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The Innovation Award

20.10.2012 | News
In January 98, Jon Postel created a stir in the corridors of the Department of Commerce (DoC) demonstrating that the conversion of domain names to IP addresses, installed on a single machine - the famous root A - could be distributed accross different servers.

For this he had just sent an email to the internet managers of the other 12 servers in the world asking asking them to change the IP address of the machine "A" enshrined in its zone file by his own machine address. This was done without discussion and worked very well and ... caused a scandal. The idea that the Internet can be developed outside government control was revolutionary, even if Postel spoke of a "test", due to the pressure he quickly had to backtrack. He died in October of the same year, but the test demonstrated that keeping this resource for the sole benefit of a State was not unavoidable.

ICANN was created in September 1998 under the Clinton administration who understood the commercial interest of cornering the growing internet godsend. ICANN’s mission was to replace the existing players and create a real competition. Its sole job was limited to a technical coordination of the actors. Fourteen years later the result is a monopoly: a closed market, fixed tariffs and no competition. But despite UN summits trying to "liberate" that resource which has become essential for development, the internet is still only under the US control.

More: The UNO WSIS summits

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