Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Control Alt Delete - or Ignore

Lately, there has been a kerfufal in the world community over who should have authority concerning internet addressing. Right now addressing authority lies with an organization called ICANN, a privately run non-profit organization that has US government oversite. This gives more background info for ICANN. The internet evolved from a US defense program started in 1958 called DARPA. In a nutshell, after Sputnik was launched, some forward thinking government chap (wow, that doesn't happen often) realized that the Soviets could sooner or later launch rockets or lasers or something at communication sites in the US, thus cutting the line to the Bat-phone, er, I mean the White House, crippling any response to their aggression. Thus a complex and redundant communications network with Multiple routes and hubs was created, so that if one or several hubs or lines got knocked out by the evil Pinko Ruskies, many others would still exist for information transfer to occur. These are the roots of the internet (when people bitch and moan about military R & D spending, remind them the world wide web and radar are a product of this). This framework of communication was eventually adopted world wide (you see where I'm going with this) and in the late 1980's, some bloke figured that this network could one day be used by everyone and coined the term "World Wide Web". Anyway, the internet is home grown as are the bodies that regulate it. Well, some in the "international community" (the EU, dictators in Tunisia and Cuba) have their panties in a wad and don't like the current ICANN set-up because, well, it resides in the US and has US government oversite and they hate the US. So what is a mob of internationalist to do? Well, they threaten to start using their own naming and addressing protocols, which would of coarse cause IP name and address duplication and break the very thing they want control of.

This from CNN:

"U.S. officials said early Wednesday that instead of transferring management of the system to an international body such as the United Nations, an international forum would be created to address concerns. The forum, however, would have no binding authority."

So the US has agreed to create a debate club to discuss international issues concerning internet addressing that has no binding authority or power. In other words, they've just created a mini UN. Well , if it makes the internationalists happy, well, more power to them (or less). This seems like a pretty good reason to keep the almost useless UN around. It provide a model on which to base other useless acronymed organizations around.

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