[AfrICANN-discuss] Breaking the Internet HOWTO: The Unintended Consequences of Governmental Actions

Nacer Adamou Saidou adamou.nacer at gmail.com
Tue Dec 20 09:49:23 SAST 2011

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Thank you Anne for this link!
I tried to open a breach on this during the Afrinic-15 meeting when
asking about the Internet Neutrality issue, but there was no real
interest on this I guessed.


Le 19/12/2011 08:51, Anne-Rachel Inné a écrit :
>  Breaking the Internet HOWTO: The Unintended Consequences of Governmental
> Actions<http://www.circleid.com/posts/20111218_breaking_the_internet_howto_unintended_consequences_of_governments/>
> By
> *McTim* <http://www.circleid.com/members/1420/>
> http://www.circleid.com/posts/20111218_breaking_the_internet_howto_unintended_consequences_of_governments/
> *"Breaking the Internet"* is really hard to do. The network of networks is
> decentralized, resilient and has no Single Point Of Failure. That was the
> paradigm of the first few decades of Internet history, and most people
> involved in Internet Governance still carry that model around in their
> heads.
> Unfortunately, that is changing and changing rapidly due to misguided
> government intervention. Ever since 2000, when we witnessed the LICRA v.
> Yahoo! <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LICRA_v._Yahoo%21> conflict, we have
> had governments taking actions that move us away from the utopian vision of
> early netizens <https://projects.eff.org/%7Ebarlow/Declaration-Final.html>towards
> a dystopic,
> unrecognizable Internet. <http://www.isoc.org/tools/blogs/scenarios/>
> This past month has been incredibly busy in terms of misguided governmental
> interference. Here is a short list of recent governmental bloopers and why
> they are deeply flawed;
> *1. Put out a RFP to run the core names and numbers
> entity<https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=c564af28581edb2a7b9441eccfd6391d&tab=core&_cview=0>(the
> IANA) but limit it to US organisations.
> * For over a decade, other governments have complained bitterly that the US
> "controls the Internet". This move further entrenches that flawed
> perception but serves no actual purpose since it is nearly inconceivable
> that any entity other than ICANN (based in California) will get this no fee
> contract from the Department of Commerce. Serving turkey at Thanksgiving is
> an American tradition, but this move elevates the term "giving the bird" to
> new heights. Governments unhappy with this decision have another reason to
> try to "split the root" or build their own set of nameservers that they can
> control.
> *2. Propose a UN Committee for Internet-related
> policies<http://news.dot-nxt.com/2011/10/27/india-proposes-government-control-internet>(CIRP).
> * India has done this in the UN General Assembly. Earlier this year, India,
> along with Brazil, and South Africa floated their "IBSA
> Proposal"<http://www.culturalivre.org.br/artigos/IBSA_recommendations_Internet_Governance.pdf>[PDF]
> to near universal criticism. Despite this, the Indian delegate at the
> UN still said that CIRP would, *inter alia,*
> *"coordinate and oversee the bodies responsible for technical and
> operational functioning of the Internet, including global standards
> setting."*
>  Since this is completely unlike the current situation in which the
> technical and standards bodies operate independently, developing standards
> and policies in open to all, bottom-up, transparent and consensus based
> processes this proposal seems aimed at breaking the "Internet
> Model"<http://www.apnic.net/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/8715/hot-topics-20031124.pdf>[PDF].
> This model, sometimes called the Internet
> eco-system<http://www.circleid.com/posts/20111218_breaking_the_internet_howto_unintended_consequences_of_governments/www.isoc.org/pubpolpillar/docs/internetmodel.pdf>[PDF]
> has given us the Goose that lays the Golden Eggs. An excellent
> description of this<http://www.circleid.com/posts/20110910_governing_the_internet_the_model_is_the_message/>is
> well worth reading, and as one commenter suggested "The model is so
> important that a threat to the model is a threat to the Internet itself."
> Because some governments are so angry about US unilateral control over
> Critical Internet Resources (see #1 above), they are willing to kill the
> Goose, thus ensuring no one gets the Golden Eggs.
> *3. Start a new Thanksgiving tradition of censoring websites without due
> process.<http://www.circleid.com/posts/20111125_another_thanksgiving_another_131_domain_names_seized/>
> * Last year the
> <http://www.circleid.com/posts/20111125_another_thanksgiving_another_131_domain_names_seized/>rojadirecta
> case<http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110201/10252412910/homeland-security-seizes-spanish-domain-name-that-had-already-been-declared-legal.shtml>caused
> quite a stir in Internet governance circles. It seems that ICE will
> continue to do this until your lolcatz <http://icanhascheezburger.com/> are
> replaced with this <http://www.circleid.com/images/uploads/6151.gif>, only
> then will we see the public at large up in arms.
> The rojadirecta case was striking in that ICE not only asserted authority
> over content (found to be legal in Spain, where rojadirecta is located)
> stored on a webserver outside the USA, it censored the website that only
> carried (allegedly) infringing links, as rojadirecta does not have the
> actual content that were thought to be infringing. Again, the US government
> angers the rest of the world. It may also be useful to point out that
> seizing the domain did not stop rojadirecta, they just moved their website
> to multiple other domains.
> *4. Be hypocritical.* Proclaim your support of Internet Freedom abroad and
> actually fund projects that are doing excellent work to protect freedom of
> speech online with one hand while using the other to restrict those
> freedoms (see #3 above) not just for your citizens, but for billions of
> Internet users worldwide.
> *5. Make pressing a facebook "like"
> button<http://www.smh.com.au/world/thai-crackdown-on-facebook-remarks-on-king-20111125-1nz1t.html>a
> criminal act.
> * Well done, Thailand for giving us a humorous interlude in this long,
> boring post!
> *6. Issue a court order
> <http://images.spaceref.com/news/2011/ProtectiveOrder.pdf> instructing
> non-profit public interest organisations outside the USA (and one in
> Virginia) to take specific actions in the databases they manage.* In some
> cases, these actions may violate contracts the organisations have signed
> with their members. Once again, a unilateral action by a government actor
> throws sand in the gears of a well-oiled Internet policy system that has
> taken decades to evolve.
> *7. Propose legislation that not only censors Internet content on
> allegations alone, but that requires ISPs and ANYONE who runs a caching DNS
> server, a search engine, advertising or payment network to police
> content.*In the USA, there is an intense battle over this
> legislation that actually reaches in to DNS servers and mandates filtering
> by server operators.
> As the CDT<http://www.cdt.org/policy/cdt-warns-against-widespread-use-domain-name-tactics-enforce-copyright>and
> many
> others<http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2011/12/internet-inventors-warn-against-sopa-and-pipa>(including
> myself as a signatory) have argued, the DNS is not the
> appropriate place to do this.
> DNS name queries should be and accurately translated into DNS name
> responses regardless of query source or query subject. That's the design of
> the DNS and it does its job billions of times per day. This legislation
> would mandate that your DNS server send you a lie when you made specific
> queries. Internet broken, plain and simple. In addition, our new DNS
> Security extensions are incompatible with a lying DNS server. The DNS is
> the wrong focal point to attack this problem.
> Besides the breakage, the measure, as originally proposed (and as amended)
> just wouldn't work to Stop Online Piracy (House bill) or PROTECT-IP
> (Senate). It's trivial to register a new domain name, or find a new DNS
> service provider and let's not forget the content "lives" on webserver
> somewhere that has an IP address, so filtering DNS replies does not remove
> the content. Of course, one domain name can have many sub-domains, so
> taking down one domain can affect hundreds of perfectly innocent websites
> (as happened in last years Thanskgiving ICE takedown).
> *8. Hold hearings to put pressure on the organisation that manages Internet
> name and number resources to delay a program that is a result of more than
> 7 years of bottom-up policy making processes.* Two separate House
> committees put ICANN on the hot seat this week because Congress clearly
> doesn't understand that they don't get to make these policies, they are
> just one stakeholder among many. I applaud ICANN for sticking to their
> agreed upon schedule<http://www.adweek.com/news/technology/house-hearing-icann-whats-dot-rush-137109>for
> adding more gTLDs to the root;
> *"This process has not been rushed," said Kurt Pritz, SVP of ICANN. "Every
> issue has been discussed. No new issues have been raised. The people at
> this table participated in this debate."*
>  Even though I have never been a proponent of new gTLDs, I understand that
> the Policy Development Process has finished and I accept the result.
> Whinging to Congress is just bad politics for the ANA and others who
> testified at the hearings if they ever want to be taken seriously in ICANN
> policy making going forward.
> On the face of it, all of these disjointed legislative, judicial and
> executive actions would seem to argue for a global set of rules that all
> governments would abide by. We saw during
> WSIS<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Summit_on_the_Information_Society>however
> that the US is not about to give up the one lever of control they
> have over Internet names and numbers, nor are other governments willing to
> give up sovereignty over what happens in their territories.
> If, by some miracle, a deal was reached on a treaty, this would be even
> more disastrous than individual governments making bad policy decisions.
> Having nearly 200 UN Member States making Internet policy in a top-down
> governments only setting would only multiply the badness of the bad ideas
> listed above. Do we really want China, Burma and Iran (just to mention a
> few) making decisions on what content we can consume or create?
> Governments and Intergovernmental bodies are supposed to serve the public
> interest. Unfortuantely, they don't grok the
> Internet<http://motherboard.vice.com/2011/12/16/dear-congress-it-s-no-longer-ok-to-not-know-how-the-internet-works>and
> their knee-jerk efforts are a threat to the Internet as we know it.
> They can best promote the public interest by NOT regulating the Internet.
> *By McTim <http://www.circleid.com/members/1420/>, Co-Chair of the African
> Network Information Center Policy Development WG*
> _______________________________________________
> AfrICANN mailing list
> AfrICANN at afrinic.net
> https://lists.afrinic.net/mailman/listinfo.cgi/africann

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Nacer Adamou Saïdou
LPC-1 Certified Engineer
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