back to article Four US states demand restraining order to stop internet power handover to ICANN

Four states' attorneys general have filed suit to prevent the transition of critical internet functions from the US government to non-profit ICANN this Friday. The lawsuit from Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma and Nevada seeks a temporary restraining order that would prevent the IANA contract from expiring on September 30. (If or when …

  1. Brian Miller

    They know what it is and how it works

    As you would expect from a lawsuit lodged by states' top lawyers, the content and explanations within the lawsuit over how the internet works and the role of the NTIA and ICANN is largely accurate – a rarity in this area.

    OK, who told them, or did they crib something from Wikipedia?

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: They know what it is and how it works

      OK, who told them, or did they crib something from Wikipedia?

      That and also "who put them up to this?" and "why only those 4 states"?

      1. Vector
        Black Helicopters

        Re: They know what it is and how it works

        That and also "who put them up to this?" and "why only those 4 states"?

        I find it rather interesting that this is being spearheaded by the Texas AG, a post formerly inhabited by Ted Cruz, and the arguments sound amazingly similar to those he put forward in his little committee hearing on this contract.

  2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Oooouuuhhh

    Shit's getting real.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oooouuuhhh

      Yep nothing scares world wide governance like four state AG grandstanding before an election.

      1. O RLY

        Re: Oooouuuhhh

        Good point, although none of the Attorneys General involved are up for reelection this year. OK, NV, AZ last elected their AG in 2014; Texas in 2015.

        Of course, they are supporting their party's candidates in the fall...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Oooouuuhhh

          Yeah if they were up for reelection they probably wouldn't want to be wasting their states tax money on nothing but scoring political points as standing looks very suspect from the outset.

  3. Christoph Silver badge

    Wouldn't it be nice if right-wing american politicians would actually do something constructive, rather than simply throw spanners in every works they can find?

    1. asdf Silver badge

      Well they do preach government is the problem so of course they have to prove it.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Message to Merkins

    OK,you invented the Internet and you want to keep it ? OK, you can keep it. But not anything that uses WWW as a prefix because that was invented elsewhere. So feel free to use FTP and IRC etc. the rest of the world don't mind.

    (with apologies to all Americans with an IQ in double digits who aren't married to their sister)

    1. Preston Munchensonton
      Stop

      Re: Message to Merkins

      OK,you invented the Internet and you want to keep it ? OK, you can keep it. But not anything that uses WWW as a prefix because that was invented elsewhere. So feel free to use FTP and IRC etc. the rest of the world don't mind.

      (with apologies to all Americans with an IQ in double digits who aren't married to their sister)

      First, using "www" as a FQDN prefix wasn't invented anywhere, per se. It's the HTTP standard to which you refer (perhaps your double-digit IQ is in the way?).

      Second, the rights to domain prefixes aren't yours to assign or provide, so world+dog will just ignore that.

      Third, you really need to get out more. Your understanding of Americans is dubious at best. I suggest that you don't base it on what you see in TV and the movies.

    2. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

      Re: Message to Merkins

      Sorry. My brother in law is married to my sister, and my IQ is not in double digits.

      No, he's not otherwise related, and it's triple digits.

      I'd throw some English stereotypes back at you, but I don't care enough to be bothered.

    3. MrDamage

      Re: Message to Merkins

      If they want to get parochial and insist they maintain control, then w can do the same.

      All seppo's must immediately, and without delay, stop using communications protocols that were not developed within the US. This includes the great Aussie invention called WiFi.

      1. Dan Wilkie

        Re: Message to Merkins

        Does that mean that we can give you guys Julian Assange back as well? I don't think the Equadorians want him anymore...

  5. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Don't tread on dialup

    To bad states aren't so good at protecting communities and startups that would like to improve regional Internet delivery without being smothered under frivolous anti-competitive lawsuits.

  6. Doc Ock

    Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma and Nevada

    Those are four very noteworthy states known for their progressive attitude and tolerance.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Of those four states though Texas accounts for probably 90%+ of their total GDP output. Let their tax payers foot the bill.

    2. Fan of Mr. Obvious

      I get the sarcasm, but both AZ and NV, while the do make news, are toss-up states - they both have an equal amount of extreme BS on both sides.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        > both AZ and NV, while the do make news, are toss-up states - they both have an equal amount of extreme BS

        AZ has only recently became purple and only due to Trump stirring up the minority hornet nest (GOP still holds all statewide offices as well as a near super majority in the state legislature last I heard). As a result the Dems in the state are very disorganized and tend more toward blue dog types. NV has the Reid and Mormon mafia but even he at his worse is not in the same league of crazy as that Angle woman he beat last election. Again if Kasich is the nominee Nevada leans GOP and AZ never becomes purple instead of Trump possibly pissing both away.

    3. tfewster Silver badge
      Facepalm

      I get it

      Texas is concerned that ICANN might do bad things. Despite the fact that it would effectively be suicide for the organisation, they want assurances.

      Shame they don't apply that logic elsewhere. "Want to buy a gun? OK, just prove you will _never_ suffer from mental illness, become a criminal or lose your temper."

      As a Brit, I find it a bit annoying that .com, .gov etc are effectively reserved for the US, but as first adopters and incumbents it makes no sense to change that.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Tolerance?

      At least Brothels are legal in Nevada. I'd put them in a different league to the other retrobate states especially OK.

      {Going to one was on my bucket list. An experience I'll never forget and it wasn't all about S*x}

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Tolerance?

        You are allowed to write the word SEX you know. The fact that you write s*x just shows your attitude towards it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Tolerance?

          You are allowed to write the word SEX you know. The fact that you write s*x just shows your attitude towards it.

          He also capitalised it, so I guess it was used as a proper noun. Perhaps it was actually "Sox", and was referencing the trademarked name of a sue-happy baseball team? Do NV brothels collectively have a team? The Nevada CockSox?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Tolerance?

        Yep brothels (not in the cities generally) and gambling are legal but at least some years back if they found one seed of pot in your car it was a felony. Can't have people indulging in sin the state can't tax. Today with decriminalization in the air I am sure they will soon suddenly have an epiphany (haven't looked lately if already happened) hey pot ain't so bad after all now we can tax it. Can say looking like Arizona is about to completely decriminalize pot though. Sure they will use the tax to build more private prisons though.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    minor rant to follow

    Ah the joys of being an Phoenix metro taxpayer. Never any money for schools but plenty of money for private prisons. Never enough money for drug treatment or anything but Florida (Arizona with humidity) quality child protective services but plenty of money to defend Sheriff Joe from obvious criminal contempt in Federal court and for him and his deputies to fly around the world investigating Obama's birth certificate. Truly the land of Barry Goldwater so of course we would be leading the charge with my tax payer money. Here's to being 49th out of 50 states in per pupil spending.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: minor rant to follow

      >Here's to being 49th out of 50 states in per pupil spending.

      Turns out when there is a lot of old white transplants (ie snowbirds, ie Trump supporters etc) in your state they show remarkable resistance to providing basic education (especially to the ethnics or the poors and after all their grand kids get great education back in Massachusetts even as they rail on NE liberals). They are all for their tax money scoring political points however so bring on more legal costs, standing be damned. Phoenix main problem is elections are held in November and not July when all the old farts disappear.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    let me get this straight

    The states full of tea party folks are throwing a fit because the inept tea party Joe the plumber types they sent to DC weren't able to basically get anything done? (Obama didn't even have to veto anything but I guess they did succeed in making disaster recovery partisan now) Right, carry on.

  9. Crazy Operations Guy Silver badge

    That's not how the First Amendment works..

    The First Amendment -DOES NOT- guarantee, in any way, a platform for people to speak their minds; it only prevents the -Federal Government- from unduly restricting a private citizen from public speaking or practicing their religion. The internet (other than forums hosted by the government specifically for use by the public) is a completely private entity where the First Amendment does not apply.

    How is it that I, a citizen of Norway, know more about the US Constitution than the politicians in charge there? Especially someone like an Attorney General, whose entire role is to advise the state on whether its actions are in line with the US Constitution (well, also to represent the state in legal matters).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      let me tell you about Arizona

      >Attorney General, whose entire role is to advise the state on whether its actions are in line with the US Constitution

      Google Tom Horne lol. His replacement is just as much a partisan hack just a little less stupid so far. At least out here if you want decent law enforcement you make sure the person is not selected by the voters.

      1. Crazy Operations Guy Silver badge

        Re: let me tell you about Arizona

        Isn't Arizona home to that ass-hole sheriff who has managed to get -multiple- Wikipedia articles just listing the illegal shit he's pulled? Why do people keep voting for him?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          easy

          Because snowbirds vote and hispanics don't (not even sure Trump will get them too).

    2. Elf

      Re: That's not how the First Amendment works..

      Oh dear...let me explain;

      Give me ten Born US Citizens and ten folks that just passed their Citizen's Test, three US Citizens understand the Constitution correctly vs seven immigrants. Zero members of Congress actually understand it (though the fucking House read it like what, four times?

      The take-away will always devolve to 'Oh no, those rights are for Us, not Them. America is BiPolar, didn't you know?

    3. MrDamage

      Re: That's not how the First Amendment works..

      Not to mention the right to free speech does not trump a persons right to ignore the bullshit ramblings of an ignorant blowhard.

      1. lglethal Silver badge
        Go

        Re: That's not how the First Amendment works..

        I've never understood how Americans think making policing political (by electing Sheriff's) could ever be counted as a good thing! I would actually love to hear that there was a rational basis for this other than that it's a historical throwback to when the west of the US was conquered.

        I would love to also know why there is absolutely no desire for Americans to end this practice? You all hate and distrust politicians, so why on earth would you elect one to lead your local police force?

        1. Preston Munchensonton

          Re: That's not how the First Amendment works..

          I've never understood how Americans think making policing political (by electing Sheriff's) could ever be counted as a good thing!

          Policing by the state is an inherently political thing, whether there are elections involved or not. It's the power that corrupts, not the election process.

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: That's not how the First Amendment works..

          >so why on earth would you elect one to lead your local police force?

          In most places including Phoenix the local police doing the real work are the city and state police who are often not political. The sheriff is the county police (and in Maricopa) there more for the cameras than to investigate 400 serious sex crimes he ignored for years.

    4. PaulFrederick

      Re: That's not how the First Amendment works..

      Actually the impact of the US First Constitutional Amendment is rather broad. Legal precedent has defined the First Amendment as essentially the freedom from prosecution for practicing personal expression. So while it guarantees no forum, it protects the individual from state persecution. Which is a rather large deal, compared to no protection at all. People have had to endure some rather nasty things, just because of what they said, that someone in a position of state authority did not like.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: That's not how the First Amendment works..

      l'll upvote you but add a small caveat: as a result of a little thing we call the Civil War the US Constitution was amended to include its 14th Amendment, which provided that all the rights protected by the US Constitution now applied to the states. As a result state governments are also prohibited fron interfering with free speech to the same extent as the federal government (unless the state's own constitution provided greater protection, but that's a discussion for another day).

  10. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    The IANA contract at the heart of the argument only points to other servers. So, for example, if you wish to go to "example.com," the query will go first to the root zone file – edited by the IANA contract – and it will say where to go to find all the addresses underneath .com. It is that file – in this case run by Verisign – that then points to individual website addresses.

    (In reality of course, there is an enormous amount of extra capacity and caching built into the internet, so your computer will very rarely, if ever, go directly to either the root zone file or even Verisign's file to find out where "example.com" is.)

    This last presents the possibility that IANA could be made irrelevant. As part of that caching the root zone is mirrored. If the operators of the mirrors were to decide that one of their number should be the primary instead of IANA then IANA becomes irrelevant or, at best just another mirror. Ongoing governance issues around the IANA contract provide a plausible enough pretext for such a move, at least on a temporary basis, should they so decide.

  11. Unindicted Co-conspirator
    Stop

    Public Comments are Public, Awareness Is Private

    "The process also received an enormous amount of attention, so it is going to be very hard for the states to argue persuasively that the public comment process that is designed to ensure that decisions are not made in secret is valid in this case."

    There's a difference between a lot of attention and an official public comment period. An official comment period involves gathering public comments over an established period of time to be reviewed and taken into consideration by the office/department that is proposing the law/regulation/change in administrative practices etc. Just because you're aware of something doesn't mean you have the ability to directly comment to the decision makers.

    BTW: I'm a proud Arizonan!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Public Comments are Public, Awareness Is Private

      >BTW: I'm a proud Arizonan!

      As am I. Great place in spite of our nut ball politicians (especially the rural ones, oh and Mesa) not because of it.

  12. Old one

    Its simple

    Its simple - created with US taxpayer dollars. Initially expanded with US taxpayer dollars and US businesses. Expanded around the globe for US military with US taxpayer dollars.... do you see the very simple pattern? US TAXPAYER DOLLARS... That is why all other country domains have their country designation to differentiate from the originating country - the US. The US owns it and should not relinquish control to a 3rd world organization.

    1. MrDamage

      Re: Its simple

      Then following the same logic, hand the land mass you reside on back to the UK.

      It was the UK tax payers and business owners who funded the exploratory and civilastion efforts.

      1. Gio Ciampa

        Re: Its simple

        And then to the French (they presumably paid for William to pop over...)?

  13. G2
    Coat

    reminds me of HHGTTG...

    the eventual transition of IANA's functions to ICANN has always been in a public discussion and planning stage on various planning documents, forums and mailing lists for as long as i can remember (more than 20+ years), with nothing hidden about the transition intent and purpose.

    At one point i think it was even suggested that the United Nations should create a new agency from scratch to take over both IANA and ICANN's functions.. but now it seems that ICANN will just become that body, with or without United Nations' involvement.

    http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2016/09/y2k-2-0-is-the-us-government-set-to-give-away-the-internet-saturday/

    However, the way these people frame the issue makes me think they are clueless about technology and they were just hit with a cluebat (or were probably just hired to throw in a spanner in the works) by pretending the world is not prepared about this.

    My interpretation of their complaints is that when the usual rules that they apply to others have now been applied to them - they are now pissed off because the rules should not apply to them.

    Their view of the transition probably goes something like this: (quotes from HHGTTG)

    Mr Prosser: But, Mr Dent, the plans have been available in the local planning office for the last nine months.

    Arthur: Oh yes, well as soon as I heard I went straight round to see them, yesterday afternoon. You hadn’t exactly gone out of your way to call attention to them had you? I mean like actually telling anybody or anything.

    Mr Prosser: But the plans were on display…

    Arthur: On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them.

    Mr Prosser: That’s the display department.

    Arthur: With a torch.

    Mr Prosser: The lights had probably gone out.

    Arthur: So had the stairs.

    Mr Prosser: But look, you found the notice, didn’t you?

    Arthur: Yes yes I did. It was on display at the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying beware of the leopard.

    [....]

    People of Earth, your attention, please. This is Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz of the Galactic Hyperspace Planning Council. As you will no doubt be aware, the plans for development of the outlying regions of the Galaxy require the building of a hyperspatial express route through your star system. And regrettably, your planet is one of those scheduled for demolition. The process will take slightly less than two of your Earth minutes. Thank you.

    [...]

    There’s no point in acting surprised about it. All the planning charts and demolition orders have been on display at your local planning department in Alpha Centauri for 50 of your Earth years, so you’ve had plenty of time to lodge any formal complaint and it’s far too late to start making a fuss about it now. ... What do you mean you’ve never been to Alpha Centauri? Oh, for heaven’s sake, mankind, it’s only four light years away, you know. I’m sorry, but if you can’t be bothered to take an interest in local affairs, that’s your own lookout. Energize the demolition beams.

    /HHGTTG quotes

    --

    using a coat icon for this comment... please give us a towel icon too :)

  14. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    Easy solution

    Any US state that wishes to run their Internet without handing power over to ICANN should simply disconnect their Internet from the rest of the world - this sounds like a win-win situation to me, everyone will get what they want.

  15. ultrastarx1

    i try to type www as little as possible

    bookmarks toolbar, single icons

    yep i think we should stop domain names,, google ect point most of the web traffic to where it wants to go, so take back all the millions of registered ip's from ford etc, hide the address bar by default, and lets just have lovely numbers for those of us who favour them.. Everyone else can use search sugestions, its way faster just hitting f than typing fazebook after all..

    Who looks after the ip's - oh - erm - cisco ??

    1. Herby Silver badge

      Re: Who looks after the ip's - oh - erm - cisco ??

      Well, yes they do. OpenDNS is now owned by Cisco.

      Here comes IPv7...

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They can't handle the truth

    No one owns the Internet. The Internet is an inter-network of networks maintained by the consent of many "owners". The owners are a multitude of network operators, big and small, public and private, domestic and foreign, who have agreed to work together in accordance with a set of strict, well-defined technical standards whose complexity would make the heads of most politicians, including Ted Cruz and Joe Arpaio, explode.

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