Archive for March, 2011

e-commerce, .xxx, and security

Saturday, March 19th, 2011

bphilly-Good points. I certainly have no moral objections to .xxx and think ICANN did the right thing considering its limited scope.  However, I fear that some governments may use the objections made by their conservative constituencies as an excuse to expand their domain name blocking efforts without fully considering the technical mechanisms used – in particular the negative impact they may have on e-commerce.Many consider the DNS as an easy way to “control” the Internet and implement some of these blocking efforts. It is not.  It is neither effective since it is trivial to subvert nor is it safe.  More importantly, it breaks the security and integrity mechanisms we have just won with DNSSEC to help secure e-commerce not to mention putting the Internet on the path to fragmentation thus killing the goose that laid the golden egg.I certainly respect the sovereignty of nations and what they do within their borders is their business, but I hope they find other, more effective, ways to implement their national polices instead of using the DNS.The borderless, global security that DNSSEC is being deployed to provide is essential in maintaining the global economic miracle the Internet continues to be. Being lazy and using the DNS to implement blocking policies may kill this much needed source of Internet security by forcing fragmentation and stifling the global economic benefits that the Internet has demonstrated time and again.

.xxx and icann

Saturday, March 19th, 2011

Other than the need for news outlets to – well – sell news, I do not understand why ICANN’s approval of .xxx is such a big deal.  They have a mandate both by the community and US government to stick to only technical matters in the coordination of the Internet’s unique identifiers (e.g., domain names, IP addresses, etc) and that is what they did here.  They did not expand their mandate into moral issues.  They simply took an application, reviewed it on it technical capabilities, and approved it.  While the world on the one hand wants to keep ICANN’s scope limited (and rightfully so), they also wanted it to expand its scope to moral issues to block .xxx.  People, you cannot have it both ways!  If this is an issue, work with your governments to get the US government to “reject” .xxx’s inclusion in the DNS root when IANA goes through its standard process of getting US Department of Commerce approval for every change to the DNS root.  Moral issues belong in the political arena – not the technical – and hence with our representative government(s).   Certainly no US agency wants to end up being the moral gatekeeper for the Internet and would love to hide behind ICANN, but they cannot do this here.