[LINK] World War 3.0
francisoconnor3 at bigpond.com
Wed Apr 4 15:48:02 EST 2012
Ahhhh .... it never ceases ...
Another plug from the ITU (and presumably the UN) to take over administration of the Internet from ICANN, the successors to IANA (I can never work out who is responsible for number allocation nowadays ... it was so much easier when Jon Postel was responsible for it ), the IETF (the technicians who create all the RFC's that determine who the Net works, and collectively know most of what there is to be known about IP protocol packet switched networking), ARPANET (the US research institute that actually ran and funded it for years), MILNET (the original owner of the Net), and in the good old days (before it sold out a lucrative domain name franchise a few years back) ISOC. Behind all that we have the US government, which still holds the whip hand through its patents and MILNET/ARPANET connections, but which hasn't been exceptionally eager to step in and impose order ... for which they get a few kudos from me.
The ITU ... which is a UN body that in the past has made its moolah from licensing competing network protocols (who can forget the hundreds of variants of the X400 mail protocol, none of which connected with others, that necessitated expensive hardware and gateways to transfers mail items at stupendous rates of 10 per second or more, or the X500 core networking protocol in its myriad of variants that were similarly incompatible) and was basically a front for the hard switched world of the 'big metal' telcos (Ma Bell, Telstra, SingTel, Chintel, etc etc etc) and IT firms (IBM, Honeywell, Wang and a host of other mini and mainframe suppliers) licensing a myriad of incompatible and poorly performing standards that only big corporates like these could afford top license.
Not exactly the freebie and open model of the IETF, but it kept thousands of ITU, Telco and government bureaucrats unproductively employed in developing stultifying, drawn-out, expensive inefficient standards that actually weren't standards at all since they never seamlessly worked across different hardware, gateways and switch points. Process was more important than connecting systems and networks. A large number of variants of 'standards' was more important than standards that ensured connectivity ... mainly because of the opportunities for licensing fees from their wealthy members, the oil that kept the show rolling for so many bureaucrats.
Their clients liked it because the whole process enabled, even encouraged, monopolies and shut out competitors who weren't party to the game, or a Member of the (very expensive) Club. All was great with the communications world, whilst this continued.
A little cloud on their horizon was ARPANET and packet switched networking. Imagine that! Data packets that could actually determine their own route between server and client. And relatively inexpensive routers from upstart companies like Cisco that facilitated this. Routers that even in their infancy dwarfed the traffic management capability and data volumes of large exchanges.
Who would have thought?
And then all those bureaucrats suddenly realised that this new state of affairs looked like impacting their income stream, that it was removing their raison d'etre, that the new communications infrastructure with its autonomous switching capabilities made their infrastructure more and more redundant.
So, in the late 80's and early 90's they attempted to become relevant to IP (hi speed data transfer standards like ATM went through a rapid approval process to make the Telco backbone as attractive as the 'last few yards' for IP connectivity, hi capacity switches appeared in exchanges, data transfer protocols like ADSL were rushed through and implemented in months rather than years) but they still didn't have a seat at the TCP-IP table.
Part of the problem was that there was no need for them (there were already bodies like the IETF doing what they did cheaper, faster, more openly and far far more efficiently and effectively), another part was the US government not trusting the UN to do it right, and a third was the ITU's propensity to give commercial, political and economic considerations as much import as the technical when making standards and other decisions (which whilst it may be good in a governmental/political/economic like the UN or any government body ... is not very desirable when developing network standards and the like that depend on scientific and mathematics, with desirable outcomes being quick, efficient and effective traffic management).
I can't really see that anything that's occurred over the last 20 years has changed these three objections one iota ... but the ITU still wants that seat at the table. Thus every year or so and some trans-national or UN talk-fest, they put their case to governments that have no financial, technical or economic responsibility for the Net arguing how unfortunate it is that the Internet is not under ITU control. On a couple of occasions recommendations for an ITU seat at the table have been issued, but widely ignored by both the Internet's infrastructure bodies and the US Government.
I'm no cheerleader for the US government, but they have adopted a fairly consistent hands-off policy with respect to the Internet generally .... and think about the alternative. If the UN did get its hands on the Net, freedom of speech would go by the board within a year or so as it stepped up efforts to stem 'hate crime', 'cultural insensitivities', 'religious concerns', and a myriad of restrictions would appear governing what may be said, when it may be said, who it may be said to, and the like. It would become a pale shadow of what it now is.
I don't want that. And I don't want the ITU messing with a standards process, and a group of open technical associations, that has made the Internet what it is today. I'd like to see it continue to develop as it has developed in the past. I don't want to see the world's premier network ruined by politics, and business, and monopolies and bureaucrats ... it has gotten on quite well without them (with the exception of ICANN - which I regard as enough of a sop for governments).
Keep the ITU out of IP administration ...it offers nothing and could damage a hell of a lot.
Just my 2 cents worth ...
On 04/04/2012, at 12:18 PM, Kim Holburn wrote:
>> When the Internet was created, decades ago, one thing was inevitable: the war today over how (or whether) to control it, and who should have that power. Battle lines have been drawn between repressive regimes and Western democracies, corporations and customers, hackers and law enforcement. Looking toward a year-end negotiation in Dubai, where 193 nations will gather to revise a U.N. treaty concerning the Internet, Michael Joseph Gross lays out the stakes in a conflict that could split the virtual world as we know it.
>> There is a war under way for control of the Internet, and every day brings word of new clashes on a shifting and widening battlefront. Governments, corporations, criminals, anarchists—they all have their own war aims.
>> One way to think about the War for the Internet is to cast it as a polar conflict: Order versus Disorder, Control versus Chaos. The forces of Order want to superimpose existing, pre-digital power structures and their associated notions of privacy, intellectual property, security, and sovereignty onto the Internet. The forces of Disorder want to abandon those rickety old structures and let the will of the crowd create a new global culture, maybe even new kinds of virtual “countries.” At their most extreme, the forces of Disorder want an Internet with no rules at all.
>> A conflict with two sides is a picture we’re used to—and although in this case it’s simplistic, it’s a way to get a handle on what the stakes are. But the story of the War for the Internet, as it’s usually told, leaves out the characters who have the best chance to resolve the conflict in a reasonable way. Think of these people as the forces of Organized Chaos. They are more farsighted than the forces of Order and Disorder. They tend to know more about the Internet as both a technical and social artifact. And they are pragmatists. They are like a Resistance group that hopes to influence the battle and to shape a fitful peace. The Resistance includes people such as Vint Cerf, who helped design the Internet in the first place; Jeff Moss, a hacker of immense powers who has been trying to get Order and Disorder to talk to each other; Joshua Corman, a cyber-security analyst who spends his off-hours keeping tabs on the activities of hackers operating under the name of Anonymous; and Dan Kaminsky, one of the world’s top experts on the Internet’s central feature, the Domain Name System.
> Kim Holburn
> IT Network & Security Consultant
> T: +61 2 61402408 M: +61 404072753
> mailto:kim at holburn.net aim://kimholburn
> skype://kholburn - PGP Public Key on request
> Link mailing list
> Link at mailman.anu.edu.au
More information about the Link