While it is certainly true that the revelations of widespread spying and the compromise of key Internet protocols by the National Security Agency, the FBI, and the DEA have sowed fear, uncertainty, and doubt among the world’s netizens … there was no valid reason for he United States to give up control over the Domain Name Server root zone. But, then again, we have a President who does not believe in America’s exceptionalism and wants to fundamentally transform America into just another unexceptional member-state of the United Nations. Albeit, the one developed nation that should fund reparations to lesser developed nations as a penalty for its early “colonialism.”
What evil can occur from this “multi-stakeholder” business model is unknown, but can be anticipated if the participants become radicalized by political concerns or actually function on behalf of their sovereign nations rather than for the benefit of the world’s netizens.
NTIA Announces Intent to Transition Key Internet Domain Name Functions
To support and enhance the multistakeholder model of Internet policymaking and governance, the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) today announces its intent to transition key Internet domain name functions to the global multi-stakeholder community.
As the first step, NTIA is asking the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to convene global stakeholders to develop a proposal to transition the current role played by NTIA in the coordination of the Internet’s domain name system (DNS).
NTIA’s responsibility includes the procedural role of administering changes to the authoritative root zone file – the database containing the lists of names and addresses of all top-level domains – as well as serving as the historic steward of the DNS.
NTIA currently contracts with ICANN to carry out the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions and has a Cooperative Agreement with Verisign under which it performs related root zone management functions. Transitioning NTIA out of its role marks the final phase of the privatization of the DNS as outlined by the U.S. Government in 1997.
“The timing is right to start the transition process,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information Lawrence E. Strickling. “We look forward to ICANN convening stakeholders across the global Internet community to craft an appropriate transition plan.”
ICANN is uniquely positioned, as both the current IANA functions contractor and the global coordinator for the DNS, as the appropriate party to convene the multistakeholder process to develop the transition plan. NTIA has informed ICANN that it expects that in the development of the proposal, ICANN will work collaboratively with the directly affected parties, including the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), the Internet Architecture Board (IAB), the Internet Society (ISOC), the Regional Internet Registries (RIRs), top level domain name operators, VeriSign, and other interested global stakeholders.
NTIA has communicated to ICANN that the transition proposal must have broad community support and address the following four principles:
Consistent with the clear policy expressed in bipartisan resolutions of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives (S.Con.Res.50 and H.Con.Res.127), which affirmed the United States support for the multistakeholder model of Internet governance, NTIA will not accept a proposal that replaces the NTIA role with a government-led or an inter-governmental organization solution.
From the inception of ICANN, the U.S. Government and Internet stakeholders envisioned that the U.S. role in the IANA functions would be temporary. The Commerce Department’s June 10, 1998 Statement of Policy stated that the U.S. Government “is committed to a transition that will allow the private sector to take leadership for DNS management.” ICANN as an organization has matured and taken steps in recent years to improve its accountability and transparency and its technical competence. At the same time, international support continues to grow for the multistakeholder model of Internet governance as evidenced by the continued success of the Internet Governance Forum and the resilient stewardship of the various Internet institutions.
While stakeholders work through the ICANN-convened process to develop a transition proposal, NTIA’s current role will remain unchanged. The current IANA functions contract expires September 30, 2015.
For further information see: IANA Functions and Related Root Zone Management Transition Questions and Answers
NTIA is the Executive Branch agency that advises the President on telecommunications and information policy issues. NTIA’s programs and policymaking focus largely on expanding broadband Internet access and adoption in America, expanding the use of spectrum by all users, and ensuring that the Internet remains an engine for continued innovation and economic growth. To find out more about NTIA, visit www.ntia.doc.gov.
What this really means …
For those of you who do not have a technical background, the DNS (Domain Name Server) system translates an named address such as www.onecitizenspeaking.com into its digital address so that information can be routed correctly over the Internet.
Should the root server be compromised, you could assign any name to any address, making it appear that a malignant server in China, Russia, or elsewhere is your local bank. You log-on in your normal fashion, and seconds later, your bank account is drained of your assets. Likewise, should any foreign government wish to compromise the Internet and place their server in the middle of legitimate financial transactions or the transmission of classified information, they could do it surreptitiously and without notice. Yes, there are encryption schemes, but they also depend on algorithms build-in to software and hardware.
Bottom line …
Nobody in the Obama Administration is saying what brought about this abrupt shift in telecommunications policy.
- With some suggesting that it was a demand from the special interests who sought the change due to a precipitous drop in sales stemming from a lack of trust in American hardware, software, and communications infrastructure. With American security credibility at an all-time low with Edward Snowden’s revelations of NSA spying.
- With others say that the big information oligarch billionaires threatened to withhold campaign funding for the 2014 and 2016 election cycle that are existential threats to progressive socialist democrats in power.
- While others, claim that this is the precursor to a tax on all Internet services to fund a new governance infrastructure and allowing the government to set, collect, and administer the funds.
Like the horrendously bad judgement that allowed the Panama Canal to fall into a hostile government’s hands, we are now handing over the keys to the kingdom to a group that may have alternative motivation to screw America and all netizens. In retrospect, this may turn out to be President Obama’s monumental failure – larger than Obamacare, Benghazi, IRS-gate, and all other scandals combined.
We need to remove the progressive socialist democrats from office before they disable the Internet – a key component of America’s critical infrastructure – tantamount to turning America’s nuclear launch codes with the necessary command and control mechanism over to the United Nations.
We are so screwed.
"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius