Wednesday, 19 March 2014

08:14 – Mr. Obama has done a lot of very stupid things, but ceding control of the Internet to “international stakeholders” has to rank among the stupidest. Control of the Internet–more specifically the root nameservers and IP address assignments–is a key US asset, and one that the US should refuse to relinquish under any circumstances. It’s bad enough that the US government controls the Internet through ICANN. Turning over that control to an international body is simply disastrous. Jon Postel must be spinning in his grave.

When I registered this domain name more than 19 years ago, there was little bureaucracy and no charge for a domain name. I had to register an alias, which was initially RBT1 and changed during the ICANN changeover to RT121. As RBT1, I set up two nameservers for my domain, filled in a short form, sent it off, and later that day received confirmation that my domain name was registered and would propagate to the root nameservers over the next day or so. That was it. Simple, fast, and free.

While I was at it, I also reserved a C-block of IP addresses for ttgnet.com. That was a matter of filling out another short form, including an explanation of why I needed the C-block. The guy upstream of us had to look at the application and decide if the request was reasonable. He decided it was, and a day or two later I had my C-block. Again, it was simple, fast, and free.

Then the US government decided to get more involved. ICANN was the result, and things started going downhill from there. I could live with IANA, but ICANN was a step way over the line. I knew then that we’d eventually regret that day, and there have been warning signs over the years. First, we started having to pay for domain names. Then ICANN took my C-block away from me. Now it appears that we’ll have the UN controlling the Internet, and doing so against our interests.