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» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » WWW.XXX: Balkanizing the Net

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Author Topic: WWW.XXX: Balkanizing the Net
Richard Dey
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With 1 billion internet users expected this year, national alternatives are threatening the web.

¶ German engineers have created (2002) an alternative (ORSN) to spite Mr Bush II and because he feared that Bush and the neocons might "turn off" the domain name .de if he wanted to attack Germany; it already has 50 servers on it; Italy is slowly joining the system; ICANN's inventor has joined ORSN "as a warning" to the US;

¶ A Dutch company has built one to make money; UnifiedRoot already has Schiphol Airport on it, and ICANN users can't go to .schiphol!

¶ China has three .*** addresses inaccessible by Roman script: .zhongguo, .gongsi, and .wangluo.

¶ The 22-nation Arab League is devising a similar route around the internet.

¶ Neofascist xenophobia in US threatens web communications which are already resulting in closed-circuit nets that avoid ICANN's 264 domains (and, thus, the US Commerce Department);

The Boner Boys Cry Bingo! already had a closed system in 1996 called BoBo to implement direct democracy in 2001;

What's wrong? Well, the US is the big problem. It snubbed 170 countries at a UN summit on the WWW in Tunis this last November -- to maintain unilateral control of the internet.* Arabs were furious. China had already decided to go its own way.

Now, says the WSJ (2006.01.19 A7) pornography is the wedge issue. In 2005 the Commerce Department, citing complaints from Christian groups pressured ICANN to delay the much-awaited .XXX.

Claiming that the net is "too valuable to tinker with or place under ... the UN", DoC official Michael Gallagher was accused of really speaking for the Christian right. Gallagher retorted that those wanting the most input on net operations were China, Libya, Syria, and Cuba -- hardly those in nations for free speech.

Paul Mockrapetris, who invented the net's domain system in the 1980s, claims that governments are already blocking some sites. China is one of them, but more are 'on line' [Wink] .

Paul Twomey, CEO of ICANN, an Australian actually, "... we need to integtrate other other values and languages into the Internet and make sure that it still works as one internet."

"Not enough ...," says Li Guanghao, head of International Affairs for China Internet Network Information Center.

Already it is obvious that pornophobic nations (such as China, Syria, Cuba, and Iran) will opt out of the internet; but will Bush and the religio-neocons destroy the rest of the hegemony necessary to maintain a free central databank?

__________

* The present 13 mirrors are in Amsterdam, Stockholm, Tokyo, and the rest in the US. Interestingly, our .com or F-Root (1994), controlled by Verisign, Inc., is located in an old cellar in Palo Alto between a Walgreen's and an art gallery, and is run by a high-school drop-out. On him every single .com depends [Smile] .

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LoverOfJoy
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quote:
In 2005 the Commerce Department, citing complaints from Christian groups pressured ICANN to delay the much-awaited .XXX.
That's interesting. I would think that Christian groups would be pushing for the .xxx domain names to help differentiate porn sites from other safer sites.

Is there any info on how the Commerce Department "pressured" ICANN?

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Jordan
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I agree with LoJ; surely anything which makes it easier to avoid porn (if you don't want it) is a good thing?

Unfortunately, I doubt the Christian right sees things that way. Triple-x domain names are probably seen as an attempt to further normalise pornography… Wasn't there something similar to do with genetic research? Delaying an international resolution to define ethical practice (wrt. cloning & stem cells) because they refused to compromise? (I read something about it, but my memory is sketchy and I'm hoping someone else will remember and clarify for me. [Wink] )

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Richard Dey
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Cf Philnotfil's thread on the feds' ability to gain confidential search data. It puts no limits on itself. It wants all-engine data and hit data.

The Department of Commerce has overall 'authority' on this business. Frankly, I don't think the public has ever sought to have this limited.

The issue has come up before in various guises, e.g., New York State's subpoenas to obtain cigarette sales from the Senecas -- and then going after "tax evaders".

I don't remember anything on the genetics research, Jordan, but I read the sports pages first [Wink] . OTOH, now I would like to know!

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Joe Schmoe
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Richard whats your source on this? From what I see so far I'd say the article is very biased and misleading.
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Mormegil
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I don't like efforts to legitmise pornography, but it would be *stupid* to block the .xxx domain on those grounds. The internet is, de facto, a massive pornography exchange system, and to block attempts to *mitigate* that because we don't want to make it de jure as well is just... dumb.
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Richard Dey
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Mormegil. Ditto. The first picture ever sent on the net from MIT to Stanford was a naked woman!

Joe: WSJ (2006.01.19 A1, A7). If it seems biased, that's me, e.g. 'neofascist xenophobia', since their description was a paragraph long saying more or less the same thing in tastier terms; the emboldend term is actually a quote. I condensed a very long lead article.

OTOH, the article clearly suggests that the Bush administration is shooting its own monopoly in the foot -- and that is the charge being made by ICANN.

I predicted this all a year ago. The neocons would undermine US dominance of the internet using Christian complaints about pornography to substantiate its intervention.

Now, Philnotfil's thread suggests that the rationale for implementing just this strategy is the treat of terrorism.

My argument is that that the administration would have done the same thing with or without 2001.09.11, with or without terrorism in the air, and that it would do this for the same reasons that the US Treasury Post Office undermined the privacy of the mails for decades: the enforcement of morality.

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Jordan
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Does this have anything to do with the article you're talking about?

I actually found this while looking for more about that Verisign guy. (BTW, I now know his name is Paul Vixie.)

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Richard Dey
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Yes, and his name is Vixie. See also the Economist recently.
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