average person the truth: "A US orginization maintins control of the text file that contains high-level domain mappings. It's a defacto standard that the DNS roots choose to listen to, but nobody forces them to do so. Also it delegates control of individual domains to the respective contries." Well, nobody will care. If however you say: "The US controls the Internet, and they can fuck up your access whenever they want!!!" People get visions of US imperalism extending to the Internet and want you to save them from it.

I expect the rehetoric to continue full force from the EU. I also expect nothing to come of it unless there are some draconian laws passed over there. Seems most DNS server operators are happy using the root-servers.net roots, and those roots are happy listening to ICANN. Since the government won't force ICANN to give control to the UN, and ICANN has no reason to, nothing will happen.

Re:Damn it (1)

slashdotnickname (882178) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953889)

The internet is an extreme communist network. You need to work together so everything works. If someone stops doing their share they get cut off and end up having to rejoin and work twice as hard or they die. It's that simple.

Your anology is wrong. The Internet is far more free and robust that you give it credit for. Not everything as to work together fine for everything else to work. If designed right, a network can have one of its routers stop "doing its share" and still reach other networks with only minor disturbance. And what's this having to work twice as hard when a node rejoins? You need a networking primer my dear commrade.

Kinda silly (3, Interesting)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953682)

The control thing is kinda silly. If the root servers become unstable due to government interference, people will use alternative servers. It happened before. There is often a technical solution for government stupidity. Even if the poweres that be don't want it...

As long.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13953693)

As long as its not the same Monroe from the movie island of dr. monroe, and what the heck was that tiny little guy that played the piano? Crazy world!

Look ma, I'm a gangsta [linuxgangster.org].

Either or (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13953699)

Either each country should control its own domain, e.g. co.kr, co.br, etc. and those that cannot/do not want to; have the UN or something else control it

or

if a world wide web without countries is required, then a world wide body should govern it democratically

Why is the current administration so frightened of democracy ?

Not the best connotations in S/C America (0, Flamebait)

barutanseijin (907617) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953702)

The rest of the Americas weren't too happy with the idea of the Americans appointing themselves the stewards of the W. hemisphere. I doubt that the world will be any happier with this. On the other hand, the US was a rising power then, but is now in decline, and the world may be more annoyed or even amused than angry.

To Be Fair (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13953765)

The U.S. built the DNS system, paid for it, and maintained it since the beginning.

People clamoring for control is spooky, since they haven't stated any real grievances.

I suspect its certain EU countries looking to be considered relevant and they think that if they have a hand in governance of the Internet that makes them equal to the U.S. in some respect.

It reminds me of the 13 year old kid who wants to smoke so they look "all grown up".

Re:Not the best connotations in S/C America (1)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953871)

I hate joining into these political wankfests, but I have to know - what exactly makes you think the US is in decline? Do you have anything specific in mind, or is this the usual /. anti-US bias?

Manifest Destiny (0, Flamebait)

ScoLgo (458010) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953705)

"No nation ever existed without some sense of national destiny or purpose.

Manifest Destiny -- a phrase used by leaders and politicians in the 1840s to explain continental expansion by the United States -- revitalized a sense of "mission" or national destiny for Americans.

The people of the United States felt it was their mission to extend the "boundaries of freedom" to others by imparting their idealism and belief in democratic institutions to those who were capable of self-government. It excluded those people who were perceived as being incapable of self-government, such as Native American people and those of non-European origin."

Hmmmm... Iraq? The Intrawebs? What's next? Oh yeah, the moon. Let's install a giant frickin' laser on the moon and then we can hold the rest of the world hostage.

Mmmwwwuuuuuuhhahahhhhaahhaahaa...

Re:Manifest Destiny (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13953862)

"L.A.S.E.R."

a sign of the times (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13953706)

This is truly a sign of the times. The US is not only trying to control world oil reserves via the "war on terror", but wants to control the Internet, a vehicle for free speech and the free exchange of world-changing ideas.

If the rest of the world wants a more democratic and free Internet, they would have to build hundreds of nodes and domain servers, not just rely on the US NSF-era nodes. Once that happens, then there will be more than one Internet, more than one way to get information from around the world.

Didn't we invent it? (2, Interesting)

bmac (51623) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953707)

We invented, we govern it. Simple. If they want to
create their own version and write the bridges, they
can go ahead, but it was our tax dollars (DARPA) that
developed it in the first place.

Now, there are more than a few decisions our gov't
has made and continues to make that I *strongly*
disagree with, but that's for another conversation.

Peace & Blessings,
bmac

Not everything (1, Offtopic)

scheme (19778) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953742)

We invented, we govern it. Simple. If they want to create their own version and write the bridges, they can go ahead, but it was our tax dollars (DARPA) that developed it in the first place.

Well, I guess we can just wish the web goodbye since it was created by people at CERN (Center for European Nuclear Research). I think other bits and portions of the net were created by others as well so your argument doesn't fly.

Re:Not everything (1)

CosmeticLobotamy (155360) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953877)

Well, I guess we can just wish the web goodbye since it was created by people at CERN (Center for European Nuclear Research).

Who's trying to take the web away from Europe?

Re:Didn't we invent it? (1)

ajdlinux (913987) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953767)

And the US is all for democracy.

1. ARPANET was funded by US taxpayers
2. Same with some other networks: MILNET, etc
3. But many other networks were created overseas, without the US
4. The internet was formed through ALL the networks together.

So america didn't invent the net. It only started it.

Re:Didn't we invent it? (2, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953786)

[sigh] Invention does not automatically mean control. Deal with it.

And as another poster pointed out, large portions of what we think of now as "the 'net" are not of US origin. Here's an idea: lay aside the jingoism for a moment and realize that the internet, in all its messy totality, is now something that belongs to the world, and sooner or later we're going to have to deal with that fact.

Re:Didn't we invent it? (1)

CosmeticLobotamy (155360) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953892)

Here's an idea: lay aside the jingoism for a moment and realize that the internet, in all its messy totality, is now something that belongs to the world, and sooner or later we're going to have to deal with that fact.

But how about we wait until there's actually a hint that there might potentially be a problem with the current system before we introduce giant unknowns into it.

Re:Didn't we invent it? (1, Troll)

giorgiofr (887762) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953807)

Didnt' we invent it?
We invented, we govern it. Simple. If they want to create their own version and write the bridges, they can go ahead, but it was our tax dollars (DARPA) that developed it in the first place.

Well NO. You certainly invented TCP but saying you invented the internet is downright silly. Just ask the guys at CERN, in Geneve. That is, if you can find it on a map.
Anyway, who has invented it has nothing to do with with who should manage the root DNS servers now. Unless you think that you should: 1. give back the English language to the English, 2. give back, oh, ANY machine invented after and thanks to Watt's invention, 3. etc. etc. Nobody in their right mind would agree with such conditions.
And really, I wonder what you're gonna do to shtop the blooddy europeanz from setting up their servers. Bomb them?
... oh wait.

Re:Didn't we invent it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13953820)

sadly, the RIAA which would love to own MP3 is American.

and MP3 was invented by a German company.

and TCP/IP was invented in Europe.

So no, you invented laying some cable, well done.

Go lay cable, cable layers. or blow up some developing country you decide you don't like. whatever.

Re:Didn't we invent it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13953824)

Then give back the greek their philosofy and society model. Give the Germans back their rocket technology which the US went to steal after the WW (it was develloped with German money and money of the Jews!). Wait.. put away the theory of relativity, those nukes as a result of that.. well.. um give them back!

The list is endless. How old are you sir, 5?

How about we go halfsies? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13953710)

American can control the '1's and the rest of the world can control the '0's. France gets the occasional '2.'

Re:How about we go halfsies? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13953733)

American can control the '1's and the rest of the world can control the '0's. France gets the occasional '2.'

More importantly, who will have control of the 'naughty bits'?

Other way around? (1)

MrFlannel (762587) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953826)

Wouldn't the opposite be more appropriate (not the france bit)? America getting 0s and the rest of the world getting the 1s, that way they can use extended characters (both ASCII, and Unicode)?

Bottom line (1, Troll)

Douglas Simmons (628988) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953721)

Putting aside what's right and wrong, if you can bare with me, anti-hegemonic-US rhetoric will not change the fact that we were here first. We cannot be compelled to give this up unless other countries start arming their nukes. And as an American, I'm gonna go ahead and say, Why should we? Then I'd follow that with a "sticks and stones" line.

Re:Bottom line (1)

wiggles (30088) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953846)

if you can bare with me

Sorry, I'm at work. If I 'bare with you', they'll probably fire me before they have me arrested for indecent exposure and sue me for sexual harassment :)

Re:Bottom line (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13953876)

LOL, spent a good twenty seconds on that word's spelling.. I was *this* close.

Grow up (1, Interesting)

barcodez (580516) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953749)

Seriously can everyone just grow the fuck up, otherwise this will end badly. The US needs to hand over some control of the root servers and Europe needs to trust the US a little more - this shared responsibility can only be a good thing for international relationships.

Re:Grow up (2, Insightful)

mboverload (657893) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953796)

> Seriously can everyone just grow the fuck up, otherwise this will end badly. The US needs to hand over some control of the root servers and Europe needs to trust the US a little more - this shared responsibility can only be a good thing for international relationships.

That might have been a good post. If you actually gave a reason for any of it.

I have to agree with the author (5, Insightful)

greenguy (162630) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953754)

I think it's pretty ridiculous to argue that the governance of the Internet should remain in the hands of any one government, even the US. There are those who would say especially the US. Most of the counter-arguments go something like this: "What, you want Cuba running the Internet?" No, I don't. But I think it's really small-minded, not to mention willfully blind, to think that the US has a monopoly on goodness and freedom. The Internet is global, and no one nation should have a chokehold over a global system. If it were any other nation, the US government would be on the side of those calling for it to surrender control to an international body.

Re:I have to agree with the author (1)

RobinH (124750) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953840)

If it were any other nation, the US government would be on the side of those calling for it to surrender control to an international body.

Did you just figure this out? It is about control. There's no reason any country's going to give it up once it has control (no matter who the "good guys" or "bad guys" are). It's just reality. From my perspective as an Evil Foriegner(tm), I figure it could be worse if another country had control, or another agency, so leave it with the US. That doesn't mean that'll be the best thing 20 or 50 years from now, but hey... if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Re:I have to agree with the author (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13953860)

I agree with you. This is the most moronic thing for the US to try to be stubborn about.

1. The US really can't prevent the rest of the world from developing their own root server system. If (or more likely 'when') that happens the US is going to have to cooperate to develop bridges between the two addressing systems, looking like fools all the while.

2. How does taking a more cooperative stance on this issue really compromise the US anyway? What is the freakin big deal that is so important that the US risks making the entire world angry with heavy-handed tactics? I've even read over the so called explanation, and I still don't get it.

(As a disclaimer, I am a US citizen).

can you imagine the UN overseeing ICANN? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13953760)

the US DoC actually has a good point, though. the governments crying for control of the net are not trying to replace ICANN (and maybe fix administrative corruption), they're trying to replace the DoC's control of ICANN. it's about wresting control from the united states, and giving it to the big beaurocracy. this will neither enhance efficiency of adopting beneficial change, nor aid the cause of the private individual. it would give a few more governments a crack at censoring what is said online. personally, i think it would lead to total ossification of the net as it now stands, and as technology marched onwards, a parallel replacement would have to be implemented to affect any real change.

Ok, who controls what again? (2, Interesting)

Elros (735454) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953769)

Ok, as I understand the situation, the entire argument is over who controls the root DNS servers. If another country want's "control" of the "internet", all they have to do is set up they're own servers and require that ISPs in that country use they're servers.

There is absolutely no sense in having a government of any country in charge of the root DNS servers. Given the nature of the "internet" it's almost completely out from under the control of any government anyway. The control is entirely in the hands of the communications industry anyway.

Politicians are dumb (4, Interesting)

RobinH (124750) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953787)

This shows how clueless politicians are when they talk about "control of the internet". The technology is available to everyone. Any country can setup a network based on TCP/IP technology, could setup their own root servers, and regulate ISPs in their country to use those root servers for their DNS's. Several countries could even get together and create a completely alternate network cut off from "the one true internet" as well. There exist all manners of segregating the current network, just look at the great firewall of China.

All this is about is who controls the main .com etc., domain names. I realize that some countries' domains are probably not under their control, and that seems unnecessary.

If we really wanted to fix the whole issue without trying to figure out whose dick is bigger, you go to something like this:

1) Make sure every country code is managed only by that country, and give them control of all root servers for that country.

2) Create a .com.nn domain in every country code (nn) - in many cases this is already done.

3) Give every .com domain holder the option to move their domain name under the country code of their choice. In cases where there are conflicting names, give it to the first of the two who registered it.

4) Blow away the .com domain, the same with other non-country code domains.

Then, every country has their own little "piece" of the internet, so to speak, and can regulate it into oblivion if they like.

Come to think of it, as long as countries have control of their country code root servers (if such a thing exists), then we're practically there. There's no reason why the US can't keep control of .com. I guess it just means that the root servers should be segregated by country. Would that be so bad?

Not to be an asshole, but... (-1, Flamebait)

facelessnumber (613859) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953790)

The US did invent the damn thing...

One thing to remind you... (0, Flamebait)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953870)

You may feel safe that YOUR "democratic" country is "responsibly ruling" over the internet. Just remember also, that your country has George W, Microsoft, SCO, the RIAA, the MPAA, the "Patriot Act" and the US Patent Office.

Enjoy your "safety".

The value of the Internet is greatly exaggerated (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953800)

"Everyone understands that the Internet is crucial for the functioning of modern economies, societies, and even governments, and everyone has an interest in seeing that it is secure and reliable."

The Internet has been in wide-spread use for about 10 years. It isn't crucial and if disappeared tomorrow, economies, societies, and governments would be able to function quite nicely without it.

Having said that, I don't think the US should have too much control over it unless they intend to disconnect the US portion from the rest of the world.

Examples of problems (4, Insightful)

FuryG3 (113706) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953808)

When other countries, IOs, or NGOs complain about the US 'stranglehold' on the Internet, I always see it as someone complaining about a problem that doesn't exist. First off, the Internet functions regardless of who controls the root servers, and if (for some strange reason) the US government did do something foolish, others are free to use different servers.

Regardless, I'm trying to see it from their point of view. Can someone provide specific previous actions which could be used in the argument against continued US 'control' of the registry?

Who cares? (2, Interesting)

marc_gerges (561641) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953832)

This makes a great topic for furious discussions and in the end isn't really that much of an issue - after all, the worst they can do is refuse usage of root servers and not allocate IP addresses. I have 2 computers here, I can make a perfectly functional internet. The technology is there, and it's open, so while some central control over standards and roots etc is nice to have, abuse of it will not end the world.

What I feel more uncomfortable about is carriers not playing fair. I expect bandwith providers to start tailoring their offerings to only work with content they approve of or promote - eg a broadband provider preferring his own VOIP service over competition services or his own digital TV access over the one from others. How long till 'internet access' means a big fat pipe to my provider, and a little trickle to the rest of the world, instead of the universal 'do as you please' open network we enjoy today? Unlike root servers, I cannot self provide my bandwith.

My (monopolist) cable provider bugs me with his ridiculously priced VOIP access. I currently use competition, but I expect them any day now to throttle access to the competition's IP block by just enough to not make it work anymore....

Well fine! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13953837)

I'm going to create my own internet, with blackjack! And hookers!

If you don't like it... (0, Flamebait)

dlc1911 (767076) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953841)

The Internet should remain as is... If some country doesn't like it then go make your own internet and stop bothering us. I encourage them to disconnect themselves from the rest of us and take control of their own area.

Does this mean (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13953847)

...we can expect a Vichy Doctrine from the French?

I still don't get the controversy (2, Interesting)

msmercenary (837876) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953848)

From TFA: Any network requires some centralized control in order to function.

This statement is just plain wrong. P2P has shown that. What TFA probably means to say is "Every big network I can think of requires some centralized control"

And I think this assumption is at the core of the controversy here. If there has to be a single unique owner of something, then yes, you're going to see fighting over who that gets to be. But why does there have to be?

First of all, it's only DNS. Any TCP/IP stack that is correctly implemented can accept multiple DNS servers. It's part of the redundancy built into the system. The worst case scenario from this whole issue would be that Europe establishes its own version of ICANN, with its own root DNS servers. People will still want to communicate with eachother, so those servers will cross-pollinate entries. Some way to handle collisions will be invented - maybe you just specify an extra level of TLD to determine which root servers you use. Maybe there'll be arbitration. What I'm saying here is that the world will go on. It's only DNS.

So I guess that, aside from political blustering on both sides of the pond, I just don't see enough controversy here to warrant the media circus it's causing.

Most are outside the US anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13953849)

A number of the Internet root nameservers are implemented as large numbers of clusters of machines using anycast. The C, F, I, J and K servers exist in multiple locations on different continents, using anycast announcements to provide a decentralized service. As a result most of the physical, rather than nominal, root servers are now outside the United States.

Possession is 9/10th of the law and all that...

This is stupid (1)

NitsujTPU (19263) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953864)

Listen. If you want a DNS server, then put up a DNS server. Really. This is really, very stupid.

Stop being stupid.

You can put up a DNS server if you like

The US can't stop you.

Do you understand me. We can't stop you from putting up a DNS server.

So put one up.

If people use it, then you "have control of the Internet," which is also a stupid statement. Since you've equated ownership of a DNS server with control of the Internet, then I guess that this is the yard stick that we're going to use to determine when you've done it.

You're picking a fight. It's a stupid fight to pick. In a world where you should choose your battles, you've chosen the dumbest battle, ever. You seem to think that this will give you some kind of shared ownership of the Internet. It won't. It won't change a thing, except where the server resides, and that a bunch of politicians are now involved, so they can screw everything up, and make it difficult.

OK...everyone ...SWITCH DNS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13953880)

All European countries have to do is somehow mandate their country's ISPs to use some other bunch of root servers for the DNS

And perhaps these "new" root servers (located in, ohhhh... Geneva, Munich, London, and uhhhh Rome) won't resolve ".us" or perhaps they redirect ".gov" to local government DNS servers...

While I always hated the faux news headline: "Imminent Death of the Internet predicted...film at 11", this scenario sounds like it might just come true and each area of the world becomes a bunch of fragmented Internets and nobody intercommunicates except MAYBE through the .COM TLD
I see it happening in the next ten years easy...as the US flexes its muscle and the rest of the world flexes back.

TDz.

"Control" the internet? (4, Insightful)

EriktheGreen (660160) | more than 8 years ago | (#13953891)

I am not sure whether to laugh or cry at the "we invented it, therefore it's ours" posts here.

The Internet is nothing more than an agreement to interoperate between networks. The only centrally controllable resource, the DNS system, is only de facto controlled by the US government. The current DNS root servers could be abandoned by the rest of the world easily, if the US pisses them off enough.

The US can't control the Internet any more than it can control what "good music" is. It's not something that can be controlled. Any attempt to influence it simply reflects badly on the US as a country, and works against our global interests in the long term.

This doctrine being spoken of makes obvious the fact that most of the current US administration and lawmakers are still living in the (mid) 20th century.

Unfortunately, they've been holding back development of our country for years (since post world war 2, when a global war made them believe in their own moral superiority) in the name of what they believe is right. Fortunately, they'll start dying of old age in droves soon.

I just hope they don't irreconciliably damage international relations before then.

Erik

PS: Taco, for the love of all that's holy start using Kupu or FCKeditor, or something besides these damned textareas.

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