Saturday, October 08, 2005

Who should own the Internet

This is pretty geeky stuff, but the impact could be gi-normous.

Since it's development in the 60s and 70s as a DARPA project, the Internet and it's forebears have been almost exclusively controlled by the US. The critical root servers are still controlled by the US, giving the Bush administration, like Clinton, Bush I, Reagan, Carter, and (I guess) Nixon and Ford, control over the addition of top-level domains (.edu, .com, .gov, etc).

There is serious debate amongst the countries of the world whether that's a good idea. Most think not.

Before you knee-jerk and say to yourself, "Why should the US control this now-vital international resource?", read this commentary by Declan McCullagh. Like many things in life, it ain't so simple.

Frankly, giving the UN control of anything really important scares the life out of me. Like it or despise it, the US government has been a pretty good custodian of the Internet. Letting China, Iran, or other "enlightened" countries have equal control over the Web doesn't sound like a good plan to me.

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