As a propaganda campaign about Internet splintering grows, I thought to reprint this
The question: how to arrange “robust interconnection” of the Internet without being dependent on ICANN. Vladimir Putin is creating an alternate root, with support from India and China. Columbia Professor Eli Noam convinced me a “network of networks” was possible and could be a good thing in theory. I doubt ICANN will actually shut out the Russians, but it’s reasonable for Russia to protect itself.* My question here is technical. Thousands of people, especially at the IETF, have worked to build the Internet we have today. The principles are simple; the implementation is demanding. So I’m asking engineers, “What technical systems must be built to ensure robust interconnection, assuming everyone wants to work in good faith?”
ICANN CEO Fadi Chehadi confirmed to me there was no technical reason the Chinese, Hebrews, Verizon or any other competent party couldn’t set up independently. Vladimir Putin intends to test that, creating a new root that is not controlled by a California organization. The primary benefits of “The Internet” could be maintained so long as there was “robust interconnection.” Fadi added the rub was how to ensure that robust interconnection.
I think Fadi was worried about censorship, a real issue.Continue reading