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Chinese Alternate Root as a New Beginning and Real Internet Governance

China is creating an alternate root, which it can control while using the Chinese language.

I doubt I need to tell any of you about ICANN, VeriSign, Internet Governance, alternate roots or the history of these issues. Everyone else will.

Unlike most of my colleagues, I hold a different opinion on the subject and have for some time.

China launches an alternate root? It’s about time they do, too!

They have been answering their root server queries in-country for some time now on their own. This really doesn’t come as any surprise or as news. The only surprise is that this is hitting the news only now as it has been going on for a while.

The United States wants to keep the so-called Internet Governance and control of IP allocation and Internet Naming all to itself. Why should I, or anyone else for that matter use their system, then? They haven’t even been a benevolent dictator, for that matter.

If one kid in the kinder-garden keeps the only chair to himself, other kids are going to eventually get their own and sit down. Worse still, they will now be shunning that first kid. Can you blame them?

Did anyone honestly think the US Government can make people use their pool while it becomes intolerable or the entry fee is ridiculous? They will, until they build their own. This alternate root is of the making of the US Government and ICANN.

Alternate roots normally, equal evil. As in my opinion the negative aspects have been shown to out-shine the positive ones.

Alternate roots today, equal lesser evil. That is the corner we have been forced into.

Time to eat what we cooked.

Go China! Who is next?

No one likes bullies. My opinion may vary from that of most, but I stick to it.

Internet Governance when it comes to these issues is all the hype, and in my educated opinion is indeed important, but has very little, if even that, to do with actual “Internet Governance”. In my opinion, this on-going debate and all the politics involved are ridiculous.

It is true that IP allocation and Naming are important issues on the Internet, but the traffic still flows and the users still use. More importantly, they also still abuse and get abused.

Governing the Internet? I don’t think so. I honestly believe that the biggest stakeholders of the Internet today are Microsoft and the Russian Mob. Why I believe that is the case? It is all about ROI in the billions on billions of USD, lost and gained.

Botnets, phishing and spam just start to show what’s really going on.

The Internet today is all about getting things done and staying functional for the users on the one hand, and the operators and heroes who make it happen on the other.

To ensure continual operations, what most of it comes down to is cooperation and sharing across the Internet. What that in turn comes down to is establishing trust across the Internet, while;

  1. Responding to global incidents,
  2. Investigating, researching and preventing risks to the infrastructure.

Why should I trust a smiling guy from Korea who I never even met? He may be the one attacking me or at the very least untrustworthy. He may also be the one who can help me. How do I know? That is what some of us have been working on for some years now, operationally.

That infrastructure called the Internet is Global. “International Infrastructure” is an issue which must be introduced a lot more often. International Infrastructure is what the Internet is, rather than just “National Infrastructure”.

If the Internet does go down in another country, it may very well affect your network, your day-to-day life and your economy to varying levels.

That, my friends, is a whole other subject that Governments can’t handle on their own. If they try, we will suffer for it. They can however, help. We need their help.

This doesn’t mark the end of “a Global Interoperable Internet”. I strongly believe it’s just the beginning.

All that being said, on the subject of alternate roots:

1. This particular alternate root has no immediate operational impact nor threatens the ICANN “world peace”. It already hasn’t for a while now.

2. China may have valid reasons for doing this and in fact, little choice on the matter, but it is also harmful and highlights the separatist choices China has made on the Internet thus far.

3. This should not be about China’s separatist or questionable choices. We have more than enough of that, and rightly so. This should be about China for once acting as a leader and a hero on the Internet.

4. It signals of the eventual coming change if the United States Government doesn’t wake up and climb off the slowly falling tree.


5. The world will just go on tomorrow with little real change, do we have to go through the usual end-of-the-Internet predictions yet again?

Naturally, this is only my opinion.

Gadi Evron,
[email protected]

By Gadi Evron, Security Strategist

Filed Under


Howard Li  –  Mar 1, 2006 5:23 AM

Dear Gadi, I strongly suggest that you read the next article which just posted right after yours. That article and the followed comments really tell the truth, and you just been misled by the “lost in translation”.

Gadi Evron  –  Mar 1, 2006 11:49 AM

I did, it was actually posted 30 minutes before mine. :)

You should read the comments.

Brett Watson has the right of it. Let’s not waste time on definitions. They may not be taking over .com, but they can. Point is, even if they don’t - they control the system and provide with ccTLD’s and domain names in the Chinese language. That *is* an alternate root.

Like I wrote, this doesn’t change the world one bit and no one is going to die, but it’s how it is.

This *is* an alternate root.

James Seng  –  Mar 1, 2006 1:21 PM

Calling a mule a horse x 100 wont make it a horse :)

Gadi Evron  –  Mar 1, 2006 2:36 PM

Naming with a different term for the purpose of lowering the significance is not new to me, as we face it every world in the information security world with the disclosure of vulnerabilities.

Call it what you like… a vulnerability, a feature or a bug, it still bites.

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