The Shifting State of Internet Governance

Friday, March 21, 2014


The seemingly arcane business of running the web recently made headlines when the United States government agreed to cede control of the Internet's global address book, also known as the Domain Name System (DNS). Bob talks with Bloomberg Businessweek's Brendan Greeley about the move and the future of internet governance.


Brendan Greeley

Hosted by:

Bob Garfield

Comments [3]

Gerard Ross from Stockholm, Sweden

It's great that you are covering the latest chapter in the history of Internet governance - and indeed helping to make the concept of Internet governance mainstream. But it is unfortunate that your programme fails to draw the basic distinction between the Web and the Internet. The Web, as important as it may be, is but one application that runs on the Internet. The 'Net encompasses vastly more, and stories on Internet governance will never quite make sense until journalists recognise and appreciate this.

Also, you did suggest that "God" – the late Jon Postel – operated as a monotheistic rule maker. This is a more troubling misrepresentation of Internet governance. Postel, for a considerable time in the Internet's early history, was responsible for many critical Internet administrative functions. But he was a part of, and deeply, philosophically bound to a open, consensus-based community of interest, and he was subject to oversight by the US government. Even in the earliest, most experimental incarnations of the Internet, its operation and decision-making processes may have been informal, but were never either slapdash nor authoritarian.

We are a critical time in the Internet's history, and decisions made in the coming years about its governance could have immense ramifications on the global communications and information platform. Getting the details right has never been more important.

Mar. 24 2014 09:18 AM
Robert Thomas from Santa Clara

Kai Ryssdal on the _Marketplace_ program also suggested that as was intimated here, "it's likely that this [ceding control] was accelerated by recent revelations..." etc.

There is no evidence for this. It's a fanciful canard invented by know-nothings.

Mar. 23 2014 05:55 PM
Douglas from Miles from nowhere

I am appalled at how domain names are sold for profit. The FCC and ITU should have stepped in 20 years ago to take over the assignment of domain names.

Mar. 22 2014 07:51 PM

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