November 11, 2005

UN, internet and past lessons unlearned

Fazal Majid wrote about this matter a few weeks back and it just reinforced my view of why the internet nameservers should remain under the control of the US alone.

"My primary objections to the ITU(International Telecommunications Union) are not about its political structure, governance or democratic legitimacy, but about its competence, or more precisely the lack of it. The ITU is basically the forum where government PTT monopolies meet incumbent telcos to devise big standards and blow big amounts of hot air. Well into the nineties, they were pushing for a bloated network architecture called OSI, as an alternative to the Internet's elegant TCP/IP protocol suite. I was not surprised — I used to work at France Télécom's R&D labs, and had plenty of opportunity to gauge the "caliber" of the incompetent parasites who would go on ITU junkets.

Truth be said, those people's chief competency is bureaucratic wrangling, and like rats leaving a ship, they have since decamped to the greener pastures of the IETF, whose immune system could not prevent a dramatic drop in the quality of its output. The ITU's institutional bias is towards complex solutions that enshrine the role of legacy telcos, managed scarcity and self-proclaimed intelligent networks that are architected to prevent disruptive change by users on the edge."

This is precisely what I fear will happen if the UN is allowed to interfere in the matters on the internet on a larger scale than it is allowed to do so now. Career bureaucrats who know shit about how the internet works; will take high paying jobs at the UN in this department, leech like parasites while caring a rats ass about the standards on which the internet will base its future on.

op-ed by Kofi Annan can go burn in hell. The UN is so helpless about Syria, Iraq, North Korea, Iran. Why should netizens from countries outside the US trust the future access of their internet to such an incompetent organization? In a earlier journal post, I explained what the Indian govt did in 2003:

If you are Indian, you might recall that in 2003, the Indian govt forced ALL Indian ISP’s to block Yahoo groups because a separatist group from Meghalaya was running a group on yahoo and disseminated its propaganda(albeit only to 36 members before this matter became a crisis). The ban was in place for 10-14 days. At the end of the the fiasco, membership of that group had increased to 185. A 5 fold increase. And it left many Indians (and Yahoo) with a bad taste in the mouth regarding cyber policies of the Indian govt.

Keep the internet free:


When every change must be propagated to a billion machines, aconservative approach is best.>

Arbitrary registration of top level domains would not have prevented> local delegation. The problem with monolithic DNS is that it forces> hierarchy where none exists.But it does exist, just as it does for the telephone network.> If we were redesigning the DNS today the root would contain as much> information people cared to put in it.If we were redesigning it today, it would never actually be up andrunning. Instead, it would be continually revised in endless volumesof specifications written by people with nothing better to do in life,and nobody would implement more than a fraction of the spec, andthey'd always be several versions behind, and their implementationswould never be quite correct, and nothing would ever work togethervery smoothly at all.

The reason the Internet is successful is that it was designed before the bureaucrats took over.

The reason X.400 failed is that it wasdesigned after the bureaucrats took over.

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