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Government The Internet

Can World Governments Veto Your Domain Name? 177

Posted by samzenpus
from the a-website-by-any-other-name dept.
AugstWest writes "There's been talk recently of the Obama administration wanting the right to shoot down possible TLDs, but it looks like things may be going even a step further — According to this article by Laura Stotler, 'the NTIA is asking for the power to object to any proposed Internet address for any reason.' What happens if, say, the government of Germany decides they don't like your domain name? ICANN's had its share of bureaucratic nightmares, what happens when world governments also have a say?"
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Can World Governments Veto Your Domain Name?

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  • oh noes! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Krneki (1192201) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @12:57PM (#35163378)
    All your domain are belong to US!
    • I teach college students who are unfamiliar with that meme. Thank you for making me feel not so old again. :\
      • by jgtg32a (1173373)
        What subject are you teaching? If they know any internet memes then they know that one.
        • by RockDoctor (15477)

          What subject are you teaching? If they know any internet memes then they know that one.

          Sorry, jgtg32a, but you're showing your age.

          I actually learned of that meme from /. , because I've never been particularly into video games, consoles and all that jazz. But I gather that it's from an 80's or 90s game (series?). I may not have been particularly interested in computerised game systems at that time, but at least I was around at the time, and knew of their existence and played them. Occasionally and with li

  • ...registering www.gayspacenazis.com now...
  • Wonderful Idea! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SgtKeeling (717065) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @12:58PM (#35163396) Journal
    This is a really wonderful idea. I certainly wouldn't want to register a domain that might not be acceptable to every bureaucrat in every government on the planet. This way, if there's something that a particular government doens't like, they can just remove it for me. Simple! This will be awesome!
    • by matt4077 (581118)
      If I understand the article correctly, this does only concern TLDs, not your average domain name. Some of this thread's hyperbole thus seems to be misguided. It's also worth noting what the status quo is that is supposed to change: currently, only the US has such veto power. This will expand to a larger group of nations. This seems to be a compromise to a behind-the-scenes-battle. I have no idea what these other governments are threatening, but one could assume that that alternative is worse for the US. Th
      • If I understand the article correctly, this does only concern TLDs, not your average domain name.

        Oh good. For a minute, I was really worried that my investment advisors [clownpenis.fart] would lose their domain!

  • "ooops, nope, can't use that one!" - NTIA

    • How about ".protest"?

      • .FreeSpeech and .protest are probably fine. However, .fuckNKoreaanditsdogfacedbitchking

        might cause a bit of controversy. I think that's where the NTIA is coming from. Personally, .fuckfoxnews might be really good. Sub domains could include:

        bircherbeck.fuckfoxnews

        might be a hit.

    • by jc42 (318812)

      "ooops, nope, can't use that one!" - NTIA

      What I'd wonder is, when you exclude names that contain an obscenity or otherwise objectionable word in any of the world's several thousand languages, how many possible names are left?

      It may be that, after a name is submitted to all the national internet bureaus for approval, we'll find that there are only a couple dozen usable names.

      (And we could probably eliminate those fairly quickly by a few judicious contributions to urbandictionary.com. ;-)

  • Not News (Score:5, Informative)

    by OverlordQ (264228) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @01:00PM (#35163418) Journal

    Of course they quote this line:

    “Any GAC member may raise an objection to a proposed string for any reason.”

    Then in order to push their pov they ignore the very next line:

    If it is the consensus position of the GAC not to oppose objection raised by a GAC member or members, ICANN shall reject the application.

    No single country can veto something, it takes a majority to agree to the veto.

    • Wouldn't that still lead to a tyranny of the minority? Kind of like how a lot of tiny little Caribbean and Pacific nations happily take bribes from richer and larger nations in order to get what they want in these wonderful World Forums, like eating whales. Is this going to be like the UN, will there be a Security Council? Will there be quarterly meetings where a bunch of blowhards try to look serious while talking to an large empty room?

      Government isn't the problem. Government helped create this Inter

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      It requires someone to speak up against it. Why risk a political foofarah if you don't have a pony in the race? Don't be fooled. This is very cleverly architected.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by kiwimate (458274)

      But of course. Slashdot summaries are typically as shrill and outrageous as the very worst of Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Osama Bin Laden, and Sarah Palin combined. And on steroids. With a bad headache to make them grumpier and more shrill. And without the self-restraint typically exhibited by those individuals. And a bad dose of PMS. And deploring the overly-rigorous editorial standards of Fox News.

      And that's what the comments have to go on, because god forbid anyone should read the article.*

      * If we are

      • by SETIGuy (33768)

        Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Osama Bin Laden, and Sarah Palin combined.

        We should all be glad that the video recordings from that party were deleted. Where is Trig these days, anyway?

    • Re:Not News (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Kjella (173770) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @01:22PM (#35163672) Homepage

      No single country can veto something, it takes a majority to agree to the veto.

      No single country can veto something, if a majority disagrees with the veto. It's more than semantics, nobody needs to confirm a veto. In practice it probably means each country do their own thing and unless someone starts blocking "global" terms you won't be able to raise enough shit about it to make the rest of the world intervene.

    • by Qzukk (229616)

      No single country can veto something, it takes a majority to agree to the veto.

      That's not what it says. Assuming that by "consensus" they mean "majority", then unless a majority of the GAC members oppose the veto, ICANN shall reject the application. If a bunch of people don't bother to object to some dinky country's objection, you lose by default.

  • Veto Them All (Score:3, Interesting)

    by pavon (30274) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @01:02PM (#35163448)

    We don't need any more TLDs. We should be phasing out some of the existing ones, not creating new ones. The .mil and .gov TLDs should be transitioned to reside under .us, and .net and .edu should be transition to reside under the appropriate country. Everything else other than .com, .org, and country TLDs should be phased out.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Actually, different countries have different rules for what constitutes a commercial or non-commercial organisation - so perhaps .com and .org should be under the ccTLDs too. What does that leave? .net?

    • Oh, well... where does that leave my favorite (and most useful) TLDs, .museum [wikipedia.org] and .cat [wikipedia.org]?
    • Why, exactly?

      • Re:Veto Them All (Score:4, Informative)

        by pavon (30274) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @01:30PM (#35163758)

        New TLDs serve no useful purpose, and make things worse for everyone but the registrars. Legitimate organizations will now have to buy even more TLDs to prevent impersonation or typos. Users who are accustomed to everything residing under .com, .org (or .co.XX) will now have to remember the TLD in addition to the domain name. While the total number of available domains will theoretically increase, when you consider that organizations will be buy their name under all of them, this isn't true in practice. The only people who win are the registrars who now get paid more since people have to register more domains.

        As far as removing old domains, there are two reason. Removing .biz and all the other crap domains is for the same reason above, to undo damage that has already been done by creating worthless TLDs. Transitioning the .mil, .gov, and .edu domains is mostly just an aesthetic / fairness thing; they are US specific domains, and really ought to reside in the .us TLD, but I could tolerate them remaining for legacy reasons.

        • What about .tel or .name? New generic TLDs may be useless, but not all new TLDs are generic - they may have specific rules and purposes.

        • by cjb658 (1235986)

          If I'm looking for a company's web site, I usually just go to company.com (.org for non-profits), or if that doesn't work, I Google it. So I'm not sure how adding more TLDs would be helpful.

        • exactly.

          You can easily mistype google.com into google.ocm

    • by pavon (30274)

      I'd like to amend that by stating that .arpa will need to stick around, and I also don't have any problems with other supra-national government TLDs like .int and .eu.

    • But think of all the good things an internet with a TLD of .bacon would have to offer! How can you turn down such an obvious benefit to mankind??
    • by Kjella (173770)

      We don't need any more TLDs. We should be phasing out some of the existing ones, not creating new ones. The .mil and .gov TLDs should be transitioned to reside under .us, and .net and .edu should be transition to reside under the appropriate country. Everything else other than .com, .org, and country TLDs should be phased out.

      If you're going to go that far, why not take it all the way and drop all of them, just require a three letter minimum so to not confuse them with country TLDs. The .com domain is so huge compared to the other non-country TLDs that technically it'd be no problem, just promote them to root DNS servers. If for any reason you really need to divide it, split it by the last letter so if you try to resolve google intelligent DNS resolvers will query the "e" server while legacy resolvers will query the root.

      Serious

      • by Jesus_666 (702802)
        That works for corporations but not for normal people. What if Hubert Kniedel from Germany wants to register a domain for himself only to find that "kniedel" is an obscure traditional Jewish pastry and some bakery in Tel Aviv has already registered the name so they can sell internationally? With ccTLDs that would be kniedel.de or kniedel.name vs. kniedel.il or kniedel.com.

        I'd just stick to a what we have today. It works reasonably well.
        • by Kjella (173770)

          How many Smith or Johnson or Williams do you think have tried registering their name? Hell, I was barely able to find a domain for my very obscure surname (<50 in the world) because one of them had registered most everything. I just searched and found a page with wikipedia stats, there are roughly 76000 "John Smith" registered. People do not have unique names and it's silly to try beating that square peg into a round hole.

  • by toriver (11308) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @01:02PM (#35163456)

    There is no law that says there can be only one DNS root. If the Governments start censoring domain names, a competing DNS structure will arise, e.g. based from OpenDNS or some other entity.

    • by GeorgeS (11440)

      There are alternative DNS roots already. http://cesidianroot.net/ [cesidianroot.net] The Cesidian Root comes to mind right away and I'm sure there are others although I'm pretty sure AlterNIC and OpenRoot have been shut down :(

  • Can't anything be done through the legal system anymore? Or is that just for those without money?
  • by vadim_t (324782) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @01:08PM (#35163508) Homepage

    It's time for a peer to peer DNS system that doesn't have an easily controllable central server.

    I'm thinking perhaps a mix could be used. P2P for the replacement of the root servers, and the rest of the system kept the way it currently is. The root servers are what all this is targeted at anyway.

    Figuring out how to deal with collisions and attempts at impersonation will be tricky though. Certs can be used, but the CAs reintroduce he same problem.

    • People are working on it. A Pirate Bay founder started P2P Dns [baywords.com]. Windows even has one built in called PNRP [wikipedia.org].
  • TLD Silliness (Score:4, Interesting)

    by heypete (60671) <pete@heypete.com> on Thursday February 10, 2011 @01:08PM (#35163512) Homepage

    Does anyone else thing it's rather silly that ICANN is seriously considering new, highly-specific TLDs?

    For example, a .nyc TLD is rather silly, as one can already get example.ny.us domains. If one has a New York office for their company, why not simply set up a subdomain of nyc.example.com? That way the organizational hierarchy is preserved without needing additional TLDs.

    The article also mentions that the dotGAY Initiative and the .GAY Alliance are looking to get a .gay TLD. Why? Why not get gayalliance.org, assuming they don't already have it?

    I'm curious as to the utilization of the less-common TLDs like .info, .jobs, .museum, and so on. I can't imagine they're terribly useful; why would a company buy example.jobs rather than simply use jobs.example.com?

    Sure, ICANN wants to make money and trademark holders would need to re-purchase their names in different TLDs, so I see the financial motivation to create new TLDs, but it still seems like a bad idea for the internet as a whole.

    • by heypete (60671)

      s/thing/think

      Lack of coffee. Sorry.

    • The article also mentions that the dotGAY Initiative and the .GAY Alliance are looking to get a .gay TLD. Why? Why not get gayalliance.org, assuming they don't already have it?

      Because that would only work for one website?
      Yes, they could use subdomains, but that has security implications - any subdomain could sniff the cookies of the main domain.

      • by heypete (60671)

        Because that would only work for one website?

        So?

        I simply don't see why it's a bad thing to have the GAY Alliance have, for example, gayalliance.org. A gay dating website could have gaydating.com or something like that. Why is it necessary to add a whole new TLD?

        Also, adding a new TLD specifically for gay-related things (much like .xxx for sex-related things) would make censorship that much easier.

        • Sure, I'm just saying that it doesn't accomplish the same; TLDs can have rules required to register, just like many ccTLDs have, for example. .gay may not be a good example, but .tel and .name have specific rules for registration, for example.

    • by xaxa (988988)

      I've developed a site that uses a .info domain. It held scientific data, so .info seemed most appropriate (it's not an organisation, or a company, and it doesn't belong to any one country). It was a joint project with several organisations, each with their own domain, but it was not owned by any one organisation -- so it wasn't appropriate to use someone's subdomain.

      I don't see any point to new domains that could easily fall under an existing TLD.

    • by nuckfuts (690967)

      Does anyone else thing it's rather silly that ICANN is seriously considering new, highly-specific TLDs?

      It doesn't surprise me at all. Selling domain names is a huge business. Consider what happened when the .asia TLD was created. My first hit on Google [asiaregistry.com] offers .asia registrations for $59 USD. According to this article on [wikipedia.org], 505,838 applications were received by the end of the "land rush" phase. That works out to about $30M USD in commerce generated by the addition of just one TLD - a revenue stream that will keep on flowing because domain registrations require periodic renewal.

      Anytime there is money to be made

    • Does anyone else thing it's rather silly that ICANN is seriously considering new, highly-specific TLDs?

      No, I think it's rather silly they haven't already gone with the idea of allowing pretty much any TLD possible rather than dividing them up into .a few ill fitting choices.

    • by rdnetto (955205)
      Rather than creating solutions to problems that don't exist, they should be looking at the ones that do. For instance, what TLD should an individual use? The closest I could find is .org - everything else doesn't quite fit. Having your own domain name is going to become common place once IPv6 takes off, so having a TLD for individuals would make more sense. Another thing that needs to be fixed is the disuse of .us. 90%+ of the sites that don't use the country suffix should be in there; the only organization
  • If I register "ntiasucks.com" now, will it be grandfathered in?
  • How much time is going to be wasted while the world's governments pick over each domain level name? I can see it adding weeks or months to each application.

    And what happens when, not if, when a government rejects an application so that one of their own businesses can picked up the domain?

    In conclusion, I think the only solution here is to keep governments out of the domain assigning business.
  • YES WE CAN !
  • Germany, Costa Rica, Mozambique, or any other country to veto any domain they want... within the borders of their own country, not outside them

  • As I've always thought, why don't we have people who know about the internet be in control of the internet. To politicians, posting you latest campaign meeting on Facebook does not mean you know about the internet!
  • by mapkinase (958129) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @01:17PM (#35163608) Homepage Journal

    Looks like all the hopes of technosavvy Obama electorate were in vain. Obama uses his techno awareness mostly for evil.

  • Irony (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    “Ironically, the US has become the most formidable world advocate of burdensome government oversight and control in internet governance,” said Milton Mueller, a Syracuse University professor.

    Yes, that is ironic. Because in all other ways the US is a shining beacon of hope and joy and all things wonderful to us all.

    • by PPH (736903)

      Yes, that is ironic. Because in all other ways the US is a shining beacon of hope and joy and all things wonderful to us all.

      And if we hear anything different from you, we'll be sending in the Marines!

  • by isotope23 (210590) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @01:24PM (#35163684) Homepage Journal

    Seriously, talk about a reason to use an alternate DNS source -

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alternative_DNS_root [wikipedia.org]

  • Domain names are addresses. I think in general it's time we stop thinking about our vanity and start thinking about the fucking CONTENT located on each website, from a kind of internet quality perspective. While it isn't any government's business what I call my website, I don't know if it matters that much what my domain name is, so I don't care if it had to be changed for some viable reason.

    glennbeckrapedandmurderedayounggirlin1990.com/ (now a dead link) comes to mind here as being one of those domains I w

  • We should study this problem through a National Url Tiered Systems Appellations Control Comitee. Look them up on nutsacc.com
  • by PPH (736903)

    They can have my /etc/hosts file when they pry it out of my cold, dead hands!

  • We're already seen this.

    In the US, where political speech is mostly protected, this may be an argument for persevering our freedom of address-ing.
  • by TrentTheThief (118302) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @02:40PM (#35164650)

    Sounds like it's time to implement a regime change in D.C.

  • I want to register dev.null.
  • In typical Slashdot fashion, the headline is very misleading. Only new top level domains (TLDs) would be affected by this. It's never been possible for just anyone to create a new TLD anyway. However, this veto power would be stupid. The original purposes of the existing TLDs have been mostly ignored, so they're generally meaningless. There does need to be a more open system rather than planners trying to determine what each TLD will be for up front.

  • Communist Internet (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RandomPsychology (932636) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @03:56PM (#35165540) Homepage
    Welcome to Communism! Where the government can take away your hard earned property just because they want to! Ask how wonderfully this general mechanism works for China...

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