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back to article ICANN is the USSR of the internet - Karl Auerbach speaks out

Karl Auerbach, the last publicly elected board member at ICANN, has been involved with internet development almost since the inception of the internet itself, and served as North America's direct representative on ICANN's Board of Directors. Always the iconoclast on the ICANN Board of Directors - and with the Lisbon meeting now …

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Carving Up Constructs

>ICANN is an arm of the US government...

Are there any so naive as to think of ICANN as anything other than an arm of the US government? The post 2000, Internet is a new beast that governments and corporations have yet to figure out how to slaughter. IIRC Plato said a good theory carves at the joints. Those that are sharpening their long knives to carve up the Internet are holding back only because this strange new beast has yet to show the best way to carve it up. Americans, as Americans are wont to do, have branded the beast as their own. The game in play is the old world sort of gamesmanship to see who gets to keep the choicest pieces. It's really just a question of whether the beast will be savagely torn to pieces by territorial governments or butchered by lawyers. ICANN is just the gamekeeper rich, Uncle Sam has hired to chase off poachers.

What can be stated with certainty is that the fatted beast won't belong to any but the rich and powerful.

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Anonymous Coward

False conclusions about DHS wanting DNSSEC keys

Here's a note about ALL news items saying that "DHS wants the master keys of DNS". Please read the following, and be very careful with just quoting "news" from Heise.de in the future.

It was reported [1] that on March 30, 2007, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security proposed "to have the key to sign the DNS root zone solidly in the hands of the US government." However no U.S. Government officials were present in the meeting room and the comment that sparked the article was made by a another party.

DHS later commented [2] on why they believe others jumped to the false conclusion that the U.S. Government had made such a proposal: " The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is funding the development of a technical plan for implementing DNSSec, and last October distributed an initial draft of it to a long list of international experts for comments. The draft lays out a series of options for who could be the holder, or "operator," of the Root Zone Key, essentially boiling down to a governmental agency or a contractor.

"Nowhere in the document do we make any proposal about the identity of the Root Key Operator," said Maughan, the cyber-security research and development manager for Homeland Security."

(Source: Wikipedia, DNSSEC article)

[1] http://www.heise.de/english/newsticker/news/87655

[2] http://www.upi.com/Security_Terrorism/Analysis/2007/04/12/analysis_owning_the_keys_to_the_internet/

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Anonymous Coward

ICANN is a false authority con

You know the con, a guy with a clipboard and a fluorescent jacket, pretends to be a parking valet and steals your car while pretending to park it. The clipboard and jacket fool you into thinking he is the authority for that car park.

ICANN walk and talk the part, they have the parties and international jet set meetings. But what do they do? They defer all technical aspects to Verisign and all management choices to the US government. .xxx died the day Bush expressed reservations about it.

This is just not necessary. The top level domains don't change often, (once every 5, 10, 20 years?) the root server for each of those TLDs is well known and defined and the top level root simply isn't needed.

Any number of countries can meet to discuss what TLDs they want, there's no reason to hand that authority, let alone $2million in fees to ICANN.

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DHS wanting DNSSEC keys

The Register didn't quote "news", it asked about "allegations".

And your title shouldn't be "false conclusions" it should be "possible false conclusions".

Why would the DHS not want the keys to the internet?

It's their job to protect the security of the US, and having more control over the internet, which this suggestion would give them, would help them in that job. The only reason they would not is for civil liberty and privacy reasons, and I see little evidence the DHS cares about them!

They don't even deny it, they just say they didn't propose it! I am sure they are actively evaluating the idea they didn't propose, otherwise they wouldn't be doing their job.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: DHS wanting DNSSEC keys

Stephen:

My comment was not only based on this article, but also on earlier articles like these:

http://www.theregister.com/2007/04/03/dns_master_key_controversy/

"The US Department of Homeland Security is pushing to get hold of the master keys for a proposed revision of the internet's domain name system."

It's just to inform readers about what exactly happened during this meeting, and that Heise.de jumped to conclusions about DHS wanting the keys.

You're right that we can't predict the future, but without mentioning it, you will see this false statement keep reappearing.

Thanks.

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Anonymous Coward

Muah!

Seems like the technical term for ICANN is "bag on the side".

So when will the current DNS system get some competition? After all, we are not talking "Internet" (basically a set of inter-carrier contracts) just "Domain Name Resolution" and, well, that's a task that's really not rocket science anymore.

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