Internet reform?

Coming in via Joi Ito’s blog, I just read a fun­ny text on The need for reform on the Inter­net. I’m some­what ama­zed on how wrong this text is in many respects.

The­re have always been cen­tral agen­ci­es that were quite important to the Inter­net. The text even makes a refe­rence to it: Jon Pos­tel is fea­tured pro­min­ent­ly. He, per­so­nal­ly, and the Inter­net Assi­gned Num­bers Aut­ho­ri­ty shaped the net­work in a big way. The Inter­net Engi­nee­ring Task Force has been instru­men­tal as well. The text speaks of the qua­li­ty of RFCs as the defi­ning docu­ments of what the Inter­net is today – but it requi­res a lot of dedi­ca­ti­on, editing and work to have a coll­ec­tion of stan­dards in such a high qua­li­ty. Then, there’s the local RIRs: ARIN, RIPE, Afri­NIC. For all prac­ti­cal pur­po­ses, they’­re cen­tra­li­zed struc­tures as well. 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m for the power to inno­va­te on the net­work. Inno­va­ti­on is a good thing. I’m also not against making money on the Inter­net; heck, I’m try­ing to make my living off net­wor­king stuff, too. But I’m against such inno­va­tions like Site­Fin­der by vir­tue of which Veri­sign bro­ke the DNS becau­se they want to make more money. I’m against reforms that would remo­ve any form of neti­zen-based demo­cra­cy on a glo­bal sca­le that can ban Veri­Sign from imple­men­ting that ser­vice again. 

Also, it seems that all the text is con­cer­ned with is the domain name sys­tem. It’s true that it is an important part of net­work infra­struc­tu­re – and a publicly visi­ble one at that – but it should­n’t be equa­ted with all inter­net poli­cy. There’s other inte­res­t­ing poli­cy decis­i­ons around; how to switch from IPv4 to IPv6 for ins­tance. But that has not­hing to do with regis­tries or registrars. 

May­be the aut­hor needs to do a litt­le more research?

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