Net-Neutrality or Net-Neutered?

I come across this interesting link.

Is ICANN really that susceptible to govt. pressure?

I only see chaos ahead specially with ipv6 coming into the scene.

Funny, tho - being succeptible to govt pressure CREATES an alt root DNS
structure. You'd think the smart thinkers in the govt woulda figured
that out. Apply pressure and it splinters. Sometimes easier to supervise
if its in one pile, no?

Also, "new DNS = whole new internet"? lol.


I come across this interesting link.

Is ICANN really that susceptible to govt. pressure?

Ignoring the fact that ICANN wasn't involved in the takedowns, ICANN is incorporated in California as a 501c(3) non-profit. As such, it is subject to US law, even laws that have impacts on ICANN's attempt to be an international organization. If folks show up at ICANN's door with a warrant or court order, ICANN, like any other company incorporated in the US, must abide.

In addition, ICANN performs the IANA functions under contract to the US Dept. of Commerce and in theory, pressure could be brought to bear on ICANN via (at least) threats of refusing to renew that contract. However, to date, I'm unaware of Commerce applying any sort of direct pressure this way (in fact, if Commerce did apply pressure to ICANN to further US gov't interests and it came out, it would likely be quite detrimental to US Gov't efforts in places like the ITU).

Looking outside the US, ICANN has an advisory committee called the "Government Advisory Committee". ICANN, in theory, doesn't have to listen to the GAC (they're an "advisory" committee after all), but to paraphrase George Orwell, some advisory committees are more equal than others.

I only see chaos ahead specially with ipv6 coming into the scene.

Well, yes, I expect there to be a bit of chaos, but not really related to the P2P DNS stuff (if coming up with a non-hierarchical replacement for the DNS was easy, it'd have been done ages ago): IPv4 free pool exhaustion, IPv6 deployment, new generic TLDs, internationalized TLDs, etc... interesting times ahead.


we'll if ICANN't .. maybe HECANN (*trying out humor*).

this idea of second internet doesn't make sense.
icann alone is already a handful.

ICANN is subject to government pressure, but not in the way suggested;
it should
be obvious fairly quickly if the ICANN board creates new policies
requiring registrars to provide
a technical means to censor domains governments object to on request.
It is possible that ICANN could create something like a UDRP for
government censorship,
but I don't see a public draft for that yet anyways.

ICANN is not the registrar of any domains or the registrar operator of
the gTLDs,
so ICANN lacks direct operational technical capability to "turn off"
domains or implement
government censorship; even if ICANN staff wished to do so.

Registrars and Registrar operators may be subject to government pressure,
in the form of law enforcement requests or court orders that they change contact
records and DNS records for a registered domain in the database that
they are publishing
on their set of servers that have the special status of globally
recognized TLD server.

Just in the same way a court could issue an order to a RBL service to
add (or remove)
IP addresses from their community-recognized blacklist, against an
RBL operator's will.

For most gTLD domains, the registrar would be the weakest link in the chain.

Many registrars have a clause in the registration agreement that
states something such as
"You agree that we may, in our sole discretion, delete or transfer
your domain name at any time."
So the registrar not only could be pressured; many already opened
the gate for them to respond
in the manner they like.

In the current state of affairs; Network operators concerned about
governmental interference with respect to their domains,
should register multiple domains under different TLDs with registrar
and registry operator in different jurisdictions.

Or understand that (yes); DNS can be effected by governments.
particularly content is offensive to the local government and might be
subject to censorship efforts,

Earlier this evening ISOC-NY hosted a talk "Nations and Networks" by
Milton Mueller

At one point, he said that he'd had conversations with government
insiders about their cracking of the whip on ICANN on matters like
.xxx etc. Their response had been that the USA's main worry is that,
unless they compromise with other governments on dns issues, the rest
of the world may decide to jettison the USA root altogether.. of
course, any messing with DNS smacks of hypocrisy after Hillary's rant
about freedom and openness in the wake of the Google-China frisson a
little while back.. I guess the argument would be that the freedom
only applies to "legal" sites.. she also suggested in the same speech
that anonymity was maybe a luxury that couldn't be afforded in a
responsible internet..

However it seems increasingly difficult to find a government that
doesn't favor its sovereign right to maintain some kind of national
blacklist, whether based on dns or ip. To illustrate the occasional
foot in bucket effect of the latter he quoted the example of the
virgin killer wikimedia incident - as noted
there the proxy-based blocking system employed had the effect of
rendering the entire UK unable to edit wikipedia.

The Internet Society has issued a statement criticizing technical
efforts to suppress Wikileaks: