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| Friday, October 7 2005 |

Tech Time.

There's a lot of misinformation floating around, most prominently in the MSM circles, about this whole internet grab attempt by the EU/UN pinheads. Here's the lowdown. There is one basic entity which controls how the internet "works", for lack of a better term. The issue is with that entity. ICANN, a private, non-profit corporation set up back in 1998 by the US department of commerce to deal with the then-monopoly Network Solutions had on gTLD domain creation. In non-tech, that means the authority to assign ownership of .com, .net and .org domains (along as a few others, at the time, like .edu).

Today, ICANN has complete authority over the generic domain space (gTLD, something.com), and the country-specific name space (ccTLD, something.us). The heart of this system is the root zone file, which lists the current root name servers in operation. The zone file is used by every DNS server on the internet to facilitate the lookup of domain names. For example, if one were to look up foo.com, a local domain server at their ISP would query a root name server, found in the root zone file list, and ask for the authoritative name server for foo.com. A root name server would give the querying server an IP number for the authoritative DNS server. Then, the querying DNS server would request resolution of the foo.com domain from the authoritative server returned by the root servers. That request would ultimately resolve to another IP number, which is the IP of the web server providing content for that domain.

ICANN maintains the root zone file, and the 13 root name servers are run by various US corporations and government entities, such as Verisign, NASA, the US Army Research Lab, and so forth. If a DNS server wants to look up a gTLD domain, it must talk to a root name server, all of which are run by US entities, and all of which are listed in the US-controlled root zone file.

Now, ccTLD namespace, such as foo.us, foo.it, or foo.fr, is delegated to country-specific organizations similar to ICANN. Those organizations control registrations in those country-specific domain spaces, and the ICANN root servers delegate control to them when a lookup request is received.

One of the things the EU pinheads want to do, is remove control of the root name servers, root zone file, and in effect the gTLD namespace from ICANN. They want it run by what amounts to a UN-lead group of pinheads, the end game of which is ultimately to tax creation of new and existing domains, as well as to censor domains based on the content their owners provide with them.

Another thing ICANN does is control the assignment of IP numbers on the internet. ICANN delegates certain blocks of IP space to various country-specific numbering authorities, such as ARIN, the US flavor. When an ISP requests a block of IP space, it is processed by ARIN, who is effectively re-assigning the block of IP space given the US. Once a block is assigned, routing information used to find those numbers on the internet is propagated in much the same way DNS works. Core routers run by major backbone providers know the addresses of smaller routers assigned to control blocks of IP addresses. Smaller still control individual block assignments, and so on, and so forth, until the final network route is discovered, and as a result a given IP is reachable from anywhere on the internet.

The pinheads, of course, have a problem with that as well, as they can't tax IP allocations, nor restrict access and the flow of information when they wish. Of course, the pinheads in question are oft to toss the tried and flogged UN tagline of "It's not faaaair!" in regard to the fact that IP allocations are not uniform. The US, as you'd expect, has a very large chunk of the available IPv4 numbers, and will likely have as large a chunk of the upcoming IPv6 network. The.. uh.. "logic", is that North Korea should have the same size allocation as the US. And if we need more, why, of course we can pay for them, just like the "eco-credit" nonsense peddled by the Kyoto Krap.

I doubt I have to tell anyone in my usual group of readers how entirely incompetent and corrupt the UN is, or that this is yet another attempt to "fine the winners for winning", as it were. However, I doubt many people realize the scope of the nonsense in question.

Fortunately, however, the Commerce Department has effectively told the UN and gaggle of pinheads bitching about ICANN to go pound sand, as they have absolutely no control what so ever over private US organizations.
posted by Mr. Lion @ 16:56 hours | comments (4)


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