The DNS root saw its 1,500th concurrent live TLD come into existence on Friday, just hours before the US relinquished its oversight powers.
Amazon received its delegation for .通販 (.xn--gk3at1e, Japanese for “online shopping”) and satellite TV company Hughes got .dvr, meaning “digital video recorder”.
That took the number of TLDs in the root to exactly 1,500, which is where it still stands today.
Both went live September 30, which was the final day of ICANN’s IANA contract with the US National Telecommunications and Information Administration, which expired that night.
An ICANN spokesperson confirmed that the two new gTLDs “were the last ones requiring NTIA’s approval.”
From now on, the small clerical role NTIA had when ICANN wanted to make changes to the root is no more.
The fact that it hit a nice round number the same day as ICANN oversight switched to a community-led approach is probably just a coincidence.
Amazon’s .通販 was almost banned for being too confusingly similar to “.shop”, but that ludicrous decision was later overturned.
Hughes’ .dvr was originally intended as a single-registrant “closed generic”, but is now expected to operate as a restricted but multi-registrant space.
US President Barack Obama today formally signed over control of the internet to the United Nations.
At a ceremony in Washington DC this morning, Obama officially granted the UN, which is controlled by China, Russia and Iran, the ability to censor any web site that does not conform to strict standards of speech.
UN Secretary-General Banksey Moon, who is a foreigner, said that the first order of business under the new regime is to permanently delete the following web sites:
A longer list, banning a further 8,102,671 domains, will be published later this week, Moon said.
In addition to the web site deletions, the following new rules have come into immediate international effect:
- all new web sites will be subject to monthly reviews by the Grand Mufti of Oman for compliance with Sharia law.
- a proposal to force migration of all .com web sites to .ke will be considered by a panel comprised entirely of coastal liberal elites, many of whom may be lesbians.
- registered Republicans only get 139 characters on Twitter.
- pornographic content will be subject to Japanese-style genital pixelation, which nobody likes.
- the emoji of the hanged black man has been banned.
- all browsers will have their home pages hard-coded to hillaryclinton.com, with no opt-out.
- everyone has to have the new U2 album on their phones.
- all YouTube cat videos will be preceded by a three-minute infomercial from PETA.
- “They” are coming to take away your guns.
Members of the Grand Unified Jewish Conspiracy can request an exemption from any of the new rules by showing the appropriate credentials at time of registration.
The new regime was warmly welcomed by all those still legally permitted to express an opinion.
“Today is a great day for freedom,” Senator Bernie Sanders, the new UN Special Envoy for Thought Compliance, said at a press conference.
“No longer will right-thinking internet users run the risk of coming across dangerous ideas as they go about their daily business online,” he said.
* * *
For avoidance of doubt: this article is satire. None of this stuff is going to happen. I’m merely gently trolling some of the coverage the IANA transition has received in certain media outlets and on the fringes of Twitter over the last several weeks.
Here’s the judge’s decision (pdf)
Larry Strickling, assistant secretary at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, released the following brief statement early October 1:
The federal court in Galveston, Texas denied the plaintiffs’ application for declaratory and injunctive relief. As of October 1, 2016, the IANA functions contract has expired.
The US had been sued at the eleventh hour by four state attorneys general, who claimed that allowing ICANN to go independent would, among other things, put free speech at risk.
The judge evidently disagreed, though his full decision has not yet been made available.
ICANN chair Steve Crocker released this statement:
This transition was envisioned 18 years ago, yet it was the tireless work of the global Internet community, which drafted the final proposal, that made this a reality. This community validated the multistakeholder model of Internet governance. It has shown that a governance model defined by the inclusion of all voices, including business, academics, technical experts, civil society, governments and many others is the best way to assure that the Internet of tomorrow remains as free, open and accessible as the Internet of today.
Akram Atallah, president of ICANN’s Global Domains Division, tweeted this:
— Akram Atallah (@AkramAtallah) September 30, 2016
The transition, in broad terms, means the US no longer holds a special role in managing the DNS root.
Now, instead of having to rely on vague threats from the NTIA to keep ICANN in line, the global internet community will get new powers to challenge ICANN decisions.
The state attorneys general of Texas, Arizona, Nevada and Oklahoma have sued the US Federal government to stop tomorrow’s planned IANA transition.
The 11th-hour suit seeks a court declaration that the transition would be unconstitutional and a temporary restraining order forcing the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to continue its oversight role.
It’s rooted in the conspiracy theories championed by the likes of Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who holds that allowing the NTIA to stop authorizing DNS root modifications is akin to handing broad internet censorship powers to Russia, China and Iran.
“Trusting authoritarian regimes to ensure the continued freedom of the internet is lunacy,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a press release, losing about a thousand credibility points.
“The president does not have the authority to simply give away America’s pioneering role in ensuring that the internet remains a place where free expression can flourish,” he said.
The AGs reckon the remaining root zone partners, ICANN and Verisign, which are not bound by the First Amendment, could crack down on free speech.
The complaint states:
NTIA intends to delegate its approval authority over changes to the root zone file to ICANN and Verisign, and give these companies unbridled discretion to make changes to that file, with no substantive constraints on their decisions to grant or deny requests to alter the file that effectively enable or prohibit speech on the Internet.
Without the federal government approval authority, ICANN and Verisign have complete discretion to engage in this type of discrimination, and because these entities are private, citizens and States will not be able to use the democratic process
Citing the Property Clause of the U.S. Constitution, the AGs claim that the government does not have the authority to legally remove itself from oversight of the DNS root zone.
The DNS root is US property that cannot be disposed of without an act of Congress, the complaint alleges:
The Authoritative Root Zone File, the Internet Domain Name System as a whole, the exclusive right to approve changes to the root zone file, and the contracts NTIA administers in exercising control over them are property of the United States
The US Government Accountability Office told Cruz earlier this month that it was “doubtful” that it the transition requires the disposal of any US government property, in this report (pdf).
The AGs also reckon that if the US is no longer involved in root zone management, ICANN could delete .mil and .gov or transfer them to third parties.
The IANA contract between ICANN and NTIA is due to expire tomorrow night, ushering in a new era in which the global internet community becomes the back-stop preventing ICANN abusing its powers for Evil.
Cruz has been fighting against the transition for reasons best known to himself for months.
Most recently, he led an attempt to have a block on the transition included in a US federal funding bill, which wound up being passed yesterday with no such clause attached.
The four-state AG complaint can be read here (pdf).
The year is 2016. The Kenyan Muslim president of the United States is poised to hand over control of the internet to the United Nations in an attempt to silence lunatic conspiracy theorists Matt Drudge and Alex Jones for good.
But you can help, by engaging in missile warfare with ICANN and the UN.
That’s the deranged premise of ICANN Command, a little browser game that appeared online this week.
It’s a knock-off of the 1980 Atari classic Missile Command. The intro reads:
You will be defending actual Internet domains from UN attack! Launch surface-to-air missiles in time to destroy UN Domain Seeking Missiles. If a UN missile reaches a domain, that domain is lost forever.
Or, call your senator right now!
This related video explains more.
It’s obviously been inspired by the anti-Obama rhetoric of Senator Ted Cruz and Wall Street Journal op-eds of L Gordon Crovitz, which have fed a fringe right-wing conspiracy theory that sees the UN taking control of the internet come October 1.
That’s the date the US government proposes to remove itself from its oversight role in ICANN’s IANA functions.
After that, ICANN will be overseen by a new multistakeholder process in which everybody, not the UN, has a voice.
InfoWars.com and DrudgeReport.com are safe, sadly.
You can check out the game here if you wish. I scanned it for viruses and mind-control rays and it seems safe.