who owns the internet?

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worker201
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Post by worker201 »

One thing that the discussions so far have not covered is the foreign issues. As you all should have figured by now, there are pages and servers and whatnot in other countries besides the US. Those get here somehow - I think some guy in Hawaii invented packet radio, to beam the signals across the ocean. Anyway, websites and routers and fiber optic cable in Spain are owned by Telefonica, to add to the list of companies. So traffic that passes from Sprint lines to Telefonica lines has to be regulated by someone. Should it automatically be the US? I don't know - I think a worldwide organization would be better at covering this.

The wierd thing is that this whole discussion is probably a sham. Companies in Ecuador (for example) cannot buy www.theinternet.com, they can only buy www.theinternet.com.ec. The .com name is an extremely powerful sales and marketing tool, thanks to years of exposure in US media. Thanks to ICANN, there is no .us attached to the end of US domain names. It could very well be that foreign companies want access to non-country-coded addresses, and couldn't care less about anything else. You have to admit that the US bias in this system is somewhat arbitrary. It really makes no difference to the end user how the addresses get assigned, why not have some .coms in China? But ICANN is kinda inflexible about this, and that may be what's causing the whole issue.

It probably has nothing to do with the actual lines that the information passes through, and as far as I know, it never has been an issue. I seem to recall that AT&T/Bells were invited to get in on packet switching, and they just didn't see it going anywhere, and gave up the use of their lines for nothing. In retrospect, the phone companies could have exercised very tight control over the internet, but that didn't happen. And I'm glad, too - their regulation could have prevented the internet from becoming what it is today.

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Post by Stryker »

worker201 wrote:So traffic that passes from Sprint lines to Telefonica lines has to be regulated by someone. Should it automatically be the US? I don't know - I think a worldwide organization would be better at covering this.
These are not, and should never be, be regulated at all. The links from network to network are handled through private, negotiated, peering arrangements. This isn't really the issue these countries are having. A few foreign politicians want to have control of the root nameservers.

I've never heard of telephonic. They probably just have regional lines. The companies listed are the top carriers in the world, not just our country. Their only job is to link seattle to new york to florida to paris to rome... telephonic has default routes to these major carriers, and is therefor not a tier1 network provider.

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Post by ZiaTioN »

Stryker, I am not sure of your background but you sound a little unknowing of this field. Not to be harsh on you or anything but from the sounds of your responses it sounds as if you took an A+ course and now think you have networking understood as a whole.

It is the telcos that are the backbone. They do provide the mass transit fiber links and they do house all the carrier class sonet nodes. I do not need your rudimentary explanation of networking. I am not confusing phone lines with DSL. If I told you about ATM you would probably ask me what a cash machine has to do with networking. I could explain to you in great detail DSL technology as a whole and you can probably not even tell me what it stands for. Do you know the differences? Do you know what ISDN is? Do you know what ATM is? Please don't answer these. They are rhetorical questions. I already know the answers.

I was a network engineer for 8 years for the department of defense. I designed and implemented the first fully functional IPv6 test bed for the DoD. I specialized in Fiber Optics, Sonet/SDH, carrier class routing, and ATM technologies. I specifically helped Cisco troubleshoot and debug their IOS for IPv6 applications. Not to mention hardware encryption and integration of Unix and Linux. I have many many more accomplishments than this, some I could never disclose, so please do not insult me with your incorrect simplification of things.
IPs = addresses (Hint: IP Address), and they can assign them if they wanted.
LOL.. This does not even make since.
And nobody said they would be. We're not talking about your ISP.
I don't think you know what you are talking about at all. Again no offense but this is just my opinion based on your posts.

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Post by worker201 »

Stryker wrote:I've never heard of telephonic. They probably just have regional lines. The companies listed are the top carriers in the world, not just our country. Their only job is to link seattle to new york to florida to paris to rome... telephonic has default routes to these major carriers, and is therefor not a tier1 network provider.
Telefonica, a Spanish company, is the number one telephone service provider for South America. As far as number of customers goes, it is probably bigger than Verizon. However, Verizon is merely a contractor for telephone service, and they don't own or build any actual infrastructure. I believe that in South America, Telefonica is an infrastructure builder, making them a major player on a major continent.

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Post by ZiaTioN »

Verizon is merely a contractor for telephone service, and they don't own or build any actual infrastructure.
Again that is incorrect. I have worked on and with Verizon infrastructure equipment. Where are you guys getting your info?

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Post by worker201 »

To my knowledge, Verizon didn't even exist when the primary telephone line system was installed across the US. And that system is what many use to access the internet. Verizon may have made a few additions, or beefed things up in the past few years, I'm sure.

But Telefonica, to the best of my knowledge, did install the basic telephone line system through South America. The lines are still owned by the people, just like in the US, but they have been administered since birth by one company. Which puts them into a different class of telecom than Verizon, is what I was basically trying to say.

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Post by ZiaTioN »

worker201 wrote:To my knowledge, Verizon didn't even exist when the primary telephone line system was installed across the US. And that system is what many use to access the internet. Verizon may have made a few additions, or beefed things up in the past few years, I'm sure.

But Telefonica, to the best of my knowledge, did install the basic telephone line system through South America. The lines are still owned by the people, just like in the US, but they have been administered since birth by one company. Which puts them into a different class of telecom than Verizon, is what I was basically trying to say.
Verizon as we know it today did not, you are correct. However you have to know the history behind how Verizon came to be to know why they have a vast infrastruture today. It all started with the Bells. "Ma Bell", the "Bell System" or "AT&T" which were all names for the largest telecommunications provider for over 100 years was broken up by the Fedral Government due to antitrust or monopoly laws that we have here in the States. Numerous smaller Bell companies were formed out of this breakup. In 1996 3 of these 7 companies that were formed from the breakup merged to form Verizon. Who were these compnaies? I am glad you asked. They were Bell Atlantics, Nynex and GTE. This is why Verizon has the infrastructure they have today. They took over all asstes of the these companies that merged to create Verizon. These companies were part of the very beginning of the telco movement and therefore had a vast infrastructure that became Verizon's after the mergers.

Verizon is the largest Telco in the US and provides significantly to the World Wide Internet Infrastucture. Any comment to the contrary is purely false. This path of origin is also where other heavy hitters of today came from. Companies such as SBC and Lucent also came from "the bells" after the breakup. Imagine every large telco in the US right now as a single company. That is the way it used to be and that is why it was broken up. It was a huge monster that had zero competition so the consumer suffered.

Anyone who is interested should read the link I provided above in it's entirety. It gives a really nice overview of the history of things.

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Post by worker201 »

As Yoda would say, "Corrected I standeth".

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Post by Calum »

i am disappointed to see the flamewar start quite literally after i hoped we would avoid one.

i feel that i must reply to ziation, regardless of the fallout.
ZiaTioN wrote:I stopped responding as soon as you started with the insults. Calling me a gun toting redneck, inuslting American intelligence, and spouting your overall slanderous propaganda. You have shown that you have no desire to be respectful so I now know to ignore your posts.
are you serious? i bet you have a long ignore list with an attitude like yours. why not simply listen to others' point of view and try and understand that there's not necessarily only one person who's right (and that even if there is, there exists a possibility that that person might not be you).
I try to keep this in mind when people like you try to drag me into a bull hockey argument over something they, or I, never had a hand in.
you started it, and defended a position which i find highly suspect. i only responded honestly, as befits healthy discussion. don't blame this claptrap on me.
The fact is if America completely turned to isolationism, like some would like, I think they would be very suprised at how quickly they would wish that they had been careful what they asked for.
think what you like, but i say, if you're that certain that america gives so much to the rest of the world then why doesn't it just go for isolationism? from that point of view, the USA would gain from isolating themselves, and so doing that would make both factions happy. Nobody loses.
We are very well off on our side of the globe and would only benefit from this. I think the problem with idealist is they can never see more than 5 feet in front of their face.
that's as much of an insult as anything i said to you. Also it makes no sense. are you saying there's a connection between eyesight and purity of ethics?
If I were Void, I would delete this thread. You are right, this thread is full of "rubbish" and that "rubbish" being the fact that you feel your opinion should be valued more than anyone elses.
blah blah blah, you're the one who can't stand anyone to reply to you with an opposing viewpoint. You're also the one doing the most of the off topic nonsense in this thread.
Do you really think that spreading your nonsense is going to gain you brownie points on a largely American based message board?
unlike the typical model of blind capitalism and self promotion, i do not live my life hoping to gain "brownie points". What i do hope for is that presented with a range of positions and opinions people will be able to more easily form their own opinions rather than having to subscribe to the only viewpoint going. This is why i oppose censorship, because it stops people realising they can make their own choices. Sure, this makes societies potentially less stable, but i would rather have a more dynamic societal structure full of people thinking for themselves than a model of secure city states filled with people who are unable to make their own choices due to lack of information.
Feel free to respond but I will no longer participate.
gee, thanks so much.
All I really wanted to say was the part about the special olympics anyway.
which in itself was pretty offensive, i thought. Yes i know there are a lot of sick jokes on the internet, but repeating that and using it as an example in a post like this was quite poor taste i thought, however each to their own.
Please let me know anytime you want me to leave your living room Void. You will get zero argument from me. I have better things to do with my time.
boo hoo. Myself i think it's be better if you just stick around and say what you think (obviously mostly about linux which will ensure we don't ever need to argue again i would have thought. I don't understand why so many people want to run away from potential conflict situations. However that's really OT, so i won't go into it.

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Post by Calum »

However apart from that i have found the telecommunications discussion very interesting.

I was just thinking that the question "who owns the Internet?" is a little bit vague. ie: what does "the Internet" mean as a term?

And i think the Internet is made up of a lot of things. as well as the infrastructure (which has been assembled by various organisations round the world) there's the large number of home and business users who connect their private networks (and standalone machines, not to mention Internet enabled hand held appliances) to the Internet in some way, these nodes should in my opinion be considered as part of the Internet. Also there's the consideration of whather the information available on the Internet is part of the Internet. In my opinion the servers the data are on would be part of the Internet, so does the physical representation of the data on those servers mean that data are part of the Internet? i don't think it's a cut and dried issue.

So at first glance i would say that physically many many people and organisations own the internet, just like many many people round the world own land. Intellectually i would say the data on the Internet has its ownership determined by the licencing the author has applied to it. I even think that countries have legislation for the default copyright situation on any new data held on servers within the country.

The other main outstanding issue is what you've all been talking about, bandwidth and the control over the flow of data from one physical location to another on the Internet. Clearly without this the Internet is worthless. The flow of data is just like roads in my opinion. In different states and territories different governing bodies run the roads. some places have horrible pockmarked bumpy roads and nobody enforces the parking/driving laws. in some places the roads are in great condition and the people pay a hefty tax for the privelege of using them. In still other places they have huge highways where you can drive fast over a long distance and not see any towns for hours.

And that's the Internet really. It's a huge transportation system for data who want to get on at one stop and get off at another. The various companies in charge of the flow of data are like bus and train operators, able to control the efficiency and/or taxation for each section of the 'net they're responsible for. but i do think that if one part of the communications section breaks down the Internet will adapt. somebody will find a workaround, so i tend to think that no one company is critical for the Internet to survive, and so since nobody has ultimate executive control (i think!) over the whole Internet it sounds like nobody owns the Internet! That's open to criticism actually. i mean say the whole USA were to drop out of the world's Internet for instance, the rest of the world would still have some functionality for the Internet (although a lot of websites and other traffic really does need the USA to be there to function i would have thought) but realistically, the Internet is supposed to be the whole world. Without the USA would it even still be the Internet? It's be even more ambiguous if the USA Internet (for some reason) disconnected from the rest of the Internet. Would the USA 'net be the Internet? (since their government funded development of it in the first place, they might easily be entitled to the name), or would the larger (but not so senior) world 'net be the Internet?

Anyway, i think that the answer for who owns the Internet depends on what is meant by "the Internet".

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Post by Void Main »

To me "the Internet" is any system with a publically accessible IP address and all of the telco backbone and ISP lines that connect them. There are many owners all working together in a co-op. The owners include the owners of the systems, the lines, and the routers and switches. As there are many owners there are many governing bodies. Obviously some governance is applied by the countries and localities that the servers and network equipment physically reside on. There are also standards bodies that try to ensure communications compatability etc. And of course there is the part about the governing of the addresses and names. This is somewhat broken down as large blocks of addresses are distributed down to providers to redistribute as needed. Domains are provided and individual companies and individuals can manage their own DNS servers and all the names in their domain. That's just my idea of what the Internet currently "is" and not what it should be.

http://navigators.com/isp.html

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Post by Void Main »

Void Main wrote:Seriously we could start our own domain name system and nobody could stop us. Just pop a few top level DNS servers out there and cache the existing DNS until everyone switches to us, problem solved.
http://nipl.net/cgi-bin/oddmuse.pl/FreeNS

Just goes to show there are no original ideas.

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Post by Master of Reality »

Void Main wrote:
Void Main wrote: http://nipl.net/cgi-bin/oddmuse.pl/FreeNS

Just goes to show there are no original ideas.
That link isn't working for me.

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Post by Void Main »

Wow, I'm also getting connection refused messages now. Here's that page in Google's cache:

http://64.233.167.104/search?q=cache:q8 ... eNS+&hl=en

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