Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Calls to end US domination of the internet

Filed under
Web

WHENEVER you surf the web, send emails or download music, an unseen force is at work in the background, making sure you connect to the sites, inboxes and databases you want. The name of this brooding presence? The US government.

Some 35 years after the US military invented the internet, the US Department of Commerce retains overall control of the master computers that direct traffic to and from every web and email address on the planet.

But a group convened by the UN last week to thrash out the future of the net is calling for an end to US domination of the net, proposing that instead a multinational forum of governments, companies and civilian organisations is created to run it.

The UN's Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG) says US control hinders many developments that might improve it. These range from efforts to give the developing world more affordable net access to coming up with globally agreed and enforceable measures to boost net privacy and fight cybercrime.

US control also means that any changes to the way the net works, including the addition of new domain names such as .mobi for cellphone-accessed sites, have to be agreed by the US, whatever experts in the rest of the world think. The flipside is that the US could make changes without the agreement of the rest of the world.

In a report issued in Geneva in Switzerland on 14 July, the WGIG seeks to overcome US hegemony. "The internet should be run multilaterally, transparently and democratically. And it must involve all stakeholders," says Markus Kummer, a Swiss diplomat who is executive coordinator of the WGIG.

So why is the internet's overarching technology run by the US? The reason is that the net was developed there in the late 1960s by the Pentagon's Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) in a bid to create a communications medium that would still work if a Soviet nuclear strike took out whole chunks of the network. This medium would send data from node to node in self-addressed "packets" that could take any route they liked around the network, avoiding any damaged parts.

Today the internet has 13 vast computers dotted around the world that translate text-based email and web addresses into numerical internet protocol (IP) node addresses that computers understand. In effect a massive look-up table, the 13 computers are collectively known as the Domain Name System (DNS). But the DNS master computer, called the master root server, is based in the US and is ultimately controlled by the Department of Commerce. Because the data it contains is propagated to all the other DNS servers around the world, access to the master root server file is a political hot potato.

Currently, only the US can make changes to that master file. And that has some WGIG members very worried indeed.

Full Article.

two words

Fuck that.

If they think the US will hand over control after inventing the 'Net in the first place, they're even dumber then most of the politicians in America.

Let them build their own damn Internet.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

More in Tux Machines

Ubuntu Touch Apps Running in Unity Desktop – Video

Unity 8 for Ubuntu is coming along and Mir is also making good progress. One of the byproduct of all these improvements is that some of the apps that are designed for the Ubuntu Touch are also working on the Ubuntu desktop, with very little help. Read more

Debian Forked: All for Devuan and Devuan for All?

It is hard to see the direction Devuan will take, given that the project is still in its early days. The new community could create a shallow derivative, or it could fork the entire Debian archive. Another option is to try replacing Debian entirely and become a new gateway between upstream projects and users of all packages, which would require a lot more manpower and infrastructure. Read more

Wireless-enabled i.MX6 SBC offers remote IoT management

Eurotech’s “CPU-351-13″ SBC runs Linux on Freescale’s i.MX6 SoC, and offers ZigBee, GPS, extended temperature operation, remote IoT management, and more. Eurotech has been promoting the concept of managed Internet of Things devices long before “IoT” became the latest craze. The Yocto Linux ready CPU-351-13 single board computer is the latest of its embedded boards that can be remote controlled using its Everyware Software Framework (ESF) and Everyware Cloud Client. Other Everyware-enabled products from Eurotech include last year’s Intel Atom E3800 based Catalyst BT module. Read more

Today in Techrights