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.
After years of missteps, blunders and disasters in which Youtube users have been censored through spurious copyright claims or had their accounts deleted altogether, Google has announced an amazing, user-friendly new initiative though which it will fund the legal defense of Youtube creators who are censored by bad-faith copyright infringement claims.
Gus writes, “November 2-6 was Media Literacy Week, that great traditional festival of questioning everything we read and talking back to the TV. OK, so it’s only ten years old… and this is the first year it’s been formally observed in the United States, which has long lagged behind other English-speaking countries in media literacy […]
The Wizard of Northampton in dialog with John Higgs, author of Stranger Than We Can Imagine: Making Sense of the Twentieth Century, describing HP Lovecraft’s curious, twisted grasp of the awful anxieties of 20th century America, and how this created the racist, horror-flecked prose that resonates even today. (via m1k3y)
The Micro Drone 2.0+ is truly in a league of its own, offering a new perspective on aerial photography, and a world of technological capabilities that make flying ridiculously fun. Simply throw it in the air at any angle and its self-correcting algorithm will stabilize for smooth sailing in no time. You’ll stay entertained with […]
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This minimalist multi-tool will see to it that instead of rocking a tool belt, you’ll carry just one. It’s shaped slightly like a key and weighs less than an ounce, so it plays nice with your keychain. The strong surgical-grade stainless steel blade will last, and is handy for everyday tasks like opening boxes and […]