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The DNS Desaster

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Assigned keywords: Computer

The DNS has mainly become a farce, if not to say a plain desaster. Now that ICANN has decided to sell off TLDs to the highest bidder, we can count the days until we see paris.hilton. At least the fact that they'll reserve the right to renounce requests for, ah, whatever reasons will probably save the world from seeing domains like .grossdeutschland. Apart from that, the original structure of DNS is essentially ruined, as the original hierarchic structure organised by countries has been diluted in the past already and is now finally doomed. It is another result of stupidity meeting greed, which unfortunately happens often around.

I'm certainly the last who goes along "commerce ruined the interned", but concerning DNS, this is true. DNS has become a legal way to print money - just think of domains with limited semantic value such as .mobi, .museum or .aero, which the ICANN has thrown to the market; a business where money is made because organisations want to prevent that cybersquatters and spammers register their domains, and in order to be extra safe to do so, they'll go through sunrise or whatever periods. And they have to keep all these domains, because when they abandon it, they'll go to squatters which will put girls with a dislike for clothing on them, prompting customers to ask why hadanite-marasek.fuzzup sports naked breasts (me they'll ask, of course). So people pay money to solve problems they wouldn't have if ICANN and the registries would do decent jobs. Honni soit or let the fox guard the henhouse.

Speaking of doing a decent job - the registries certainly have failed at that, with some exeptions. I mean, why is it possible that I find domains registered to "Commander Robot"? What trust should I put into organizations which fail to validate the credentials of registrants - I shudder at what would happen if the german license plate department would just go ahead and issue license plates to "Emperor Palpatine, One Palpatine Way, Coruscant" or issue driving licenses to anyone telling he's really fit to drive. Adding insult to injury, they allowed for needless excesses such as "probing" domains, ie. registering them to spam for three days uninhibited. pecunia non olet. Apart from that, some registries commited sins of their own - think of default redirects to some registry site.

Seeing failure at such basic tasks, it seems far fetched to go even further and demand more from the registries, yet I find it legitimate to ask why, if there is something as .com, everyone can register such a domain without even having something remotely commercial. Same applies to org or net. And going even further, one could point out that the registries haven't done anything against squatters - but talking to internet companies about regulation and responsibility is as worthwile as discussing garlic and sunlight with vampires.

At some point it might very well happen that the whole system collapses, possibly along with the whole internet, if the burden of abuse has become too heavy. Up to then, let's hope that at least the spammers are decent enough to start their own TLD .spam and move their "business" accordingly.


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