There comes a time for all of us when through experience one can very accurately predict the effect produced by an action well in advance of it happening. So it is with some horror that I watch the development towards a global network split between the US and the rest of the world, between private bodies and government. Yesterday a Tribune article entitled “EU and U.S. clash over control of Net” starts to highlight some of the core issues. Firstly that the problems in the physical world are distorting our perspective on human electronic communication –

Political unease with the U.S. approach, symbolized by opposition to the war in Iraq, has spilled over into these technical discussions, delegates said. The EU and developing nations, they added, wanted to send a signal to America that it could not run things alone.

The report also points out that already the US is dominating the web to an extent bordering on illegality –

Opposition to Washington’s continued dominance of the Internet was illustrated by a statement released last week by the Brazilian delegation to the talks. “On Internet governance, three words tend to come to mind: lack of legitimacy. In our digital world, only one nation decides for all of us.

We are in real danger of countries splitting off and creating their own local national networks if the US insists on continuing with such control over the internet’s DNS – and not reverting back to a pre-911 state. If that happens human-kind will take a step backward. With central control, the ability to break down large parts of the network (if required for security reasons) and other countries trying to get in on the act – we will lose so much. The growing global participation, collaboration, personalization, democratisation could fracture into smaller and smaller networks – if that happens the virtual world will then mirror the nationalistic and artificial constructs of modern society and we all know where those roads lead. Let ICANN or other private international body carry on as it has and everyone protest strongly against government control. Do not disenfranchise global thinking and natural human evolution for the sake of petty national control.

Posted by Gary Hayes ©2005