The "father of the Internet" explains why the Congressional posturing and global freakout about the US National Telecommunications and Information Administration stepping back from management of the Internet domain name system is misplaced.
As Cerf tells it, the NTIA's role in ICANN (the body that oversees domains and IP addresses) was both an historical accident and largely ceremonial. What's more, the nominal US government role in Internet governance gives cover to efforts of less-democratic countries (especially Russia and China) who advocate for moving network governance to the ITU, an extremely corrupt UN agency that has a track record of advocating for building surveillance and censorship into the network layer.
While the US government has undertaken similar project overtly (through lawful interception rules like CALEA) and covertly (through the NSA), these projects have not been a part of its minimal network governance role, where US bureaucrats have had a good track record of doing pretty much nothing, with a vaguely benign flavor.
In short, getting the USG out of ICANN helps neutralize the argument to put the Internet under the ITU's thumb, and that's a net (heh) positive.
Ariel Waldman writes, “Neutrinos are tiny particles spit out by supernovas that were rumored to travel faster than light. Even though we still don’t have FTL spaceships (sigh), I share with you why neutrinos are still freaking amazing.”
John Deere is notorious for arguing that farmers who buy its tractors actually “license” them because Deere still owns the copyright to the tractors’ software; in 2015, the US Copyright Office affirmed that farmers were allowed to jailbreak their tractors to effect repairs and modifications.
In this gorgeous video produced by Al Jazeera’s media literacy show The Listening Post, Amy Goodman from Democracy Now narrates an explanation of the “5 Filters of Media Manipulation” set out by Noam Chomsky and Edward S Herman in their 1988 classic Manufacturing Consent, brought to life by Pierangelo Pirak’s spectacular animations. You could hardly […]
The Lightning port has thus far resisted the cruel fate that befell the headphone jack, and despite rumors that it may be disappearing come iPhone 8, for the present and foreseeable future, Lightning cables are a hot commodity for iPhone users. As such, we must make do in this strange time in which long, glorified […]
All the filters in the world won’t save your smartphone pics from a shaky hand. To really step up your mobile photography game, you’ll need some kind of mount to hold it steady. You could buy a smartphone attachment for a conventional camera tripod, but who wants to carry that kind of gear everywhere they […]
The forced transition from analog to digital TV signals was probably met with relative indifference from people with Netflix subscriptions and the “I don’t even own a TV” snoots. But anyone living in the vast swaths of the country that don’t have guaranteed high-speed internet, broadcast TV is a perfectly valid (and 100% free) way […]