The Internet is Dead. Long Live the Internet


chinese-poppies

This Week, “ICANN, the US and the Internet: China’s New Field of Dreams”

On September 30th , 2016, the United States will surrender guiding influence over the internet. The US has had a long standing arrangement with ICANN, an organization formed specifically administrate the clear vision of the internet and apply governance and control following this vision. The Obama administration has agreed to release ICANN from contractual obligations to the United States, allowing ICANN to manage the DNS, the names used for web sites, unencumbered.

ICANN will be permanently released from the USA’s control. Technologists, cyber-stakeholders and mere mortals who use the internet should be worried that releasing ICANN will release the power of the internet; the power of freedom. Since it’s inception the internet has acted as a window for the world. However, will this freedom persist after being released from NTIA’s heavy hand?

 

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  • Frank Beatrice III, Software Developer and Editor, SafeView
  • Ernest Park, CTO and Editor, SafeView

Background

In 1995, our world changed. On April 30, 1995, the Internet as we know it began. The infrastructure was originally established by ARPANET, and then run for a decade by the National Science Foundation as NSFNET before being opened for commercialization and public access, and developed by ARPA indirectly resulting from competition with the Russians as far back as 1958. (http://safeview.com/2016/01/01/the-internet-twenty-years-in-review-1995-2015-adoption-of-the-internet-pt-1/)

“It has been said that something as small as the flutter of a butterfly’s wing can ultimately cause a typhoon halfway around the world” 

ICANN or the Internet Corporation for Assigned Name and Numbers , performs the actual technical maintenance work of the central Internet address pools and DNS Root registries pursuant to the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority function contract.

ICANN wants freedom

Obama administration surrendering control over the internet

The internet was a US invention, one that Americans have been custodians to for nearly thirty years. On Sept 30, 2016 at midnight, Obama administration’s NTIA will release ICANN from contractual US oversight. ICANN was established in 1988 to administer domain names used by people worldwide to navigate to internet sites without having to remember complicated numerical strings. US government involvement in the operation of ICANN and IANA was intended to be temporary. At the time, the internet had a few thousand users, and the current global industry and infrastructure could not have even been anticipated.  



ICANN and internet future to be decided by board of stakeholders from around the world

Following disclosures by Edward Snowden in 2013 about US government mass surveillance programs, pressure from global stakeholders increased for ICANN to move away from NTIA and US oversight. As a result, in 2014, ICANN submitted a proposal, and President Obama agreed to move forward, pending acceptance of a migration proposal, committing to terminate the current NTIA agreement on the end of September 30, 2016, at Midnight. The agreement puts in place an advisory board, of which the US is now a member, along with major nations of the world. Since the internet has become a global asset, the move away from US as the principal force defining direction will be complete at midnight Sept 30, 2016, and ICANN will move to a global advisory, or multi-stakeholder committee.

What is ICANN?

ICANN or the Internet Corporation for Assigned Name and Numbers. It performs the actual technical maintenance work of the central Internet address pools & DNS Root registries aligned with the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority function contract.

IANA or The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, is a department of ICANN. It is an nonprofit private American corporation, which oversees global IP address allocation, autonomous system number allocation, zone management & other Internet Protocol-related symbols and numbers.

(http://safeview.com/2016/01/01/the-internet-twenty-years-in-review-1995-2015-adoption-of-the-internet-pt-6/)

History 

Prior to the establishment of ICANN primarily for this purpose in 1998, IANA was administered principally by Jon Postel at the Information Sciences Institute (ISI) of the University of Southern California situated at Marina Del Rey Los Angeles, under a contract USC-ISI had with the United States Department of Defense, until ICANN was created to assume the responsibility under a United States Department of Commerce contract.

 

Founding principles of ICANN

Non profit

At present ICANN is organized formally as a non-profit corporation “for charitable and public purposes” under the California Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation Law. It is managed by a 16-member Board of Directors composed of eight members selected by a nominating committee on which all the groups of ICANN are represented; six representatives of its Supporting Organizations, sub-groups that deal with specific sections of the policies under ICANN’s purview; an At-Large seat filled by an At-Large Organization; and the President / CEO, appointed by the Board.

 7 domain extensions .com, .net, .org, .edu., .mil, .gov, ?

ICANN manages (TLD) or top-level domain is the highest level of domain names in the hierarchical Domain Name System of the Internet or DNS for short. The top-level domain names are installed in the root zone of the name space. For all domains in lower levels, it is the last part of the domain name, that is, the last label of a fully qualified domain name. In an example for the top-level com; Any website with the extension .com such as safeview.com is part of that top level domain. The original extensions are .com, net, .org, .edu., .mil, .gov, .int., and .nato, which was phased out.

 

Recent changes

Board of directors – some resigned

https://www.icann.org/resources/board-material/secretarys-notice-2013-10-07-en

https://www.icann.org/resources/board-material/secretarys-notice-2014-10-15-en

https://www.icann.org/news/announcement-2015-05-21-en

CEO now Chairman of world Internet Conference – china funded consortium to explore chinese penetration and control of internet worldwide

http://www.chehade.company/about-1/

1000 TLDs

Over the years there have been additions to these top level domains such as .tech, .sucks, soon to be appearing, .gay, as well as over 1000 vanity extensions. This has concerned proponents of copyrights, as these new extensions allow global name dilution with little real control.

https://newgtlds.icann.org/en

Ignores requests from congress, FTC

https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2011/12/ftc-warns-rapid-expansion-internet-domain-name-system-could-leave

Root certificates

Would you let yourself be exposed to millions? Are you the type of person to keep your exploits secret? Do you keep privacy & value personal space. Currently, do you feel that privacy is sacred. If so then you will be concerned with The United States’s Landmark decision of ICANN’s future . This decision will directly impact the vulnerability of your privacy.  

Much like a signature at the end of a legal document or the master key to your car.

A root certificate can give access to much more than is realized. What a root certificate is In cryptography and computer security, a root certificate is an unsigned or a self-signed public key certificate that identifies the root certificate authority ,CA for short. A root certificate is part of a public key infrastructure scheme. Root certificates act much like a key cards. These digital certificates are verified using a chain of trust.

When a person’s signature is given in malice or a car is take for a joy ride by a parking attendant, access is granted to other facets. EzPass, financial documents, garage openers, digital phone books, right to power of attorney. These are things that can be lost in malice, however in the United States we have the legal system to protect us. What happens when entities that are not governed by our control gain access to our proverbial keys ? The opportunity to defend ourselves becomes increasingly limited. When overseas jurisdiction governs the locks & keys, the access root of our privacy, are we safe?

Pro

Freedom

The internet can be a borderless way to communicate in realtime without government control

Advocates for ICANN’s independence say that there are a lot of safeguards in place to limit any government intrusion. The organization’s global board is made up of business, nonprofit and academic leaders. The rules make it hard for governments to exert that much influence.

And, Harvard’s Zittrain says, governments that want to censor the Internet already do so in much more effective ways: “There are so many other paths that the Russians or the Chinese could take and have taken to make sure that their citizens or even people around the world can’t see stuff that they don’t want them to see.”
– NPR

Having the internet guided by a board of stakeholders will more honestly represent the global interests and needs regarding the internet

So, if major respected sources do not see the ICANN transition as a problem should anyone?

Majorities in 32 of 38 countries surveyed by Pew Research Center in 2015 believe that allowing people to use the internet without government censorship is important. And in 20 countries, at least 80% hold this view. The Pro & Con debate of ICANN’s new cumulative control spark controversy & conflict with many.

In the last 20 years censorship of the internet from controlling powers has not gone unnoticed.There is no way to deny the push of sponsored content in outbreaks of crisis and government catastrophes. Based on history & historical trends of humans, computer entities and hacktivists; it does not seem that much will be allowed to be changed.


 Censorship and Freedom

In the last 20 years censorship of the internet from controlling powers has not gone unnoticed.There is no way to deny the push of sponsored content in outbreaks of crisis & government catastrophes. Based on history & historical trends of humans , computer entities & hacktivists such as anonymous; it does not seem that much will be allowed to be changed.

Con

Civil Rights

In the case of civil rights & liberties there is no question that man should have the basic freedom To Speak , Say , & question the world around him. These questions have lead to development , innovation & evolution of the mind , body & soul. Choices made based in the instance that a human felt he or she should create a thought or action & express it in a particular way. Internet freedom & regulation largely is the way humans make these choices in the 21st century. Former US representatives & politicians such as Newt Gingrich are very concerned.


“ Since the Internet now permeates our lives in every possible way, it is disturbing that Obama has relinquished U.S. control over its underlying structure. Control will be turned over to a global panel, which will include totalitarian countries that do not value our First Amendment protection of free speech.”

 US internet population is a fraction of our potential challengers for internet control – countries that do not honor US and global intellectual property rights.

ICANN’s precedent issue was created by an unforeseen turn of events. 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. In June of 1998 , the Commerce Department’s 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, transparency and technical complexity .

The United States Government may not have realize that its action would have shaped the global source of readily available information as currently known. It’s actions lead to the fostering of an infrastructure that is able to foster critical & morale thought.  

Summary 

It is likely that users will not perceive a change on Sept 30, 2016 at midnight. However, while the NSA works hard to collect internet data, and they reluctantly disclose this, once we give control of DNS, root certificates and the internet, Asian countries will routinely collect information about anyone worldwide, all of our devices, worldwide, without any indication of this activity. Personal privacy on the internet will be a forgotten concept on October 1, once lost, it will never be regained.

Since Tim Burners Lee started the internet, it’s freedom has allowed for the greatest innovations & development of our time.In 1999 the internet had 248 million users roughly 4% of the world’s population. In 2008 the internet reached 1.5 billion users on desktop , 262 million users on mobile with the creation of the smartphone. Today the internet has over 3,424,971,237 billion users 46.1 % of the world. If something is not done by this Sunday this freedom may be in jeopardy for our global society. ICANN needs to be consulted & remedied based on the historical trend of the internet. Human beings require this undeniable freedom based on history, civil rights & future development.

We need to find a way to keep our indelible right sacred & intact. As human beings , all Should have a right to be educated & informed so they may make their lives better.Many internet organizations feel the same way many citizens around the global feel about internet privacy & security.In a last-minute lawsuit designed to prevent the handover of critical internet functions at midnight tonight major internet organizations have come to the support of the US government The Internet Association which represent the largest internal tech companies such as Alphabet & Facebook in addition to the numerous like mind individuals have filed an amicus brief in the Texas court on the eve of a hearing seeking a temporary restraining order against the Department of Commerce’s Jurisdiction.

 

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