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(Wired)   If you have a .com, .org or .net domain name, feel secure in the thought that the US Government can seize it whenever they feel like it, even if registered overseas   (wired.com) divider line 55
    More: Asinine, United States, alternate ending, TLDs, VeriSign, ITU, registrars, companies of Canada, SOPA  
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3430 clicks; posted to Geek » on 07 Mar 2012 at 2:36 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-03-06 09:00:23 PM
Well, yeah.

Once upon a time Arpanet gave birth to Darpanet and someone thought "Hey, let's let the people use it, they won't know it's a two way street. We'll let them have bread and circuses and we'll keep records of every bread and circus they're watching." And that's how the intertubes was born.

The Pentagon giveth and it can taketh away.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2012-03-06 09:31:35 PM
The policy was, and probably still is, the administrative contact of a top level domain has to be in the country to which the domain belongs. The purpose of this policy is to put a country's domains under the effective jurisdiction of the country's government.
 
2012-03-06 09:31:40 PM
but the government is powerless in the face of .biz domains?
 
2012-03-07 01:10:49 AM
And you know that fickle United States. A few brandys in them and it's seize a website here and seize a website there.
 
2012-03-07 01:39:26 AM
What about .co domains? Anyone actually use them?
 
2012-03-07 02:27:43 AM
Maybe they can generate more traffic for me.
 
2012-03-07 02:42:29 AM

Flint Ironstag: What about .co domains? Anyone actually use them?


There's quite a few .co.uk domains out there.
 
2012-03-07 02:44:23 AM

Ambivalence: but the government is powerless in the face of .biz domains?


The .tv domains are also pretty safe, at least until global warming catches up to Tuvalu.
 
2012-03-07 02:51:11 AM

Mad_Radhu: Ambivalence: but the government is powerless in the face of .biz domains?

The .tv domains are also pretty safe, at least until global warming catches up to Tuvalu.


Actaully, nevermind. I started reading up on those and saw that they also got seized in a government operation prior to the Superbowl. Apparently, since the TLD is managed by Verisign, it is subject to US law, too.
 
2012-03-07 03:13:01 AM

Mad_Radhu: Flint Ironstag: What about .co domains? Anyone actually use them?

There's quite a few .co.uk domains out there.


No, just .co

I own my lastname.com, .co.uk and .co
Just don't think I have ever seen a website use a .co suffix.
 
2012-03-07 03:37:01 AM
If you don't support Team America: World Police, you're a communist.

You're not a communist, ARE YOU?
 
2012-03-07 03:57:27 AM

SeedFreak: Well, yeah.

Once upon a time Arpanet gave birth to Darpanet and someone thought "Hey, let's let the people use it, they won't know it's a two way street. We'll let them have bread and circuses and we'll keep records of every bread and circus they're watching." And that's how the intertubes was born.

The Pentagon giveth and it can taketh away.


Wow. That's pretty cool that if some people connect computers together in China, the US Army still owns them. Al Gore sure knew what he was doing.
 
2012-03-07 04:06:41 AM
It's not news, it's FARK.edu
 
2012-03-07 04:28:44 AM
Maybe we need an alternate DNS system?

.fark ?
 
2012-03-07 04:42:41 AM
I hope Drew has a migration strategy for when the geeks move to the new darknet. I would hate to lose fark to this.
 
2012-03-07 05:01:35 AM
It's just the internet. The pesky 4th amendment doesn't apply there!
 
2012-03-07 05:49:05 AM

Flint Ironstag: What about .co domains? Anyone actually use them?


Not really.

They're the ccTLD of Colombia. Hardly the bastion of stability and rule of law.

This whole seizure thing is very troubling, particularly with the erroneous seizure of JotForm that took them offline for several days.

The US's top level domain is ".us". The government is welcome to enforce its laws on anyone using .us TLDs, but the com/net/org domains are meant to be generic and international. Issuing court orders to the US-based .com registry to seize a domain of a foreign entity conducting business that's legal in that foreign country (but not in the US) is really scary and sets a bad precedent.

Personally, I'm a fan of the .ch TLD (Switzerland). Switzerland is a strictly no-nonsense country when it comes to stuff like free speech and neutrality. That, and the .ch registry (SWITCH) also manages the Swiss educational networks and runs a major chunk of the Swiss internet backbone. They also run some major mirrors for open source projects. They know what they're doing, take their work seriously, and only charge CHF 17/year for domains (about $20/year). Their domains and operations have no connections to the United States.

Their site is also in English (as well as German, French, and Italian of course), which is nice. You can also buy .ch domains from third-party registrars like GANDI in France, but expect to pay a bit more.

I have a few .com/net/org domains as well as some .us and .ch ones. I only really use them for email, so having them seized would not be financially catastrophic (but intensely annoying and disruptive).

If the US government goes around seizing property (i.e. domain names) of foreign entities operating legally in foreign countries, there's likely to be a major pushback. There are legal and diplomatic channels available to police for taking action against criminals in foreign countries, but if a Canadian is running a legal gambling site in Canada I expect the Canadian authorities to say "What's the problem? It's not illegal here. If Americans are breaking US law by accessing this site from the US, go after the users."

The US should not have the ability to unilaterally seize domains registered to foreigners conducting business that's legal in their country. Similarly, Thailand should not have any authority to shut down sites registered outside of Thailand that insult the Thai king (insulting him is a crime in Thailand) as it's outside their jurisdiction.

/American
//thinks the US government doesn't really understand the concept that there's other countries out there and they're not American nor have to obey US law
 
2012-03-07 06:03:30 AM
Yeah, this sort of thing was inevitable. It was only a matter of time before the morons we call our "leaders" decided to inject themselves into the functioning of the Internet, thereby screwing it up.

Congratulations, idiots. You've basically gone and made the case for putting DNS under the control of the UN, a body which is even less trustworthy, reliable, and concerned with even the appearence of propriety (to say nothing of actual propriety) than the US govt.

You know, it wouldn't have been that hard... In fact, it would've been incredibly easy. All you had to succeed was to do... nothing. Just don't fark that chicken, and those who have the pull to actually do something about it (.eu, .jp) would've remained disjoint from the censor-mad fascists who want to (.ir, .sy, .sa). But no, nothing was just too hard to pull off. You just had to whore yourselves out to the copyright gestapo, and make the prima facie case that the US can no longer be trusted to administer TLDs.

Lest anyone think I'm arguing two contradictory fronts, let me be clear - the US may do bad, but if you look among the pond of nations, the sociopaths who inhabit the darker corners (Kim Jong Un, Ahmadinejad, al Bashir, Ghaddaffi) make it look positively angelic, and we have a process whereby we can in principle improve our governance peacefully.

I predict that by 2015, there will be some form of fragmentation in the Internet namespace that breaks uniformity of global name resolution, and quite possibly a deliberate attempt to compromise global routing.
Homomorphic encryption will do amazing things (the Cloud can operate on your data without ever being able to decrypt it, thereby making the Cloud something I'd actually trust) - if it reaches critical mass before they realize what it means, look for authoritarian types in general to freak out.

Digital computation has brought us close to a tipping point people - either the greatest liberation the world has ever seen, or the most horrifying slide into dystopian surveillance hell imaginable. We owe it to ourselves to get it right the first time.
 
2012-03-07 06:25:49 AM

erik-k: Yeah, this sort of thing was inevitable. It was only a matter of time before the morons we call our "leaders" decided to inject themselves into the functioning of the Internet, thereby screwing it up.

Congratulations, idiots. You've basically gone and made the case for putting DNS under the control of the UN, a body which is even less trustworthy, reliable, and concerned with even the appearence of propriety (to say nothing of actual propriety) than the US govt.

You know, it wouldn't have been that hard... In fact, it would've been incredibly easy. All you had to succeed was to do... nothing. Just don't fark that chicken, and those who have the pull to actually do something about it (.eu, .jp) would've remained disjoint from the censor-mad fascists who want to (.ir, .sy, .sa). But no, nothing was just too hard to pull off. You just had to whore yourselves out to the copyright gestapo, and make the prima facie case that the US can no longer be trusted to administer TLDs.

Lest anyone think I'm arguing two contradictory fronts, let me be clear - the US may do bad, but if you look among the pond of nations, the sociopaths who inhabit the darker corners (Kim Jong Un, Ahmadinejad, al Bashir, Ghaddaffi) make it look positively angelic, and we have a process whereby we can in principle improve our governance peacefully.

I predict that by 2015, there will be some form of fragmentation in the Internet namespace that breaks uniformity of global name resolution, and quite possibly a deliberate attempt to compromise global routing.
Homomorphic encryption will do amazing things (the Cloud can operate on your data without ever being able to decrypt it, thereby making the Cloud something I'd actually trust) - if it reaches critical mass before they realize what it means, look for authoritarian types in general to freak out.

Digital computation has brought us close to a tipping point people - either the greatest liberation the world has ever seen, or the most horrifying slide i ...


So what you are saying is as we move towards Tier 1 level, we will either end up like this:

images.wikia.com
And be nothing but mindless cogs controlled by the leaders of our society or we end up like this:

3.bp.blogspot.com
And cruise the universe in some sort of personal starship limited only by our imaginations.

Which of these looks happier and can move from Tier 1 to Tier 5 without destroying everything around it?

\as long as we don't end up like the Alternans or Galliferians I will be happy
\\what is the point of having unlimited power if you never use it
 
2012-03-07 06:34:26 AM
HOPE AND CHANGE
 
2012-03-07 06:38:34 AM

heypete: If Americans are breaking US law by accessing this site from the US, go after the users


And that's what needs to be done. But how? Oh, SOPA/PIPA or some version of the Great Firewall of China. Either way, policing the internet for the rest of the world based on US policy is a little bit wrong.

erik-k: All you had to succeed was to do... nothing


In this case it may have been lobbying by domestic casino interests to make sure that any gambling was done on their turf. If you can play poker, roulette, blackjack and slots from your living room, why book a trip to Vegas or visit the local casinos? The money would flow out of the US instead.
 
2012-03-07 06:40:26 AM
I want to cruise the universe smiling and stoned and wearing a totally biatchin' turtleneck!
 
2012-03-07 06:45:06 AM
Are we talking seizure in an arbitrary and capricious fashion? Without proper paperwork and process?

*reads*

Nope. It's an outgrowth of ICANN being based in the US.
Until each nation runs its own 'internet', ol' Uncle Sam can and will do this as part of criminal proceedings.
Get used to it.
 
2012-03-07 08:23:56 AM
And this is different from anything else in this country, how?
If the government wanted my property for any reason, I'm sure they'd have me off of it fairly quickly.
I'm sure all the forms would be followed, and I may even get compensated, but my ass would be out the door.
One thing though, as technology progresses, there may come a time where seizing a domain will be akin to taking a key punch operator's card.
 
2012-03-07 08:28:27 AM

gozar_the_destroyer: \as long as we don't end up like the Alternans or Galliferians I will be happy


I'll agree with you on the Ancients, but dammit the Timelords still did a lot of cool stuff.
 
2012-03-07 08:33:55 AM
I'd been wondering what Al Gore was up to.
 
2012-03-07 08:39:40 AM
If you have a .mx domain name the mexican government can seize it anytime they want.
If you have a .in domain name the Indian government can seize it anytime they want.
If you have a .tv domain name the Tuvaluian government can seize it anytime they want.
Let's all PANIC about how the Internet works!
 
2012-03-07 08:41:07 AM

Flint Ironstag: Mad_Radhu: Flint Ironstag: What about .co domains? Anyone actually use them?

There's quite a few .co.uk domains out there.

No, just .co

I own my lastname.com, .co.uk and .co
Just don't think I have ever seen a website use a .co suffix.


.co is Columbia, so don't piss off any drug cartels or you'll probably get it seized.
 
2012-03-07 08:52:17 AM

heypete: the com/net/org domains are meant to be generic and international


Well, not really. People started using them that way, and the government didn't exactly protest that fact, but .com, .org, .net, .gov, and .mil started out as US-specific TLDs. One of the perks we got from having invented the damned Internet.
 
2012-03-07 08:54:09 AM

Ambivalence: but the government is powerless in the face of .biz domains?


why do you hate business and therefore America?
 
2012-03-07 08:54:44 AM
btw, notice how tpb is now .se?
 
2012-03-07 09:37:47 AM
I don't get the outrage here. Don't want to be subject to US-laws? Simply don't use a US-based TLD .com or .org. People conducting business online must realize they're conducting business with every country in the World (even where they are illegally conducting business), and should be mindful of the TLD's country's laws for this very reason. An argument can be made that VeriSign is aiding crimes by helping redirect us within the US to those sites.

After all, what did you do last time you typed in www.yourdomain.com and finds it takes you somewhere you didn't want to be? That's right, you just Google'd "yourdomain" and click the .net/.co.uk/etc link instead.

/your website will show up in Google all the same...
 
2012-03-07 09:44:15 AM

FarkGrudge: Simply don't use a US-based TLD .com or .org.


Technically, .com and .org TLDs are run by ICANN, which is theoretically an international organization. One of the major global complaints is that ICANN is essentially an extension of the US government and regulates the Internet for the interest of the US, not of the global user population.

I say, hand ICANN off to the UN and then completely deregulate TLDs- anyone who wants to run a TLD can run a TLD, and they can use whatever rules they want to govern their TLDs.
 
2012-03-07 09:55:13 AM

serial_crusher: heypete: the com/net/org domains are meant to be generic and international

Well, not really. People started using them that way, and the government didn't exactly protest that fact, but .com, .org, .net, .gov, and .mil started out as US-specific TLDs. One of the perks we got from having invented the damned Internet.


Not really. From RFC 1591:

Each of the generic TLDs was created for a general category of
organizations. The country code domains (for example, FR, NL, KR,
US) are each organized by an administrator for that country. These
administrators may further delegate the management of portions of the
naming tree. These administrators are performing a public service on
behalf of the Internet community. Descriptions of the generic
domains and the US country domain follow.

Of these generic domains, five are international in nature, and two
are restricted to use by entities in the United States.

World Wide Generic Domains:

COM - This domain is intended for commercial entities, that is
companies. This domain has grown very large and there is
concern about the administrative load and system performance if
the current growth pattern is continued. Consideration is
being taken to subdivide the COM domain and only allow future
commercial registrations in the subdomains.


Emphasis mine. Descriptions of EDU, NET, ORG, and INT follow. The "United States Only Generic Domains" include GOV, MIL, and US.

Also, I would hardly say that it's a "perk" to have the US seizing domains (using gTLDs) from Canadian entities in Canada operating legally under Canadian law. If anything, that sounds like a drawback to me in that the US gets to act as "internet police".

If the US has problems with a Canadian (or other foreign entity) using a gTLD for something legal in that country they should take up that issue with the authorities of the country with jurisdiction.
 
2012-03-07 09:57:47 AM
In the last year the US has seized foreign domains registered to foreign companies for not complying with US law, has seized money from a foreign citizen engaging in an entirely legal business transaction with a foreign company for not complying with US law and shuttered (and arrested the executives of) a foreign company run by foreign citizens ostensibly for not complying with US copyright law. And let's not forget that the feds improperly seized tens of thousands of innocent websites last year and effectively slandered them with takedown pages accusing them of trafficing in child porn before returning them because the feds had simply totally farked up (and I'm sure at least a few of those were the websites of folks who aren't US citizens).

The internet will most certainly be intrinsic to the future of commerce and communication. The US has a big advantage by being the folks heavily involved in the ground floor of both the innovations and the businesses/structure which the internet relies on. But the bullying "everyone in the world is under our jurisdiction" way that our authorities are attacking whomever they like is going to drive innovation to distance the rest of the world on the internet AWAY from anything possibly having to do with the US whatsoever, and perhaps even fracturing the internet itself.

So our national arrogance and abuse of our power is going to cripple that power in the future and probably limit our prosperity as well. And pretty much mostly so that rich industrial leaders and greedy politicians can use the US government as a weapon to bludgeon legitimate businesses around the world that they don't like.

Just great. You know the expression "don't eat your seed corn"? This is like the US taking the seed corn of it's citizens and tossing it in the wood stoves of a few rich a-holes just so they can try to keep their guest cottages a little warmer.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2012-03-07 10:03:39 AM
heypete

I would like to enforce the old rules for domain names. A million dollar per year fee for a .com address would filter out the tiny things that don't belong there.
 
2012-03-07 10:10:23 AM
They can have my google.com and apple.com domain names when they pry them from my cold, dead hands.
 
2012-03-07 10:21:28 AM
The US was doing a hell of a job with the internet for so long, too.

Sad to see them pull shiat like this.
 
2012-03-07 10:21:34 AM

ZAZ: heypete

I would like to enforce the old rules for domain names. A million dollar per year fee for a .com address would filter out the tiny things that don't belong there.


I'd certainly like to see some sanity to domain standards (the new "you can buy your own TLD" thing ICANN is a bad thing IMHO), but I'm not sure that exorbitant fees are the way to go.

Originally, domains were free. When they first started charging for COM the fee was $50 per year (with a two-year minimum).

Personally, I think the current cost for most gTLDs and ccTLDs (though some random ccTLDs charging more than $50/year seems a bit steep) is pretty reasonable considering the infrastructure involved. I like the idea of there being international, generic TLDs like COM/NET/ORG/INFO and country-level domains, where the ccTLDs would be operated under the legal jurisdiction of that particular country while the gTLDs would be operated under a uniform global policy rather than being subject to a specific country's laws.
 
2012-03-07 10:24:45 AM
Seeing as how said domains belong to the US, I don't see the problem.
 
2012-03-07 10:24:52 AM

Mad_Radhu: Ambivalence: but the government is powerless in the face of .biz domains?

The .tv domains are also pretty safe, at least until global warming catches up to Tuvalu.


Firstrowsports.tv
 
2012-03-07 10:32:01 AM

machoprogrammer: The US was doing a hell of a job with the internet for so long, too.

Sad to see them pull shiat like this.


The thing is, it probably wouldn't be much better with other entities running it.
 
2012-03-07 11:05:42 AM

Marine1: machoprogrammer: The US was doing a hell of a job with the internet for so long, too.

Sad to see them pull shiat like this.

The thing is, it probably wouldn't be much better with other entities running it.



I agree with you. We certainly had the potential though, and weren't too bad for a while there... we're just squandering it now. So sad.
 
2012-03-07 11:23:56 AM
This was a DARPA joint before any of us unwashed serfs got a chance to spew our insignificant drivel on it. The gubmint owns this highway and they'll decide who they let drive on it.
 
2012-03-07 11:30:01 AM

FunkOut: SeedFreak: Well, yeah.

Once upon a time Arpanet gave birth to Darpanet and someone thought "Hey, let's let the people use it, they won't know it's a two way street. We'll let them have bread and circuses and we'll keep records of every bread and circus they're watching." And that's how the intertubes was born.

The Pentagon giveth and it can taketh away.

Wow. That's pretty cool that if some people connect computers together in China, the US Army still owns them. Al Gore sure knew what he was doing.


Yeah, much of the rest of the less-friendly world has been petitioning to get .___ under control of the UN for a while now. It will never, ever happen, unless we elect the stupidest President and Congress ever, and DoD decides to take a tropical vacation and leave their blackberries at home. We actually own the ".", so we can control everything that comes after it. Now, large nations like China (and many others) have created an environment where, should we choose to "shut off" access, they can immediately stand up their own internet...but they wouldn't be able to communicate fully with the rest of the online world.

But yeah, the US is the de facto "final boss of the internet."
 
2012-03-07 11:35:44 AM

Flint Ironstag: What about .co domains? Anyone actually use them?


overstock.com promotes their tv commercials with o.co (new window)
 
2012-03-07 11:36:01 AM

heypete: serial_crusher: heypete: the com/net/org domains are meant to be generic and international

Well, not really. People started using them that way, and the government didn't exactly protest that fact, but .com, .org, .net, .gov, and .mil started out as US-specific TLDs. One of the perks we got from having invented the damned Internet.

Not really. From RFC 1591:


Touche. Though, it's worth pointing out that that was written in 1994, almost 10 years after the .com TLD first came into existence. But sure, I'll agree that after that RFC the intent of those domains officially changed.

Still doesn't get around the fact that .com domains are ultimately registered through VeriSign. I could see an argument for changing that and putting some international authority in charge, but until then the US government can boss VeriSign around just like any other US companies.
 
2012-03-07 11:57:21 AM
Will the future see the internet as a interesting fad that failed miserably?
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2012-03-07 12:16:04 PM
We actually own the "."

You can set up your own root nameserver outside the US and see who joins. A company had this business model 10? years ago but went nowhere. Few wanted to buy vanity names that most customers couldn't see.

If you run an alternate top level server in the US you'll get hit with cybersquatting charges and anti-circumvention under whatever version of SOPA eventually becomes law.
 
2012-03-07 01:13:53 PM
Which is why mine says .co.uk
 
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