back to article US Ass. Commerce Sec hits back at claims global DNS is DOOMED

US Assistant Commerce Secretary Larry Strickling – the man in charge of the critical IANA contract that keeps the internet glued together – has embarked on a war of words with Wall Street Journal columnist Gordon Crovitz. In a letter to the newspaper, Strickling took issue with Crovitz's column last week headlined Halfway to …

  1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

    Humans are not rational actors. And plan that relies on them to be - and keep on being - rational actors will fail. Intelligent, powerful people know this. They rely on it. It is how they obtain and retain power.

    Thus I can only conclude that by advancing a plan wherein the core checks and balances boil down to a reliance humans to be rational actors there is malicious intent.

    1. BillG
      Holmes

      Humans are not rational actors. Any plan that relies on them to be - and keep on being - rational actors will fail. Intelligent, powerful people know this. They rely on it. It is how they obtain and retain power.

      Thus I can only conclude that by advancing a plan wherein the core checks and balances boil down to a reliance on humans to be rational actors there is malicious intent.

      Very well said. And this is why some voters are easily fooled.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Rational? No. Rationalizing? Yep!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Humans are not rational actors

      I'm not sure it would make much difference if they were. People, the culture they live in, and the physical environment they inhabit are rather complicated things. This means that what is judged rational by one person in one context in terms of their own outcome preferences may well appear non-rational to another individual whose context, experiences, and preferences differ.

      Even in a "rational" world, the intelligent and powerful would be able to leverage their advantages to exploit the differences and similarities in the various implementations of "rational" present in the population.

  2. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Under the current proposal, that role would be replaced by a committee of stakeholders pulled from the ICANN community, most of whom have little or no expertise or experience, no legal accountability, and who will be selected from a small pool of self-interested individuals through a chronically poor and opaque election process. In short, the alternative looks depressingly amateurish.

    In other words, it will go down the same path of the UN then? No expertise, no experience, no accountability, delegates selected... etc.?

    1. Cipher
      FAIL

      In other words...

      ...we're fucked.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Trust the USG?

    This obviously all looks different to people viewing it from inside the borders of the USA. From outside, the implicit assumption that the US Government can be trusted to always act in an even-handed way to protect the internet for humanity looks somewhat dubious, to put it mildly. The frothing at the mouth if it's suggested that the UN could take on the role also seems curious, and a tad suspicious, considering the fairly uncontroversial the way the ITU (previously CCITT) has quietly gone about setting telecommunications standards and managing a host of diverse agreements including on tariffs, spectrum allocation, and even satellite orbits.

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Trust the USG?

      In this instance the USG's conduct has been exemplary over the last 4 decades.

      Seriously.

      If it wasn't for the USG, ICANN would have utterly fouled the pond years ago. The entire structure is crooked and board members have shown that they're primarily self-interested.

      Other governments wanting control of things are no better, nor are the ITU or UN control proposals.

      Maybe relying on a US govt department to control IANA is a bad thing, but it's the least worst option currently available.

      Maybe this sounds like "end of the world predicted, jesus spotted on a moped on I-11", but the fact that the USG wants to divest itself of this burden and the resulting chaos which is likely to ensue no matter who ends up "in control" sends shivers down my spine.

      In all liklihood the "root servers" would cease to be relevant in less than 5 years and finding anything via dns would be an unholy mess with overlapping claims to domain names - remember than anyone can setup root servers and sell alternative TLDs - other organisations have been doing it for over a decade and ICANN has started selling TLDs already in use by those other parties. Those parties lost legal fights to stop ICANN doing it and it's effectively set a precedent which would make it _extremely_ hard for ICANN to stop anyone else doing the same thing to them.

      1. David Roberts

        Re: Trust the USG?

        So you are saying that ICANN is basically like FIFA except it currently has government oversight?

        Which they want removed.

    2. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Trust the USG?

      " the fairly uncontroversial the way the ITU (previously CCITT) has quietly gone about setting telecommunications standards "

      Take a closer look into the way those standards are set and you might not think they're so uncontroversial. Here's a hint: Don't come to the table with less than a few hundred million dollars behind you.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dear God....

    The US Department of friggin' COMMERCE owns the internet? As an American that troubles me; I can't imagine the rest of the world is okay with that.

    Y'all need to build a fully decentralized internet, at the IP and DNS level, pronto. Sooner or later my government WILL fuck you over.

    1. btrower

      Re: Dear God.... /\ What he said

      Re: Y'all need to build a fully decentralized internet, at the IP and DNS level, pronto.

      Is there any other way that we can possibly have a network we can trust?

  5. Stretch

    Mesh

    We need a new architecture based on a mesh network to remove all filtering and control.

    1. lambda_beta

      Re: Mesh

      Great idea, but again follow the money (Comcast et. al.) .. won't happen. Ironic, that the orginal idea was a scheme from ARPA (renamed to DARPA).

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