The Pirate Bay, best known as the home of file sharing torrents and files, has proposed a peer-to-peer
[12/8/2010: This post seems to have been lost in my transformation from MT to WP. Sorry.]
This seems to happen about once every five years or so. It used to be NSI, then ICANN, annoying people. Now it is government (enabled by ICANN). Anyone remember AlterNIC?
That’s not to say it can’t happen, but I don’t see a particular reason why it would now, and the lock-in effect of the DNS only increases over time, as it is embedded in more and more devices.
I can more easily see a sort of overlay DNS system for those who would choose to switch back and forth between the two, but even that has a chicken/egg problem with both compelling reasons to do so, and software infrastructure to support alternative name resolution.
Heck, were I persuing this, I think I’d try something very simple and hackish, like P2P distribution of an /etc/hosts file. And of course, already I’m thinking of ways to make it more complex, involving git and PGP.
Lauren Weinstein, who is a pretty serious technologist, seems to be working on something of this sort, Announcing Project IDONS: Internet Distributed Open Name System. Interestingly, Weinstein’s motives are likely the opposite of the Pirate Bay’s as Weinstein has been a vocal critic of ICANN — for what he believes are its desire to create too many TLDs. (I disagree with this critique as I don’t think consumers will be any more confused by a plethora of TLDs than they are by a plethora of phone numbers, magazine names, or trademarks for that matter.)
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