Each paper with brief abstract (copy right belongs to respective authors) and able to download full paper by click on the title. Some of the papers bit old but still relevant of the content.
Journal of Foreign Affairs
Who Will Control the Internet
Kenneth Neil Cukier
WASHINGTON BATTLES THE WORLD
As historic documents go, the statement issued by the U.S. Department of Commerce on June 30 was low-key even by American standards of informality. No flowery language, no fountain-penned signatures, no Great Seal of the United States — only 331 words on a single page. But the simplicity of the presentation belied the importance of the content, which was Washington’’s attempt to settle a crucial problem of twenty-first-century global governance: Who controls the Internet?
Any network requires some centralized control in order to function. The global phone system, for example, is administered by the world’’s oldest international treaty organization, the International Telecommunication Union, founded in 1865 and now a part of the UN family. The Internet is different. It is coordinated by a private-sector nonprofit organization called the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which was set up by the United States in 1998 to take over the activities performed for 30 years, amazingly, by a single ponytailed professor in California.
Journal of new media society
Mutiny on the bandwidth: the semiotics of statehood in the internet domain name registries of Pitcairn Island and Niue.
Philip E. Steinberg
Stephen D McDowell
The internet has evolved to have a complex top-level domain name system, in which generic top-level domains such as .com and .org coexist with country-code top-level domains such as .UK and .JP. In this article, the history and significance of this hybrid naming system is examined, with specific attention directed to the manner in which it simultaneously reproduces claims to globalism, state sovereignty, and the presumption of United States hegemony. It is found that the domain name system affirms the centrality of the sovereign state while concurrently challenging its underlying basis in an idealized nexus of nation, government, and territory. These themes are explored through case studies of two Pacific island microstate domains: .PN (Pitcairn Island) and .NU (Niue).
Journal of IT SOCIETY
DIGITAL DIVIDES IN THE PACIFIC ISLANDS
DIRK HR SPENNEMANN
By virtue of their physical make-up, their cultural and linguistic diversity, and the relative isolation and spread of their population, Pacific Island countries are faced with a multitude of challenges in the delivery of information services. This article reviews the nature of the digital divides that exist in the Pacific region, considering divides within countries, between the countries, and between the Pacific region and the rest of the world. The varied but generally high costs of Internet access (in part brought about by national telecommunication monopolies) are exacerbating the digital divide along socio-economic lines; but they also create regional imbalances, with certain countries effectively isolated. Nonetheless, community-based systems can work to offset this, as shown on Niue. Within these countries at present, no structures are even envisaged that would address digital divides, nor the implications of the technologies on traditional rank, status and power structures, which are fundamental matters in Polynesian and Micronesian societies .
Global Internet Governance: Perspectives and Analysis
Tang Zicai, Liang Xiongjian
The issue of Internet Governance is a hot topic in recent years for regulatory agencies around the world. In many papers this issue was discussed. This paper, using the Game theory, has explored the governance structure for the future, and achieved an alliance result. Furthermore, this paper presents an overview and analysis of the history and current structure of the global Internet Governance.
Domain Games: Global Governance of the Internet
Leslie A. Pal and Tatyana Teplova
ICANN’’s assigned mission-to create an effective private sector policy development process capable of administrative and policy management of the Internet’’s naming and address allocation systems was incredibly ambitious. Nothing like this had ever been done before. ICANN was to serve as an alternative to the traditional, pre-Internet model of a multinational governmental treaty organization. The hope was that a private-sector body would be like the Internet itself: more efficient-more nimble-more able to react promptly to a rapidly changing environment and, at the same time, more open to meaningful participation by more stakeholders, developing policies through bottom-up consensus. It was also expected that such an entity could be established, and become functional, faster than a multinational governmental body. Against this backdrop, the US-based Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) resembles a “pilot project” for a new governance model in a globalized world. Here, the provider and users of Internet services represent the decision-making policy bodies, with national governments relegated to an “advisory” capacity. … [I]t reflected the conceptual need for the development of new global governance mechanisms, and political and legal structures that go beyond a system based on nation states and intergovernmental regulation.
Internet Domain Names: Privatization, Competition, and Freedom of Expression by Milton Mueller Summery: There is growing confusion over the administration of Internet top-level domain names (TLDs), the system of suffixes, such as .com, .org, and .edu, that determines a person’’s e-mail or Web site address on the Internet. We need to define rules and procedures that will permit and encourage competition among administrators of TLDs in response to market demand. Freedom of expression should be a primary concern. Proposals for compulsory national TLDs should be rejected. National TLDs would undermine the international character of the Internet and encourage national governments to enact myriad petty regulations and restrictions on free speech. Domain names should not be equated with trademarks or brand names. We should reject attempts to forge inappropriate links between domain name registration and trademark protection.
Internet Domain Name Disputes: Working Toward a Global Solution
Sue Ann Mota
The Internet is essential to the growth of the global economy and the Domain Name System is essential to accessing sites on the Internet. Over 170 registrars are accredited to issue top-level domains, such as .com, .net, and .org.
- Frequently, however, disputes arise over who should own a particular domain name. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has adopted a Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) to address these disputes.
- CANN has approved four dispute resolution service providers that are currently handling domain name disputes.
- This article will examine the success rate of complaints, the elements that must be proven in a domain name dispute, the fees charged, and the number of disputes handled by the four dispute resolution providers. In addition, this article will make recommendations for improving the current system.Different approaches to top-level domain naming embody three conflicting visions of Internet governance. One vision, which bases top-level domain names on ISO 3166 country codes, represents an attempt to force the Internet into the traditional governance structure of nation-states. An alternative vision bases top-level domain names on “generic,” meaningful categories and features company or organization names at the second level. A third principle of domain naming puts top priority on the problem of reconciling domain names with company trademarks.
Perils of Transitive Trust in the Domain Name System
Venugopalan Ramasubramanian and Emin Gün Sirer
The Domain Name System, DNS, is based on nameserver delegations, which introduce complex and subtle dependencies between names and nameservers. In this paper, we present results from a large scale survey of DNS, and show that these dependencies lead to a highly insecure naming system. We report specifically on three aspects of DNS security: the properties of the DNS trusted computing base, the extent and impact of existing vulnerabilities in the DNS infrastructure, and the ease with which attacks against DNS can be launched. The survey shows that a typical name depends on 46 servers on average, whose compromise can lead to domain hijacks, while names belonging to some countries depend on a few hundred servers. An attacker exploiting well-documented vulnerabilities in DNS nameservers can hijack more than 30% of the names appearing in the Yahoo and DMOZ.org directories. And certain nameservers, especially in educational institutions, control as much as 10% of the namespace.
- Ruling the Root: Internet Governance and the Taming of Cyberspace. By Milton L. Mueller. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2003. 327 pp. ISBN 0262134128.
- Internet Governance in Transition: Who Is the Master of This Domain? By Daniel J. Paré. Lanham, MD: Rowman Littlefield, 2003. 208 pp. ISBN 0742518450.
When the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)-the product of the Clinton administration’’s decision to entrust the regulation of the Internet domain name system (DNS) to the private sector in 1998-eliminated Internet user elections of its board members entirely last year, it signalled an important passage, both for the organization and for the regulation of the Internet itself as a communicative space. It is fitting therefore that a first round of book-length treatments of ICANN and domain name regulation have since emerged, ones bent on capturing the significance of the bitter struggle over the political, economic, and technological control of the network that has been unfolding since the early 1990s. Although a large number of academic articles dealing with the governance of the DNS have been published in the past several years (many of them contained in special issues of legal or elecommunications policy journals), the politics of cyberspace have progressed at such a rapid pace that any book ran the risk of instantly being overtaken by the continuation of the events they proposed to analyze.
Milton L. Mueller’’s Ruling the Root: Internet Governance and the Taming of Cyberspace and Daniel Paré’’s Internet Governance in Transition: Who Is the Master of This Domain? are two of the most comprehensive treatments thus far of the prehistory and first phase of ICANN’’s wildly contested first five years making policy for the Internet. Though both went to press before the organization abruptly ended its flirtation with cyber-democracy, they capture well both the interplay of forces that went into the creation of ICANN and its behavior since that point in the areas of creating a private resolution mechanism for domain name disputes and conjuring up seven new top-level domain cyber-neighborhoods (by the name of .biz, .aero, .pro, et cetera). As such, scholars looking for more complex and comprehensive treatments of the vitally important issue of DNS governance, pregnant as it is with meaning for the future structure and function of cyberspace, will be relieved. The first contribution these books make is to finally put to rest, should there still be any need for this, notions that the Internet is somehow immune by nature to power relations witnessed in our world of flesh and bone. As Mueller suggests, a precondition for understanding ICANN’’s status as an organization is moving “beyond the idea that the Internet is intrinsically voluntary and cannot be institutionalized or controlled” (p. 217), a position Paré adopts as well. Beyond formal similarities to do with their subject matter and the temporal congruence of their release, however, the works by Paré and Mueller are significantly different in terms of their theoretical approach to DNS governance. Paré, now an assistant professor at the University of Ottawa’’s Department of Communication, used his time as a research fellow at the London School of Economics profitably, turning his dissertation into this book-length treatment of DNS regulation. He opts for an approach to the subject from a theoretical position (outlined most thoroughly in chapter 3, “Don”t Believe the Hype!”) that brings into relief the social and political aspects of what have been called the “DNS wars.” Eschewed are “prescriptive” approaches to Internet governance such as what he characterizes as the “commons school,” or “top-down” approaches (p. 45), and the “decentralized school,” or approaches that “preclude the need for any external regulation or coordination” (p. 47). In addition, “process-based” approaches, although given more consideration than the previous two, are ultimately sidelined in favour of what Paré refers to as the “power-oriented” approach (p.. 64).
Posted on 2007-10-29