30
Okt
2005

The Net is anarchy: keep it that way

By Chris Berg
Comment
October 24, 2005
theage.com.au

The internet, long seen as a neutral realm free of government interference, is now hot political property. Not surprisingly, therefore, both the European Union and the United Nations are now trying to grab control of the internet. This has major consequences for business and for individuals.

Since 1998, a non-profit organisation named ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) has been responsible for managing and coordinating the internet's domain names. ICANN ensures that what is typed in the address bar matches the site trying to be accessed. Such an organisation is necessary to ensure the stability and growth of the internet.

At the moment, the internet is an ungoverned, unregulated, anarchic medium — merely a mutual agreement between computer users all around the world to connect to each other in a certain way. Given this blank slate, business and innovation has thrived online. Business to business commerce has exploded over the past few years. In Australia, 31 per cent of businesses reported placing orders over the internet in 2004. This will grow as business uptake of broadband intensifies.

Until now, ICANN's role has been merely to facilitate and smooth this explosion of internet activity. [...] Read more about efforts to bring the internet "under control" at //tinyurl.com/b4mwc


© Virginia Metze
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