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Chinese operators hope to standardize a segmented Internet

Mikael Ricknäs | June 19, 2012
A technology draft written by employees at China Mobile and China Telecom and submitted to the Internet Engineering Task Force describes how the Internet could be split into several parts using the Domain Name System and in the process give countries more control over their own segment of the network.

"The Chinese draft would be a return to that," said Wallström.

Schlyter is equally convinced that nothing will become of the draft.

"There is an extremely small risk of it going anywhere. I say risk because I am proponent of a common namespace, and all that comes with that," said Schlyter.

Because of the minuscule chance of the draft ever becoming a standard, the underlying reason for publishing it may be something altogether different, according to Wallström.

"This is just me speculating, but with the arrival new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) a document like this one can be published to put more pressure on ICANN with the aim of maybe even splitting the organization into different parts where China has more power," Wallström said.

Today, ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), which is also a big proponent of a unique root, coordinates the DNS as well as a whole host of other Internet-related components. These were originally performed under a U.S. government contract.


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