With Domain Name Seizures Increasing, It's Time For A Decentralized DNS System
from the bye-bye-icann dept
We’ve already written about the latest legal loss for The Pirate Bay, as well as Homeland Security’s new domain seizure campaign. With the former, the entertainment industry has already declared that it hopes this ruling will lead ISPs in various countries to start blocking The Pirate Bay entirely. It may also seek to use other tools — like the pending COICA bill — to see if it can seize the domain name. This presents all sorts of troubling questions concerning free speech and prior restraint. However, as is often the case when the law does a weak job trying to respond to a changing technological world, technology figures out a way to leap ahead.
Case in point, fresh off the legal loss, Peter Sunde, who has been focused on Flattr rather than The Pirate Bay, for quite some time anyway, has noted that he’s working with some folks to set up a competing root server system that avoids ICANN. ICANN, of course, has been instrumental in helping Homeland Security with its domain seizures (and has apparently handed over Sunde’s domain names to the recording industry in the past). The idea, apparently, is to set up a truly distributed and more secure DNS system that does not rely on a single party, like ICANN.
This certainly seems like a big challenge, and one that has a high likelihood of failure. But it does appear that we’re seeing more and more problems with the way ICANN operates (though, it’s been trouble since it first came into being). An alternative system, actually set up by folks who understand the technology could actually catch on, and could present a serious challenge for those who think they can censor the web in any manner — whether for political or corporate purposes.