A few years ago the countries in the West condemned China for taking away “unwanted” content from the internet. It was seen as conflicting with freedom of speech, and utterly foreign to our “traditions of democracy”. Today, most internauts shrug their shoulders… whatever man, we are doing that everyday anyways.
Because there came Wikileaks, who were removed from the DNS-system by a corrupt bank, then Ce(n)silia Malmström wanted to make a pan-European censorship list, and most recently, the US agency ICE removed 82 sites from the global namespace. They allegedly did some counterfeit and copyright infringement.
All in all, this means that the DNS-system does not work properly anymore. It has to be fixed. Patched. And upgraded to the next level. The whole idea of having one singular point of reference served the purpose of both security and a kind of cultural connectivity. We would feel safe that when typing mybank.com, we actually arrived at our bank, and not some spoofed site that stole our money. But also, we would globally have a common way of sharing destinations; mysite.net meant the same to whomever we talked to.
However, these central nodes are sadly affected by strange-minded politicians and corporations far too easily. There used to be some guts in ICANN, and there used to be some sense of sentiment towards neutrality and autonomy for these systems. But they don’t seem to keep up anymore. A bank, a commissioner of the Europan Union or some MAFIIA-corporations are able to hijack the system very easily. If it is because of corruption or cowardliness, we do not know. But we don’t need to know either. All we need to do is build alternative systems.
To my knowledge, there are (at least) two interesting projects in the making. On the one hand there is the innovative dot-p2p project, which aims at creating a new Top Level Domain called .p2p which is distributed outside the regular system, by way of bittorrent distribution. In the stormy waters of ACTA we may predict a future attack on everything peer-to-peer related, so this is a very good idea to pre-emptively make a central DNS-blocking obsolete.
The other project is the Telecomix DNS project, which basically clones the ICANN root, then provides a submission system (not yet ready) for censored domains. This means that stuff that is taken away will be resubmitted to the Telecomix DNS servers, which may turn out to be many as the system grows, then override the ICANN root. Also, “proper owners” of non-censored domains will not have to worry, since Telecomix relies on cryptographic signing of domain names.
Hopefully there are more projects brewing in the minds and computers of internauts out there. If you know of any, please comment.
Maybe the singular namespace was just a parenthesis in the history of the internet, and we are now facing an evolution of an obsolete system. Darknets such as the i2p are already working with subscription lists of destinations in the network. So, it works. And it will be much more redundant than the current failure.
Update: On IRC someone tipped me about this project.