Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Egads - the truth will out...

Read the email rant that started this...

Obama Surrendering Internet to Foreign Powers

By: Bradley A. Blakeman

Without the ingenuity of America’s brightest minds and the investment of U.S. taxpayer dollars, there would be no Internet, as we now know it today.

Now, the Obama administration has moved quietly to cede control of the Web from the United States to foreign powers.

Some background: The Internet came into being because of the genius work of Americans Dr.Robert E. Kahn and Dr. Vinton G. Cerf. These men, while working for the Department of Defense in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency in the early 1970s, conceived, designed, and implemented the idea of "open-architecture networking."

Read the rest below.

My Response:

Wow - this is so bad, I don't know where to begin. Let's start with basic facts. While DOD did some of the underlying computing work to build TCP/IP networking, we ALL know that Al Gore really invented the Internet.

The Internet is vast array of GLOBAL (always has been!) computers and networks using the TCP/IP technology that came out of DOD for space flight. DOD has a vested interested in their two proprietary Internets - ARPA and DARPA. If you want all the gory details of the Internet and how it came to be see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet . And be prepared to yawn.

What is the Internet anyway? The World Wide Web, email, FTP, telecommunications, and more! Things most of the world never ever even sees. Seriously, though, the dude that invented the Web as we know it was invented by a really cool guy named Tim Berners Lee from, gasp, England working for a pan-European group called CERN. Read more about Tim at http://www.w3.org/People/Berners-Lee/

IANA is operated by ICANN (not U.S. Dep't of Commerce!) and may more appropriately be called the owner of IPs, domains, etc. ICANN is HQ'ed in California by the way and is directed by an international board of directors. ICANN negotiates with all governments world wide for domain space. And let's face it, the US is probably the 800 pound gorilla when it comes to initially buying domains. You've got to have someone watching the shop or else the Chinese will start backroom-selling knock-off versions of the Web.

For a long time Network Solutions based in Herndon, VA held the stranglehold on registering IPs and domains in the U.S. They were declared a monopoly, and then we had the birth of cut-rate registries born, like GoDaddy.com. (And who doesn't love those commercials??!!) What happens is that there are top-level domains that are assigned to countries/entity types/etc by ICANN and their governmental agreements.

Registers buy blocks of these top-level domains and then parcel them out to various organizations. So you know, Verizon walks in and buys about oh, say 5,000 high level domains that they then parcel out to their various business units and eventually trickles it ways down to you at home. You at home, unless you are a real geek, probably don't even have an IP address that is your's and your's alone - most home networks get assigned a random IP address from their host network when the home user connects to the Internet.

Curious about your IP address? http://whatismyipaddress.com/

So what I THINK the author was trying to point out was the recently signed (9/30/2009) agreement between US DOC and ICANN amending the original 1998 agreement. Now here is where you need to put on your thinking caps people. I have worked with government entities for nigh on 15 years. I've got the insider track on this...If this amendment was signed on 9/30/09, just WHEN did the negotiations for the amendment begin? Just taking a guess on how long it took for this agreement or any agreement to be reached, it probably was the terminus of 2 or more years of hard-work by mid-senior level attorneys at DOC and ICANN. And doing the math, that would make it taking place in the Bush Administration. Putting on my shocked face!

For instance from the amended agreement, read Item 8:

8. ICANN affirms its commitments to: (a) maintain the capacity and ability to coordinate the Internet DNS at the overall level and to work for the maintenance of a single, interoperable Internet; (b) remain a not for profit corporation, headquartered in the United States of America with offices around the world to meet the needs of a global community; and (c) to operate as a multi-stakeholder, private sector led organization with input from the public, for whose benefit ICANN shall in all events act. ICANN is a private organization and nothing in this Affirmation should be construed as control by any one entity.

Basically, ICANN is going to do what's its always done - help preserve the Internet for everyone who uses it. I bet the dude who penned the gunk below doesn't know that ICANN along with CERN and CERT (CERT is HQ'ed right there in good ole Pittsburgh, PA at Carnegie Mellon) have dedicated teams that keep the Internet safe from the losers who invent such crap like the Conficker virus and other such hacking marvels.

So now that I am going for jail writing ARPA, DARPA, Chinese, and Conficker in the same email which I am sure is a violation of the Patriot Act, please bear in mind that Obama is not the anti-Internet demon waiting to have all our computers spew our credit card numbers out to malicious and ill-willed Nigerians wanting to take over your bank account.

Your Internet is still free folks, even to distribute stuff like this. Feel free to contribute to my bail fund.



Read the rest of the bad stuff...
This breakthrough in connectivity and networking was the birth of the Internet.

These two gentlemen had the vision and the brainpower to create a worldwide computer Internet communications network that forever changed the world and how we communicate in it.

They discovered that providing a person with a unique identifier (TCP/IP)that was able to be recognized and interact through a network of servers would allow users to communicate with others.

The servers woulduse a series of giant receivers to recognize the identifier and connect networks to networks, passing on information from computer to computer in a seamless real-time exchange of information. This new process of communication became know as the "information super highway," aka, the Internet.

Now for the bad news: In an effort to show the world how inclusive, sharing, cooperative, and international America can be, the Obama administration set off on a plan to surrender control and key management of the Internet by the U.S. Department of Commerce and its agents.

The key to the control America has over the Internet is through the management of the Domain Name System (DNS) and the giant servers that service the Internet.

Domain names are managed through an entity named IANA, the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority. The IANA, which operates on behalf of the U.S. Department of Commerce, is responsible for the global coordination of the DNS, IP addressing, and other Internet protocol resources.

In short, without an IP Address or other essential Internet protocols, a person or entity would not have access to the Internet.

For years, the international community has been pressuring the United States
to surrender its control and management of the Internet. They want an international body such as the United Nations or even the International Telecommunications Union, (an entity that coordinates international telephone communications), to manage all aspects of the Internet in behalf of all nations.

The argument advanced for those seeking international control of the Internet is that the Internet has become such a powerful, pervasive, and a dependent form of international communications, that it would be dangerous and inequitable for any one nation to control and manage it.

Just this past spring, within months of Obama's taking office, his administration, through the Department of Commerce, agreed to relinquish some control over IANA and their governance. The Obama administration has agreed to give greater representation to foreign companies and countries on IANA.

This amounts to one small step for internationalism and one giant leap for surrendering America's control over an invention we have every right and responsibility to control and manage.

It is in America's economic and national security interests not to relinquish any control. We are responsible for the control, operation, and functionality of one of the modern world's greatest inventions and most powerful communications network.

What better country to protect the Internet than the United States?

We invented it, and we paid for the research and implementation that made it
possible. We are the freest, most tolerant nation on earth, we believe in the
fundamental right of free speech, and we practice a free market of commerce and ideas.

America has always been against censorship and has shared its invention with the world without fee or unreasonable or arbitrary restriction. The user fee to operate on the Internet is not one paid to the U.S. government; a consumer pays it to private Internet companies, who provide access to the Internet through servers for their subscribers.

Look no further than China's recent move against Google to censor the
Internet, and you can envision what can happen when other nations less free
than the United States seek to control the Internet beyond even their own borders.

America needs to wake up. If we lose control over the management of the
Internet, we have given away one of our nation's greatest assets with nothing
in return to show for it.

The Obama administration's actions will set in motion a slow and complete takeover of the Internet by the United Nations or some other equally U.S.-hostile and unfriendly international body. And once it is gone, it will be gone forever.

The surrender of the Internet will spell disaster for our nation, financially, as well as for safety, security and our standing as a great power that values freedom and the free exchange of ideas and information.

As far as I am concerned, America is still the last best hope for a more
peaceful and prosperous world and our president should not be looking for
ways to weaken us. Rather, his job is to work to strengthen us and protect our nation's greatest asset our people's creativity and ingenuity.

Bradley A. Blakeman, who was a deputy assistant to President George W. Bush from 2001-20004, teaches Public Policy & Politics & International Affairs at Georgetown University.

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