[Politech] Circumventing government tyranny with the Internet, by Jim Davidson [fs]

From: Declan McCullagh (declan@private)
Date: Tue Oct 11 2005 - 08:51:13 PDT

Previous Politech message:

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: [Politech] Karl Auerbach replies on U.N. Net control and 
many, many top-level domains
Date: Fri, 7 Oct 2005 01:44:55 -0500
From: Jim Davidson <davidson@private>
To: Declan McCullagh <declan@private>
CC: karl@private

Dear Declan,

Thanks for the excellent analysis from Karl Auerbach.

A couple of thoughts got my attention:
> Clone roots may also have reason to come into existence during the
> recovery from natural or human disasters ... But those would
> usually be short-lived.

Tyranny is one of those human disasters that sometimes lasts
many decades.

> What is of interest to me in this is that the question is not
> a technical one but rather one of social and individual rights
> and values.

Actually, the question is both technical and philosophical.
There are technical issues relating to how top level domains
are managed.  Having two completely different managements
running .ewe would certainly be a problem for the university
Watsamatta.ewe if its content were not served to everyone
seeking that content.  The inability to resolve between
two root servers each claiming to be serving the IP address
for the correct .ewe domain would likely be resolved by
nobody reaching either set of content.

But, far worse would be a governmental authority that demanded
the power to limit access to content and force the character
of content to change.  There is something deeply and very
fundamentally wrong with Google.com choosing to describe
Taiwan as a province of the vicious, evil, communist People's
Republic of China on their "Google Earth" site, presumably
because the management of Google are communists, or, perhaps,
in their favor, they are merely avaricious for the wealth
that comes from serving their Chinese government masters.

This sort of compliance is part of an overall trend of those
in governments determining that they must control what people
can see in order to attempt to control what they think. In
the case of tyrants, the goal is always to dupe people into
becoming willing slaves.  Naturally, when people are most free
to choose what information they see, they are best able to
determine for themselves what to accept, what to doubt, what
to act upon, what to disbelieve, and what to ignore.  When
people are forced by those in government to ingest fecal
material instead of useful web content, they suffer and,
inevitably, some die as a result.

The problem of who controls access to content on the Internet,
the person seeking information or the governmental authorities
seeking to limit access is fundamental to freedom which is,
in turn, fundamental to property and prosperity, as well as
life itself.  Something over a thousand people are dead along
the Gulf Coast from hurricanes Katrina and Rita, by "official"
estimate, and a great many thousands more have suffered
because of government control over: drainage, basic services,
evacuation, weather predictions, search and rescue, and
information about local, national, and global conditions.

I've written a bit about this topic on my page at

Fortunately, some technologies being developed and implemented
may make it possible to host content without being dependent
on root name servers to reach it.  This sort of technology
becomes more interesting in the context of projects like Loom
Gold which make available gold content (digital warehouse
receipts for gold) and other monetary "information."  The
Loom Gold site is explained at

Some of the precursor technology on data hosting independent
of domain information is tor.eff.org if I correctly recall
the URL.



Politech mailing list
Archived at http://www.politechbot.com/
Moderated by Declan McCullagh (http://www.mccullagh.org/)

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.3 : Tue Oct 11 2005 - 09:56:53 PDT