John Oliver told us that "If you want
to do something evil, put it inside something that sounds
incredibly boring," and there's no domain in which that is more true than the world of Internet governance.
Julia "Law Comics" Powles attended last week's ICANN meeting in London, an event that attracted less media attention than the launch of mobile app "Yo," but which was the setting for discussions that will shape the future that we and our children and grandchildren will inhabit. Powles has seen the writing on the wall, and it's grim:
If this was just about money, it might not matter. But it points to a deeper problem. Icann has made itself the central manager of the furniture of the internet - from the IP addresses of each connected device to the root servers that tune to Icann’s single root zone and domain name system.
These are some of the most powerful strategic assets on the planet. They are intrinsic to the internet experience that we all value, but also to the fears - surveillance, incumbency, inequality - that we harbour. And right now these assets (themselves a distracting mirage from greater power held by the NSA, Google, and others) are being bartered in a disturbingly one-directional manner.
Today, the ultimate backstop control over key global internet resources rests with the US government. Actions are afoot to transfer them to the so-called global community (while keeping Icann as a private US company, subject only to US law). But the US government has expressly removed from the table a seemingly obvious alternative steward: the United Nations, despite its imperfections. That leaves Icann, with all its hopeless conflicts, as the only option in a vacant lot.
The byzantine, meandering discussion on the future of the internet [Julia Powles/The Guardian]
Wolfen stars Albert Finney as Dewey, a grizzled NYC detective assigned to figure out why a rich developer gentrifying the Bronx got mutilated and spread over an acre of Battery Park. Set at the turn of the 1980s, it was the first movie with a clear vision of what should be done with Donald Trump.
The first 100 days of Trump’s presidency were a shambolic festival of incompetence and looming catastrophe. But it’s not all about beltway politics, you know! Because the intense (and reasonable) focus is upon on the media-friendly dimensions of his buffoonery, we sometimes miss how it affects specific aspects of American life. The Verge took a […]
Ajit Pai, the newly appointed chairman of the Federal Communications Commission under Donald Trump, today announced his plans to undo government oversight of broadband ISPs, and destroy Net Neutrality.
Bamboo has lots of uses beyond just being panda food. Things like bikes, roads, scaffolding, and musical instruments are made from the fast-growing grass. But unless you are participating in a tropical-themed LARP, you probably wouldn’t want a shirt made from bamboo stalks. So why do bamboo bed sheets make any sense? Because yarn extracted from […]
If you want to work in tech, but don’t have any desire to code web apps to help businesses sell things to other business, you might want to consider a career in cybersecurity. Judging from the apparent complete infiltration of Russian hackers in American cyberspace, it seems fair to speculate that there’s a major shortage of […]
All moms are different. But all moms like getting flowers on Mother’s Day, and that’s a fact (not, however a fact we can document in any fashion.) Instead of getting chewed out for forgetting to call her on the second Sunday of May, you can take care of it ahead of time with Teleflora’s flower […]