Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Sorry about the light blogging. I've started immersing myself in reading and studying ICANN related stuff. I know this is generally true, but the more I study, the more I learn how little I know. Soon I will probably convince myself I know absolutely nothing. OK. It's not THAT bad, but it quite daunting. I hope it gets better by the time I have to go to the first official board meeting. I'm trying very hard to understand as many of the points of view as I can and am still looking for more views and opinions.

I do promise to blog more about my thoughts in the future, but I'm still very much in learning mode.


There is no 'downside' on the learning curve.

Usually. Sometimes people learn so much they confuse themselves... I think it depends on what you learn and how you learn it.

With ICANN I'm trying to get a balanced and deeper view, but there are so many layers, it's quite complicated and confusing.

Your lifetime of experience has proven time and again that when the student is ready the teacher appears. Be patient and let it happen.

Complicated ?

It is very simple. It all begins with 32-bit address space
allocations. Those are used to strong-arm "the community".
Without them, ISPs can not operate. Insiders (like AT&T) of
course, pay nothing, for their huge allocations. ISPs pay large
sums to non-profit sham companies where people sit around and
play on the net all day. The leaders of those non-profits travel
around like they are some sort of ambassadors (highly paid of
course) and sign what they view as cyberspace treaties with
each other, locking the insiders into their share of the profits
from their closed club. Price-fixing of services across the
non-profits makes sure the profits are not reduced. ICANN of
course watches over it all from their Wizard of OZ (IANA) role
position and turns a blind-eye to any corruption as long as some
of the address space leasing fees are skimmed off and sent to
ICANN. The address space blocks are not treated as assets (as
they should be) and do not appear on the books of the companies.
ICANN can then transfer a block worth billions of dollars to
an insider company and there is no accounting of the asset
transfer. IP address blocks are like land (soil) that cyberspace
is constructed on. Domain names are simply signs, billboards,
pointers to the land. Without land, there is no net. ICANN still
has a large inventory of land (lots) and now can travel around
the world cultivating "the right people"(tm) to partner with
and transfer deeds for the land, for a fee kick-back of course.
ICANN does not move a muscle without collecting a fee. There is
of course no profit (non-profit), the fees are laundered to
off-shore tax havens by the ICANN executives. Anyone that steps
out of line is strong-armed with threats that their land will
be taken away. ISPs keep their mouths shut and pay the ISOC

COMplicated blathered @4:
Complicated ?
It is very simple. It all begins with 32-bit address space allocations.

To be brutally honest, I have seldom seen so much stupidity and ignorance of a subject matter packed into a single comment purporting to "explain" an issue.

An IP prefix has a value on the Internet only inasmuch that it's reachable, i.e. only if it's advertised by BGP peers spanning the globe. Thus, the notion that an IP address space by itself might be worth "billions" [sic] is preposterous, as is the drivel about its accounting treatment. Numerous billion-dollar on-line businesses are run with only a handful-worth of globally routed class C address spaces -- e.g. Dell Computer, Amazon, Google... A NSP provides an utility-like service, and just like an electric utility in a competitive market, they are unable to charge different rates for an address space based on whether their client's e-business appears to be successful.

The prattle about IP address space generating revenue for the registries like ICANN is asinine and completely misses the point. The major source of revenue for these registries are the domain names, not the IP address space. For the end-users, too, the economic value associated with an Internet presence hinges, among others, on the domain name "brand" — e.g. — or on search engine placement, and certainly not on the number of IP addresses that happen to be allocated to a web site. Besides, even if the Internet were to migrate wholesale from IPv4 to IPv6, will still be — i.e. the domain name, not the IP address, is the actual Internet "land" or "real estate".

October 21, 2004
ICANN and the NRO Sign MoU on the Address Supporting Organization that Safeguards Best Policies for Distribution of Internet Numbers

RESTON, VA - Today, the Number Resource Organization (NRO) and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) signed a formal agreement that will allow those with the greatest interest in the strength and viability of the Internet to play a significant policy making role in the global distribution of Internet numbers.

Hmmm, IP addresses do not matter ?
Seems ICANN and the vapor-company NRO.NET think they do.
Ahhhh, NRO.NET gets the .NET delegation.
Sure, select another Reston Virginia Spook Start-Up like the ISOC.

Note, ARIN is under Neu-Management now.

First, feeble camouflage attempts like posting a comment each time with a different handle name (including numerous ones in this blog entry: ) won't conceal the signature, unifying idiocy of your comments.

Second, the Internet won't work if people use duplicate IP addresses &mdash thus, some sort of mechanism is required to allocate globally unique IP addresses. Organizations like the ICANN and the Regional Internet Registries fulfill that role by managing and/or further delegating the address assignments.
The notion that such an address registry function exists should be graspable even by semi-intelligent people, the kind who think that they are contributing valuable insight by pointing out e.g. that the USA is an island, or that the ICANN is akin to the KKK.

"some sort of mechanism is required to allocate globally unique IP addresses"

"some sort of mechanism"

"some sort of [software] mechanism"