New Internets

Many countries are looking for alternatives to a world where they are forced to use technology that is controlled in some way by the US government. A while back, Europeans decided to begin the launch of a multi-billion dollar GPS competitor into orbit called Galileo.

Now, other countries are looking to compete with America’s ever-growing Internet dominance. For example, China, the Arab League and a Dutch company have all started to build their own mini-internets that are not necessarily available to those on the real or should I say “first” Internet.

These newer internets will differ from the one we use today because it will use suffixes different from the 264 that are approved by Icann which stands for the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. You know these suffixes as .com, .org, .jp, etc. The central root basis for the Internet is what allows it to work so well as the single root which is replicated for security and redundancy reasons is necessary so that anyone can get to any website easily. In other words when you type in the central root communicates rapidly with administrator of your domain such as VeriSign and returns an IP address which in turn connects you to this blog.

Recently there was controversy of the addition of a .xxx domain name as the US government twisted the arm of Icann to squash this new domain name. Other countries cited this example of how the US controls the Internet and have subsequently pressed for Icann to be under the UN’s control. As the Internet becomes a bigger part of every country’s daily lives and economy the fear of having US control over such an important network is growing.

In response, the US is saying that countries like China, Libya, Syria and Cuba who complain about US-based Internet control don’t have democracies and as such taking control of the Internet for them means they will use their power for censorship.

Alternatives to Icann are also popping up in Europe where the Open Root Server Network or ORSN mirrors Icann and is there almost as a safeguard in case Icann starts to behave badly. In other words this root can be used as leverage to ensure Icann operates in a fair and equitable manner.

Another example is UnifiedRoot in Amsterdam which allows customers to purchase a domain name with any suffix they choose for $1,000 and a recurring annual fee of $250.
Icann is responding to these threats by becoming more accommodating to foreign languages.

I wonder if this is the beginning of a slew of new internets being built, will we be able to easily use VoIP across these networks? In other words do we not only have to be concerned about having the same VoIP provider but now we also need to be on the same Internet?

This whole situation has the ability to confuse users and any confusion is bad. Furthermore, anything  that makes it more difficult to communicate is not beneficial for the global population.

Here is a great article on this topic.

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