Who should run the Internet?
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Thread: Who should run the Internet?

  1. #1
    Old Fart
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    Who should run the Internet?

    After reading this article I couldn't help but ponder the question of who should "run" the internet. ICANN, in my opinion, ruled itself out the day they decided to boot the "at large" members and become a "corporations only" club (not that they were ever in the running in the first place). Government operation of the internet is a HUGE no-no with the possible exception of anti-spam legislation (yes, I think unsolicited advertisments via email should be illegal). So who should run the internet?

    The do-gooders have found a new cause for 2003: Saving the Internet from the private interests intent on mucking up the cyberlandscape.

    Considering that 40 percent of all U.S. citizens have been online for more than three years and that most are able to find the information they seek when surfing the Web (according to a Dec. 29 Pew study on the Internet and American life), that's a curious cause.

    No matter. This story line is going to get played out in the next 12 months, and how it concludes will leave an indelible imprint on the future of the Internet.

    The only surprise is that these folks took so long to get involved. In a world of nation-states, the pre-Sept. 11 Internet era enjoyed a remarkably long run marked by self-regulation, decentralization and individual control. As the Web went global, I was sure policy-makers would move faster to bend the anarchistic, nobody-owns-it philosophy of the Internet to their liking.

    Public interest advocates are making up for lost time. Urging far more muscular government oversight and involvement, they are keen on making sure the public gets to represent its interest in the development of the Internet. One of the most articulate and forceful examples of the something-must-be-done mind-set was recently served up by Zoe Baird, president of the Markle Foundation.

    In the December 2002 edition of the periodical Foreign Affairs, Baird argued that government's unique role elevates its importance as an institution for deciding "what public values need to be protected"--even when different governments do not necessarily share the same values
    Personally, I think it should be run by us, the "citizens" of the internet, even though setting up such a system of "government" would be a monumental task. What do the rest of you think?
    Al
    It isn't paranoia when you KNOW they're out to get you...

  2. #2
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    The internet isn't 'run' by a particular firm, governement or person and never will be. It's like you all know: a gathering of hosts who agree to use the same protocol (what soon will change to IPv6). Internet should stay like it is = decentralized
    Saving the Internet from the private interests intent on mucking up the cyberlandscape
    intent on mucking up the cyberlandscape???

    muscular government oversight and involvement
    <-> decentralization
    <-> freedom
    <-> liberalization

    In other words I'm pro the nobody-owns-it-philosophy

  3. #3
    Old Fart
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    Victor, I'm behind you 100%...I'm pro no ownership also....but we all know that if nothing else, governments love to take control via regulation because control=power. I have to agree with the authors opinion that things ARE going to change in the coming months....whether we want them to or not. I'm fairly certain that my country (USA) will probably lead the charge on this one. Allow me to rephrase my question here....given that the authors supposition is true and some form of governing body is inevitable, who do you think should be in control? Should it be one particular nation, a UN based entity, an international "congress" comprised of people like us elected by our peers, a committee of corporate "yes men" or what?
    Al
    It isn't paranoia when you KNOW they're out to get you...

  4. #4
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    I keep saying it, there is no inevitable 'control'. On the other hand it was the US that gave the funds to develop something like a decentralized network called ARPANET. Since then however the net evolved enormous. The academic world did good things to keep it all running.

    Ownership? How can some nation "own" the internet. There is no THE internet. If some nation decides to take control then they do, this will not be control over everything. However the amount of hosts and network resources on US grounds is big so if they decide to change things perhaps the others will have to follow cause the US has the power to set the standards? In that way the USA can do / have what they do not want others to do / have?

    So my point is that I can not agree with:
    given that the authors supposition is true and some form of governing body is inevitable, who do you think should be in control?
    So an answer to your question becomes difficult. I'm unable to form the suggestion in my mind that it would be completly 'controlled' that's just fiction. For me the world wide web stays something like: w00t! BBS's in color and always up.

  5. #5
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    I'm all for no ownership. What makes the Internet so great, in my opinion, is that no government really owns it. The X Files logo "The truth is out there," does fit the Internet. Whatever your government spouts about whatever can be checked and verified on the Net with a little effort.

    I think that's why various governments DO want a greater hand in controlling the Internet. Freedom and government are two words that do not go together. Will it ever happen? I don't think it's completely possible. Individual governments can try to control what their citizens can see. A worldwide control on access is unlikely for the foreseeable future. Again, my opinions.

  6. #6
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    there's no "bout a doubt it" .. I should run the internet..

    off my ibm pc-xt running dos 6.22 with my blazing fast 9600 baud modem

  7. #7
    Now, RFC Compliant! Noia's Avatar
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    hmmmmm.. 9600 Baud Modem, you could run two Internet's on that....LMAO..
    the Internet if free, it is owned my no-one and every one....sorta...does that make sense?
    no one owns the air do they? yet every one can have their own little bit of air, and every one "Owns" that air in a way......

    the Internet can never be owned, if some one try's to put a lid on things, then people will do like they always have done....go around the barrier. a new Internet would be formed...

    Three w00t's for the Internet!

    - Noia
    With all the subtlety of an artillery barrage / Follow blindly, for the true path is sketchy at best. .:Bring OS X to x86!:.
    Og ingen kan minnast dei linne drag i dronningas andlet den fagre dag Då landet her kvilte i heilag fred og alle hadde kjærleik å elske med.

  8. #8
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    When you closely think about it.....
    When you make a site or whatever you take care and 'govern' over it.

    I could care less about and new IP addressing or FCC electrical safetly measures and all but I say: DOWN WITH THE COMNIE BULLCRAP.

    While looking at what china has done to thier services do you really think that becomeing like that will help anything.... and why would we need it?

    Would it really help anything? Not really....

  9. #9
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    Indeed no ownership.

    but like it or not, AOL for example has a patent on their messaging system, cookies and SSL

  10. #10
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    No ownership, definetly. The internet is like a wild animal, and no governmnet, including ours is going to tame it.
    Because I am a woman, I must make unusual efforts to succeed. If I fail, no one will say, "She doesn't have what it takes"; They will say, "Women don't have what it takes".
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