Everything you ever knew about the internet has indeed gone awry. Maybe it is all just a bunch of tubes connecting trucks full of kittens and ninjas…
ICANN has aptly demonstrated its enabling acronyminousity by potentially allowing dot-anything domains (quite literally*). They won’t come cheap ($100,000 US) or easily – you will have to prove you have the capacity to effectively maintain an internet domainspace (I think its a little harder than making a blog).
In some sense this is a good move. It certainly opens up some definite revenue streams and opportunities. But overall I’m considering this a negative move.
The internet is already just a little too big and full of “cruft”, now pure cruft (like fanfic – even slash, or fansites, small webhosts, even whackjob epileptic inducing “the prez iz a giant lizzzard!!!1!” sites etc.) aren’t so bad. But there is a lot of crap, and porn, and spam, and porn, and illegal stuff, and porn, and even illegal crap porn that sends you spam about porn. Do we want to add to that.
Regulating what internet we have is already a bit of a hassle. For one thing, mention regulating the internet, and you are going to upset a lot of people. I’d say its even crazier than suggesting gun control in the States, or not liking chicken. But it is an issue – with 419 scams, identity theft, phishing, online terrorist communication networks, and paedophile rings, real issues that need some sort of investigation.
Another thing is how this could be used as its own sort of scam. One talking head I saw on the news (or heard on the radio) put forward a scenario where someone might register a domain like “www.microsoft.porn” or “www.microsoft.evil” or “www.microsoft.isworthless” and then try and extort money from the named business in return for not actually putting anything in that domainspace. Some smaller companies, or particular companies in particular, might feel very pressured to try and prevent consumers from associating their brand with such domains or content.
I remember back when I first got internet access http://www.ninemsn.com (as opposed to .com.au ) was a softcore girly site. Nine/msn appears to have solved that particular problem. Channel ten on the otherhand still has to be very sure their consumers visit the .com.au site (.com isn’t even softcore
Aside: incidentally the ZZ domain is essentially required for the physiological binding of dystrophin and utrophin to ß-dystroglyca
*okay, “.anything” would be quite a silly domain, but the internet isn’t known for its clearheadedness, and I’m sure there is a geek who will try it “4 teh lolz”