ICANN explained to unitedstaters (Vint Cerf)


The Internet under threat

Spot the bad guy

‘Father of the internet’ Vint Cerf explains ICANN. (Via Engadget). ICANN is the organisation responsible for translating easily usable domain names (samizdats. wordpress.com) into ip numbers (

Explanation to unitedstaters: we’re not giving it away to evil superpowers, we’re just trying to make it more democratic.

We now need an explanation for everyone else: how come the US is supposedly giving away it’s authority over ICANN when it’s been thwarting democracy all over the planet for decades? The elections in Egypt don’t come out with the right winners? You can’t support that kind of democracy! And the list goes on and on.

The easy, lazy answer is a conspiracy theory: they’re not really giving away the authority; and this conspiracy suits quite a lot of people, like the Russian plutocracy, the Chinese Politburo and everyone for whom conspiracies explain the entire universe.

The more interesting point is a dual morality, in which unitedstaters see themselves as the good guys, and everyone else sees them as the bad guys. When confronted with reality would unitedstaters accept themselves as the bad guys or would they reject the horrors done in their name? This also applies to everyone else, to varying degrees but without this relativity making the point irrelevant.

The take away is that we all need to confront this reality and choose who we want to be, the good guys or the bad guys who twistedly try to think of themselves as the good guys, or the victims. There are hints of this dilemma in popular culture: Carmela Soprano scorns the cop who stops her husband “instead of the drug dealers”: she knows where the money comes from, she’s the drug dealer’s wife, and her actions will have repercussions.