[Air-l] internet governance

jeremy hunsinger jhuns at vt.edu
Fri Apr 22 06:21:57 PDT 2005

On Apr 22, 2005, at 9:01 AM, Danny Butt wrote:

> Hi Jeremy
> I'm pleased to know that you're working on Internet Governance for the 
> conference. Hopefully you'll also be able to contribute comments on the
> WGIG's papers. More voices are good. We should probably discuss some of
> these questions in a specific governance forum, but I would like to 
> suggest
> a couple of things for the casual readers.
> 1) While the implementation of the Anycast system expands the 
> geopolitical
> *accessibility* of DNS root servers, it in no way expands the 
> *control* of
> them. It's kind of like arguing that Starbucks is international 
> because it
> shows up in a lot of countries. And the 13 "recently original" root 
> servers
> (10 of which are in the US) still have a critical role which the others
> "mirror" (if they say strawberry frappuccino's on the menu, *it's on 
> the
> menu*.

sort of, but there are only contract and consent governing this.  it is 
more because of the fact that it operates this way that it seems to be 
necessary to operate this way.  The necessity though is not there, 
should a better technical paradigm arise.
> 2) While I understand it is technically possible for individual root 
> servers
> to "roll their own" root zone file,  with the number of sites coming 
> online
> every day, in a practical sense they are reliant on the master file 
> from the
> "A" root server (which, as an irrelevant aside, I understand is not 
> Anycast
> yet?).
nope, but it could be fairly easily.

> 3) Any edits to the master root zone file - which, let's remember, 
> includes
> *all* of the "country code top level domains" that we mistakenly 
> associate
> with actual countries (.jp, .ie, etc) - are approved by the US 
> Department of
> Commerce. Not good if, for example, you're at war with the US.

but you see that this does not actually affect anything in real terms.  
if you are at war in the u.s., and the u.s. refuses to do something, 
that does nothing to your internal connectivity or external 
connectivity if you are technically advanced.  you can add whatever you 
want at your own borders, just like companies do now, just like other 
subnets and supernets do.  we rely on dns primarily for commercial 
services.  and it is just naming.  naming is important, but it is not 
as important technically as it might seem.
> 4) Almost no one - outside the Chinese government ;) - wants to see 
> the ITU
> running the internet governance show. But still, governance of any sort
> attains its legitimacy through  accountability to stakeholders, and the
> current US-dominated bodies have a response which is routinely "What's 
> the
> problem?

other than commerce...  the us-domination is not very clear to me other 
than perhaps as a cultural construct.

>  We don't *really* run anything?"

well other than ICANN having a say in naming, who does run anything?  
that is the question that I'm working on answering.  the problem is 
that for the most part, 'we don't really run anything', yet someone 
runs something.  the history of icann shows to some extent who runs 
things, but so does the history of isoc.

> That wears thin after a while, so
> you might want to watch how your suggestions are received along the 
> lines
> that, technically, it's a lot more open than it appears :).

true there is a difference between technical possibility and political 
reality in standards making.  in technical possibility it is quite 
open, but getting the standards approved that is a different matter.

however, in terms of ICANN, there is representation of regions and 
such, likewise in ietf, and almost every internet related system.    
here is an example of one of the most seniro groups in internet 
governance, the Internet Architecture Board... 
http://www.iab.org/about/members.html   It is not perfectly 
representative, but it is not really u.s. dominated as much as 
dominated by non-governmental interests

> Regards,
> Danny
> -- 
> Danny Butt
> New Media | Research | Education | Development | Consulting
> db at dannybutt.net | http://www.dannybutt.net
> +64 21 456 379 | Aotearoa New Zealand
> ( in Australia through June 05 - +61 410 524 486 )
> On 4/22/05 1:35 AM, "jeremy hunsinger" <jhuns at vt.edu> wrote:
>> I think that depends on what they mean by 'internet governance' as I
>> noted earlier.  If you mean icann, it is representative in a sense.  
>> if
>> you mean ietf, etc. it is representative in a sense.  however, if you
>> mean the u.s. contract, then of course it is not representative at 
>> all.
>>   if you mean the powers that be in the non-state and non-technical
>> sense, then those are not representative, and that will be covered in
>> part at my hopefully soon to be accepted ir6.0 talk this year entitled
>> Capital Policy: the transnational subpolitics of internet governance.
>> not really, because while ICANN can direct, who will enforce?  other
>> than economic enforcement... there may not be any real system of
>> enforcement within the system other than exclusion, and that would
>> require a unified effort, one that I doubt is possible.
>> actually, you can remove routing at any border or any endpoint, just
>> like you can add it at any of those places.  true, that doesn't make 
>> it
>> disappear for everyone, but you can make whole areas of the world
>> disappear for anyone depending on your place in the chain.  That is
>> what is interesting about dns.  by the way although icann and the
>> post-arpa roots are the dominant hegemony, they are not the only  name
>> system in operation, they can be ignored entirely if your country has
>> the technical capacity to do so, which many countries do.
>> also, we should note that while the ruling root sits in the u.s.
>> currently, the other root servers are fairly well distributed in
>> various nations http://www.root-servers.org/.  what that means to me 
>> is
>> that in a realpolitik mode, the u.s. is only governing by consent,
>> because any given one of those could break and become an independent
>> root should they so desire or should the authority in their country
>> demand it.
>> yes, I should say that I support the dissolution of icann and the
>> movement of naming to a u.n. associated body, but do not currently see
>> that it should be the ITU.
> _______________________________________________
> The Air-l-aoir.org at listserv.aoir.org mailing list
> is provided by the Association of Internet Researchers http://aoir.org
> Subscribe, change options or unsubscribe at: 
> http://listserv.aoir.org/listinfo.cgi/air-l-aoir.org
> Join the Association of Internet Researchers:
> http://www.aoir.org/
jeremy hunsinger
jhuns at vt.edu

()  ascii ribbon campaign - against html mail
/\                        - against microsoft attachments

More information about the Air-L mailing list