While I am in Crete attending a fascinating seminar, and Jon is doing such a wonderful job of blogging here, ICANN is having what promises to be a more-substantive-than-usual meeting in Luxembourg. At the heart of the debate are critical issues of DNS policy. (For the latest word on the politics of it all, see Kieren McCarthys ICANN Blog and his US Govt Interference Is a Big Deal, Says Europe.) One line you can expect to hear often is that it’s important to keep the Internet from being Balkanized.
The trouble is, the Internet is already being Balkanized. One the one had you have the Great Firewall of China and other national censorship efforts. And then there’s the roadblock I encountered today: Google. If you try to reach google.com from here, you are redirected to google.gr and all the prompts are in Greek. Go to google.us and you are redirected to google.gr. Run your search in English and you will get English language results (but the prompts are all in Greek). Amend the URL for that search, which used google.gr to one with google.com….and it’s still too smart and redirects to google.gr.
Are we Balkanized already?