For want of a better title: End of the World as we know it

For want of a better title

Tall and Tan and oh so Sexy, the boy *not* from Ipanema goes walking by...

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

End of the World as we know it

ICANN can?

Did you know that the fate of our entire world will be decided in a couple of days? On the 19 September 2005 to the 30 September 2005, in Geneva, the fate of the entire world as we know it will be decided.

Think I'm talking shit and smoking way too much weed? [hi mom. i don't do drugs, unless they're legal and my doctor thinks I should do it] It's true. In less than a week, the governments of the world will come and try to figure out the fate of the internet. The whole issue boils down to where the DNS root servers are located and who makes the decisions about domain names.

In the early days of the internet when buffalo and antelopes used to roam the digital frontier and mr brown was nothing more than a simple website, the US Department of Commerce used to run the internet. Yup... They did. Then in 1999 they handed over control to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) a consortium of interests, mostly businesses, to run the whole DNS and naming system. Of course straight off they hit snags with the Europeans refusing to pay receipts from ICANN, but ICANN has enought clout and power being that 50% of all root DNS servers sit in the US, and 1/3 of the ICANN board was American. The UN decided to butt in in 2005 and got the whole World Summit for the Information Society (WSIS) thing rolling.

So now governments like India, Brazil and China want control of the DNS. Which of course means moving the DNS to these countries?! Hello?!? I don't want the Chinese goverment deciding if I can name my site I mean seriously these governments expect companies to pay for moving the DNS to their countries? I trust Europe and the US to manage and maintain these servers, but China, India and Brazil (no offence, but seriously). China resricts the flow of information to their own citizens. Imagine if they had one of those. Next thing you know they won't let me look at Then of course you have these NGOs arguing that civil society (i.e. NGOs themselves) should have a bigger say, and governments should not have all the say.

A three way fight, with the US wanting to keep the status quo, the developing nations wanting one of their own (he has one, i also want one syndrome) and NGOs wanting a bigger say in how the internet is run (because no one cares about NGOs) (i kid we love NGOs).

Not a small thing if the Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG) of the WSIS decides that the DNS must be more evenly distributed around the world and that individual governments can have a greater say in internet domain naming. Already China restricts information, along with several other countries ( I will not name them, too many), and they don't have a DNS to bully people, now with a DNS, they could just shut down sites without warning. I know I'm exaggerating, but i mean we actually have to be careful on which server we're put on. I don't trust governments too much when it comes to the internet, but there are some governments I trust over others, and China, India and Brazil are not on that list.

I'll be keeping watch and hoping that the US point of view generally prevails, and we keep the status quo in terms of infrastructure. If they change ICANN or create someother body above it, fine, but keep the infrastructure in the right place.

Check out the technorati tags for more in-depth analysis of what in the world is going on.


  • At 9/14/2005 2:42 AM, Blogger elyrie said…

    Are you going to AU? I lived in DC for 5 years and have just moved out!

    Regarding Hurricane Katrina - Singapore did send a Chinook and a squadron to New Orleans, and I believe it's one of the first nations to rush to its aid. It is rather ironic to read about Bangladesh pledging $1 million in aid and also seeing the Mexican army cross the border for the first time in a gazillion years.

    And also, you have one Singaporean trained Red Cross volunteer who will be helping with relief efforts in Texas - moi :)

  • At 9/14/2005 9:49 AM, Blogger brendywendy said…

    OMG! are u serious?

    I'm not so sure about the other countires too, BUT i am definitely against China being in control.

    For goodness sake, China nationals who have never been out of the country have no idea that Tian An Men even happened ok!

    When a particular individual was told what happned this individual refuse to believe that his govt would do that to civilians. Initailly anyway. Then when every1 around at the time told him the events that happened that fatefuly day he turned to a Taiwan national and asked if this was all true. And with sadness in his eyes the Twaian national nodded.

    I swear for a second I thought these two were gonna start crying.

    So sad lah.

  • At 9/14/2005 11:08 AM, Blogger Tym said…

    Thanks for bringing this up. Certainly something for us all to keep our eyes on ...


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