October 7, 2005 5:22 PM PDT

House backs Bush on Internet stance

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives said this week that the United States should resist international pressure to give up authority over key Internet functions amid a mounting feud over the issue.

In a letter to Commerce and State Department officials, the lawmakers said the Bush administration should retain strong oversight over the Internet domain name system, specifically the root servers that guide traffic to huge databases containing addresses for all the top-level domains, such as .com, .edu, and the country code domains like .uk and .jp.

"Given the Internet's importance to the world's economy, it is essential that the underlying domain name system of the Internet remain stable and secure," the letter said. "As such, the United States should take no action that would have the potential to adversely impact the effective and efficient operation of the domain name system. Therefore, the United States should maintain its historic role in authorizing changes or modifications to the authoritative root zone file."

The letter was signed by two Republicans and two Democrats, including Joe Barton, chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, and Fred Upton, chairman of the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet. They addressed the letter to David Gross, U.S. coordinator for international communication and information policy at the State Department, and Michael Gallagher, head of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.

The European Union and other nations are demanding that the U.S. share responsibility for the domain name system, including decisions over adding and deleting new top-level domains, with the United Nations. The Bush administration has so for resisted them. Officials on both sides are set to meet about the issue next month at a U.N.-sponsored summit in Tunisia.


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we started it, we control it.
we started the whole thing and we should control the whole thing. nobody was giving us money to help develope it, now everyone wants to get their stinky little hands into our cookie jar.

if ANYONE should have control over it, bill gates should get control. bill gates really did alot for computers and the internet. i mean as much as i hate to admit it, he has done more for internet/computers than anyone else period.
Posted by b34nz (6 comments )
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Have no faith
Politicians are spineless cretins. If they can trade the Internet for
some other goody they want, we will be sold out in a heartbeat. If
Bush wants UN support for an invasion of Syria, then goodbye
Internet. If H. Clinton, as president, wants support for an
environmental treaty, then goodbye Internet. Any politician who
supports handing the Internet to the jackals and criminals at the
UN should be publically flogged.
Posted by nicmart (1829 comments )
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Concerns over DNS failure...
If the root DNS zone file were to "fail" for some cause of the US government, it would be rather trivial for any other government to take over the role and re-route the Internet infrastructure in their country to a new root DNS zone solution.

If the UN wanted to they could pass some legislation creating a "new International Internet" managed by the UN and using the existing infrastructure. It would have very little impact on the existing structure until they needed to make a branch. So in the end the US can refuse all they want and still lose if other powers simply take matters into their own hands.

Imagine a war of the future faught with missles, tanks and infantry over the control of the Internet. :)
Posted by zaznet (1138 comments )
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World drift towards 2 Internet versions
For non-US citizens this US control of the domain names feels like it's the USA controlling our currency production, as in the US making and controling the production of our ¬uro's, Pounds and Yens. This may seem of topic, but since the internet becomes more and more valuable and has become an asset on it's own. The control and ownership of the domain names has become the cornerstone of this value.

To compare it with money again: many European companies have more ¬uro's than most European governments ever see. However, it are those governments who make it. The ¬uro has been created because the French didn't like the idea of the German D-Mark to be the leading currency in Europe. And right they didn't like it, because, how could they influence their economy? They couldn't so it's transferred to the EU and now all EU members get one currency and control it joinedly.

Back to the net: the USA control on the internet doesn't only give nations an odd feeling that a "national symbol on the rise" is in the hands of a foreign nation. It can prefent them of effectively being able to make and design internet related policies. And example is the new .eu domain name. It has taken so many years before it was finally there. All because European nations had to wait for the USA to finally give a go-ahead!

Now as said, the "national symbol" is off course an exaceration. However, it can become one, more and more youngster are aware of the internet and design their identities according to it. Internet influences them and as such a .de or .nl or .uk become a mark. Also for companies, the made in Germany equivalent will be .de on the internet. And all this is in the hands of a foreign power. As if the flag and national anthem of the USA are designed and copyright protected in another nation.

The result will be that people will rally after politicians who want to reclaim national pride and control. And the presure will make that European countries, but especially proud nations as China (who dislikes any capitalist US control), India and Japan can opt for an alternative system. The technology remains, but they can create a new DNS system. Years ago I already saw an article on the alternative internet.... with domain names like .nomad and .biz (before ICCAN started to use the latest)...... that was created by a commercial ISP, so for an International body it would very well be possible to do the same, and get it widelly adopted, as the member nations will force their ISP's to adopt it.

The result: the USA will become once more islolated from the world. It becomes time they embrace the international community and stop bashing their allies. As their allies are getting fed up with the treatment of them by the USA. It's just not the way you treat your friends!
Posted by (6 comments )
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No Gov Entity Should Have It
The Internet doesn't belong to the U.S. or the U.N. Granted, the underlying infrastructure the Internet uses belongs to each individual nation it runs through. But ultimately, what the Internet is, belongs completely to the private sector and to individuals.

Unfortunately, it is a fact of life that some semblance of order is needed for root domains. This is a very minor role, however. I don't see how the U.N. could be any more or less effective than ICANN.

This is a tiny role in making the Internet what it is. So really, this is more of a symbolic struggle than anything.

But because the role of choosing root domains is so simple, and mostly subject to recognizing national sovereinty, I think this is a task the U.N. could handle, as it's officious and trite: things they're good at.

But no government entity should have "the Internet". Not only is that practically impossible, but the fact that this argument is occuring like this at all just goes to show how little politicians understand the technology they're fighting over. The Internet is owned by PC users, by telecoms, by companies running servers, and by nation states.
Posted by alucinor (71 comments )
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Who should be the master of all the Web?
Who should be the master of all the Web?

Although the worldwide web or Internet as we know it developed as a result of cold war needs to communicate without assets, meaning scientists, being put at risk personally, the cold war is over. At least the cold part of the war on the Internet since many of the cyber mafias doing the war of the worms and ID theft today are marginally or related to Russian gangs.

Our problems seem to be twofold. One how do we stop cybercrime and two who is the master web master and can we trust that person or entity to be trustworthy.

Cybercrime increases taxation indirectly since governments have to print more money to replace funds central bank guarantees guarantee so the problem needs to be addressed by all nations. This the cybercrime treaty does pell mell.

However, should the U.S., U.N., European Union, G8, World Bank or no one run the Internet is not so clear since none of these agencies can be totally trusted to represent the average users right to have access to all the date online available.

The problem is nations never set up authorities they cannot hobble with treaties or taxation so the appearance of independent actions is just that. The question begs to be asked does the Internet need a master?

The reason for this is clear if one says should one blame the road for the actions of a bad driver. The best road does not overcome alcohol or blindness or outright criminal stupidity and ill will.

Perhaps the problem we are looking at is not the problem that needs to be solved. People are up in arms at their ID and bank data being stolen and they would calm down if only a simple methodology could be developed to keep their ID offline.

That is the ID theft protection platform being built by EDI Secure LLLP that owns the single use credit card number ID patent since July 22, 2003. It is ok to debate this ad infinitum as long as citizens are no longer at risk financially. That is my opinion.
Posted by (66 comments )
Reply Link Flag
A question of trust Vs. ability
I don't trust the U.N. (oil for food fiasco, among others) any
more than I trust any other government body from any part of
the world to be in control of the internet. I definately have
objections to countries such as China and Iran having a hand in
it, when they have such horrible records on censoring and
censorship. (If you don't believe that, just ask google. They have
to filter their search results in order to operate in China.)

I also don't believe that any one country should have control,
however it was invented, financed and incubated here. That fact
alone gives the U.S. primary and majority control. I don't want
any country to have the ability to pull the plug. (The recent
Cogent and Level 3 mess comes to mind)

If anything it should transfer to a governing body setup
specifically for that task and consisting of members from each
interested country. I would also like to see this oraganization
consist of engineers and programmers, not politicians.
Otherwise, leave it as it is. The U.S. has not threatend anyones
ability to use the 'net, nor have they "unplugged" anyone from it.
I would even dare to say that you would be hard pressed to find
any other country that would be as benign regarding usage as
we have been. (there may be a few, but not many)

The bottom line is this; if other countries have tied their
financial well being to using a service that we invented, and are
not charging and have never charged to use, why do they think
they deserve to control it? Just because they use it? Nothing is
stopping them from creating their own version. The reason they
don't do so? They can't afford to. Once again America gives
something to the world, and all they can do is ***** about how
it's not enough.

I would support an international body setup for the specific task
of managing the internet only. I do not support U.N. control.
They have demonstrated time and time again that they have
long outlived their usefulness, and they are ineffective. Why
would any country so tied to the 'net for financial well being
want it controlled by an entity that can't even distribute food
Posted by corelogik (680 comments )
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It is my personal opinion that the government should have absolutely no input in the matters in relation to Internet evolution...I think that any intervention on their part WILL Pollute the internet......
Posted by (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Flawed logic
Your monetary examples alone are reason enough never to trust
the Old World with control or even veto power on the internet.
The fact that you can never agree on anything puts your policies
in stalemate and liquifies whatever solution that is finally agreed
upon a decade later.

The common gesture when given a gift, let alone one which has
increased the world's economy on such a large scale, is to say
"Thank you". This is but the latest in a long line of snubs from a
group of countries whose liberty and freedoms were paid for
with American blood and whose economies have been stoked by
American ingenuity.
Posted by cowboy704 (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
It would still be an improvement...
One notch above nothing would be a definate improvement on what we have now. We now have no accountability and no consideration about what the rest of the world wants.

However the UN in fact is remarkably efficient at most things it does, considering how much it is restricted by vested interested of countries like the USA.

I must say I dont often hear about UN troops torturing prisoners, holding prisoners without access to legal council, imprisoning children or using cluster weapons on civilian areas...
Posted by richto (895 comments )
Reply Link Flag
The DNS system cannot be owned by its very nature, DNS is a protocol and not a physical property owned by the US.

Furthermore, it would be trivial to set up a non-US controlled DNS system, I estimate it would take less then 4 days to do so, all it requires is setting up DNS servers and changing records. This is trivial and not even very expensive.

Also, I would like to point out to you that actually most of the world' root DNS servers are neither owned, located in nor controlled by US entities.
Posted by (20 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Internet owned? A laughable notion.
You dont 'own' it anyway and the US is rapidly becoming a minor player as far as the propogation of the Internet goes, China and the EU each seperately already have more Internet users then the US while the US is seeing a decline in actual Internet users those areas are still growing rapidly.

Hold on to your silly notions of owning 'The Internet' if you will but the reality is that you dont actually own anything, the US just controls some of the DNS root servers, replacing those is trivial.
Posted by (20 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Amazed at the Ignorance
I'm amazed at the level of ignorance that is in this thread. The U.S. owns the Internet? I would suggest that some folks need to re-read their Internet history.

Yes, the Internet was originally engineered by the United States. Nobody can contest that. But, does anybody really believe that anything still exists of the original Arpanet? Maybe in a museum perhaps.

The Internet is a concept of decentralized information sharing. You may own the hardware that assists in the function of the net, but that does not give you title to "own" the Internet. There are many other parts of the world that assist in the function of the Internet.

The Internet could easily function without a single connection from the United States. So, somebody want to tell me again how the U.S. owns the Internet?
Posted by (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Sorta but not exactly.
As I know it,

The Internet was invented by the US military,
The WWW was invented by some guy in Britain.
Control of Top Level Domains is controlled by a US corporations with some ties to the US government.

I'm pretty cynical about the US governement.

However I think/know the the "US Centric" control of the internet (as it is now) is far better then one where less democratic nations have more of a say in control of the internet.

The internet has made so many breakthroughs, and revolutioned the world, in part because of its lack of restriction, control, and censorship (IMHO)

We dont need nations like Brazil trying to ban or censor certain types of content, or China being being able to have more power to block anti china/communist thoughts/people
Posted by Madrone (43 comments )
Reply Link Flag
If it 'twert fer Mirco soft, we wouldn't have that thar big blue e!
Posted by alucinor (71 comments )
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