Home / Blogs

The Internet Is Designed for Surveillance

Bob Frankston

The current implementation of the Internet is hierarchical in that we get IP addresses from providers and then use a DNS that is rooted. We go even further in requiring that we conform to conditions on our intent (AKA our use) of connectivity in order to get a temporary lease on something so fundamental as our identity in the guise of a DNS name. We go further by accepting the idea that we communicate within pipes owned by service providers who can dictate terms in order to extract a rent.

Once you accept such an architecture and such rules it seems disingenuous to act surprised when those whom we've put in charge take advantage of this control for whatever purpose — whether for advertising or for our safety (real or imagined). We may ask for restraint on the part of those who enforce the rules but every time there is an outrage (often called terrorist attack) we (perhaps not the same "we") demand more surveillance.

The ideas behind the Internet — the use of raw packets that have no intrinsic meaning in transit — should enable us to communicate without having to agree to all of these conditions and without subjecting ourselves to prior restraint. Even if we didn't fully appreciate the idea of raw packets we still have to wonder why we accept a rent-seeking approach for something so vital as our ability to communicate.

Where is the effort to honor the Internet paradigm and move away from the presumption of hierarchy to a distributed approach that doesn't assume that we must declare our intent merely to exchange bits? At very least we should move beyond having rent-seekers in the path.

By Bob Frankston, Independent Internet Professional. More blog posts from Bob Frankston can also be read here.

Related topics: Access Providers, Internet Governance, Policy & Regulation, Privacy

WEEKLY WRAP — Get CircleID's Weekly Summary Report by Email:

Comments

To post comments, please login or create an account.

Related Blogs

Related News

Topics

Industry Updates – Sponsored Posts

Internet Business Council for Africa Participates at the EU-Africa 2014 Business Forum, Brussels

DotConnectAfrica Statement Regarding NTIA's Intent to Transition Key Internet Domain Name Function

Afilias Joins Internet Technical Leaders in Welcoming IANA Globalization Progress

2013: A Year in Review, End of Year Message from DotConnectAfrica

SPECIAL: Updates from the ICANN Meetings in Buenos Aires

DotConnectAfrica Attends Transform Africa 2013 Summit in Rwanda

DCA Trust Raises Ethical Questions, Writes to Newly Elected African Union Leaders on .africa Debacle

DCA Registry Services Kenya Participates in 2nd African IGF - Updates its .africa Bid

DotConnectAfrica Refuses to Withdraw its Application for .Africa before Accountability Hearing

SPECIAL: Updates from the ICANN Meetings in Durban

DotConnectAfrica Trust Attends the ICANN-47 International Meeting In Durban South Africa

Comments and Questions by DCA Trust on .Africa at the ICANN-47 Public Forum, Durban SA

DCA Registry Services Contribute to Second Africa DNS Forum, Durban, SA

Dyn Research: CDN Adoption Across Our Customer Base

MarkMonitor Named a Top Trusted Website in OTA's 2013 Online Trust Honor Roll

Neustar Expands Professional Services Offerings for Communications Service Providers

DotConnectAfrica Trust Responds to ICANN GAC Objection Advice on Its .Africa Application

DotConnectAfrica Participates at the ICANN 46 International Meeting in Beijing, China

SPECIAL: Updates from the ICANN Meetings in Beijing

DotConnectAfrica Clarified Its .africa Bid at the Innovation Africa Digital Summit in Addis Ababa

Sponsored Topics